Rev. Jon Schell: Living by faith
Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 19, 2022
“To follow Christ is to live a life of faith. Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 5:20.
So what does the Bible say about faith? Let’s look at Hebrews Chapter 11.
Faith’s meaning — Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. — Hebrews 11: 1-2. When we believe without seeing we exercise faith. And we all choose to use faith in many areas of our lives.
Faith’s effect — (vs. 3) — By faith we understand God’s act of Creation and His work in this world. The world says to us “let me see me and I’ll believe,” but Jesus tells us that if we believe we will see. Since the world is a physical manifestation of a spiritual reality, there are things we will never understand until you take a step of faith.
Faith’s response — (vs. 4) — Abel responded to God’s requirements and offered Him a better sacrifice than Cain. Through faith we offer ourselves to Him as well.
Faith’s necessity — And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him. (vs. 6) Believing in the God of Scripture (Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent, Holy etc.) and believing that He will reward us if we seek Him is required to please God. The only way we can relate to God is through faith.
Faith’s example. There are many examples of faith in Scripture. Because of faith, Noah built the Ark (vs. 7), Abraham headed for the promised land even though he didn’t know where he was going (vs. 8), Israel crossed the red Sea by faith and later watched as the walls of Jericho were brought down by God. We have so many examples of people who put their faith in God. They encourage us, inspire us and build our faith. As Scripture says, “faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. — Romans 10:17
Faith’s result — Many people who exercised faith received an earthly or short-term result. (vs. 32-35a) They conquered armies, defeated giants and closed the mouths of lions. Other people who exercised faith were persecuted and even killed for their faith in God. So while the first group saw God respond miraculously during their lifetime. Others did not see the reward of their faith until Heaven.
Faith’s reward — Both groups of people were commended by God. (vs. 39). We tend to see those who have earthly results as having great faith and those without as having little. But faith in its purest form is when you keep believing in Christ even though you have no earthly reason to. Such faith will be rewarded by God as well.
We all live by faith. May ours be in Christ Jesus. As Paul said: ‘The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God,.” Galatians 5:20. This is the confession of every believer of Christ.