The Professor, standing at the head of a large theater of students, began the session with: “Today we’re going to visit the popular subject of faith. Recently, a young man came up to me after class and said, ‘First of all, what exactly is faith? And secondly, how can I get it to work better for me?’ That will be our subject for the next few classes.”
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)
Faith is a spiritual substance.
That means it is not of the earthly five-sense realm with which you are so accustomed to. This substance cannot be touched or felt and you cannot see it while it is working.
But you can see its final results.
“By faith ... we understand ... that the worlds were framed ... by the word of God, so that ... the things which are seen ... were not made of things ... which are visible.” (See Hebrews 11:3)
By faith we understand.
That the worlds were framed (arranged, set in order, established, complete) by God’s spoken Word. The things which we now see in the heavens were not made of things which are visible. They were made with a substance that our Father, Eternal God, has within Him.
How God and His Kingdom Work
When God wanted a family, He had a plan which began with the outer reaches of the universe. “By the word of the LORD the heavens were made and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.” (Psalm 33:6-7)
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)
Then God began to speak to our planet earth.
“Let there be light,” and there was light. God continued to design our earth to provide for all of man’s physical needs. Think of our existence: food, shelter, clothing, cars, buildings, cell phones, computers, airplanes, etc.; everything comes out of this God-formed earth.
Earth is so much different than the other planets. Why?
“Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion ...” (Genesis 1:26)
“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7)
“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’ ” (Genesis 1:27-28)
The Hebrew scribes teach when God breathed into man the breath of life, man became a speaking spirit, like God.
“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” (John 1:4)
Since God is a faith-God, He made man the same way.
But man was made with a free will and given the right to choose. Man’s terrible transgression in the garden would release iniquity into all of his seed after him...that is, until God sent His only Son to redeem man by His blood on the cross.
1. Faith is a gift!
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works that anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
What is faith?
It is God’s substance given to man by grace when he hears, believes, and accepts the gospel message. Through the incorruptible seed of God’s Word, faith gives birth to a new creation in Christ!
"And whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world - our faith." (1 John 5:4)
And Father has a growing family! (See Romans 10:6-15 & 1 Peter 1:23)
2. How can I get faith to work better for me?
Develop it! Part Two...next time.
This is that...
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)