Faith is the proof we show for our Hope in God for eternity

"Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe (do) all things whatsoever I (Jesus Christ) have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 2 Corinthians 7:1 ... dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."

 

I am a retired pastor of the Church of God (Tennessee).
My name is Isaac Livingston. I am from Neyyoor India.

Faith is the proof we show for our Hope in God for eternity

Faith is the substance and the evidence shown as proof in life for our hope that we will inherit the kingdom of God, (Hebrew 11:1, & 1 John 3:2-3). If we have hope to inherit his kingdom, our faith must be in God (1 Peter 1:21), who will give us his kingdom (Luke 12:32). If we have faith in him, the proof of faith is that we will do what he tells us to do to inherit his kingdom. If we do not do what he tells us to do, and say that we have faith, then we are liars and our faith is fake.

We all have a kind of faith and hope, but it may not be the Bible faith and hope. People in all religions talk about faith and hope. In general, faith does not have a bearing on hope. Faith and hope works separately even though they are parallels. Usually, hope is a distant wish and faith is a strong belief. But, the Bible hope precedes faith. First we have hope and faith tailgates hope. If we do not have a hope, there is no room for faith. Hope is not visible, but faith grows out of hope to be visible. Faith is the substance and evidence for hope. Hope is the root of the tree that is faith. If there is no root, there cannot be a tree. So also, if there is no hope, there cannot be faith. If someone says that he has faith, ask him what his hope is. If he stumbles for an answer, he does not have Bible faith. Faith is the proof he shows for his hope.

1. Bible Faith

A. Definition of Faith

Faith is what we will do in our confidence that we will receive the things we hoped for, where as our hope is our desired wish that we seek after. If our confidence is evidently visible in the way we live, then our confidence is living faith.  If we voiced our confidence where as the evidence is not seen in our lives, then our confidence is dead faith, or it is mere bluff or lie. "James 2:26 …as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." If our hope is to inherit the kingdom of God, if the source of our confidence is God, and if we walk in the ways that God tells us to walk to inherit his kingdom, then we have godly faith, which is the Bible faith. All other faiths are worldly faiths and they have nothing to do with God. "Mark 11:22 … Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. Hebrews 11:1 faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." This is our true faith.

B. Definition of Hope

What is the object of the hope of a Christian? "1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." What is the work that he must do to obtain it?  "1 John 3:3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." Christians, as children of God, hope to be glorified like Jesus Christ and to see him at his second coming. Those who have this hope purify themselves as Jesus Christ is pure. So, if our hope is followed up by the work of faith, then our hope is also a true hope, and it is bible hope.

C. Faith must be in God

1 Peter 1:21 says, "...by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God." In Mark 11:22 Jesus Christ tells them: "Have faith in God." One of the very important reasons that God raised Jesus Christ from the dead and gave him glory was that we might have hope and faith in God so that he may raise us also in the same way he has raised Jesus Christ. "2 Corinthians 4:14 Knowing that he (God) which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you." Then, we also will be raised on that day.

2. Faith is opposite to Fear, Doubt and Worry

A. Rebuked for Fear

Faith is opposite to fear. "Matthew 8:23 … when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. 24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.  25 And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish 26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm."  It is important to notice that Jesus Christ did not ask the disciples why they did not rebuke the wind and sea.  It is the power of God that calmed the sea.  He rebuked them saying why did you fear.

B. Rebuked for Doubt

Faith is opposite to doubt.  "Matthew 14:29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.  30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me 31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?"  Here, Peter did not walk on the water on his own strength or faith, but because Jesus Christ had said "come."  Jesus Christ did not rebuke him because he was sinking in the water. But, he rebuked Peter because he doubted the power of God and he was afraid. Faith will not doubt God in danger, or even in death. God is as powerful and can do anything, even while he is not doing it. His disciples should learn this fact about God.

C. Rebuked for Worry

Faith is opposite to worry.  "Matthew 6:30 … shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith …32 For after all these things do the Gentiles seek, for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Matthew 6:25-34 is an important passage of instruction to the servants of God. The promise of God is that he will provide the needs of those servants who seek after his kingdom and his righteousness. It is not a promise to prosperity. 

3. Power of God Heals and does Miracles

A. Jesus healed the Sick

Jesus Christ healed the sick, cast out devils and raised the sick. Most Christians are taught to believe that the sick people must have faith to be healed. How can the demon possessed and the dead to have faith. But, they use verses like "Mark 10:52. Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight…" Yes, Jesus Christ healed many people who had faith. However, he healed many who had no faith at all. "Luke 22:50 And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear. 51 And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him." Jesus Christ healed them all whether they have faith or not. "Matthew 8:16 … healed all that were sick: Matthew 12:15 …great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all; Luke 4:40 …he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them." Jesus Christ had the power of God in him to heal, cast the devils and to raise the dead. This power is the one that went and healed the sick.  "Luke 5:17 … as he was teaching … the power of the Lord was present to heal them. Luke 6:19 there went virtue out of him, and healed them all." It is the power from God that heals people. It also will work on those who has faith, and it does not mean that the sick must have faith.

B. Disciples healed the Sick

Jesus Christ gave his disciples the power of God to heal, cast out devils, etc. "Matthew 10:1 … he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease."  The apostles also healed everyone who came to them for healing, by the power of God. The sick were healed even by the shadow of Peter, but it was not the shadow that healed, but it was the power of God. "Acts 5:15 Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them… and they were healed every one." Stephen and Philip healed even though they were not apostles. "Acts 6:8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people. Acts 8:6 Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. 7 …and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed." People, who never knew God, were healed. "Acts 28:8 … the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and of a bloody flux: to whom Paul entered in, and prayed, and laid his hands on him, and healed him.  9 So when this was done, others also, which had diseases in the island, came, and were healed." God heals through his people by his power.

C. Healed by the Power the of God

However, ministers need faith to use the gift of healing and to use the power of God. "Acts 3:16 … through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all." Even though servants of God had faith, it was the power of God that healed and did miracles, but it was not the faith that healed them, but they need faith to use the power. The same power even healed those who had no faith. So, the healer is God’s power rather than our faith.  

4. Why Faith is important?

A. Without Faith Nobody can Please God

"Hebrews 1:6…without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."  We cannot please God without faith and the true faith in God has two wings to fly. (1) Our focus must be on the true God that exists through eternity past to eternity future. (2) We must diligently seek him by doing his bidding of righteous works in order to receive his reward. "Revelation 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be."

B. Without Faith Nobody can be Saved

"Ephesians 2:8 …by grace are ye saved through faith; …it is the gift of God." God saves his people only through faith. "James 4:6 …God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble." Humble people receive the grace of God.  Grace will help them to perform the work of faith. Then, through the work of faith God saves his people.  Even though salvation is a gift of God, it is not given to those who fail to do the work of faith or who do no not have righteous faith.  

5. What is Faith in Jesus Christ?

A. To be Sanctified for inheritance

We have seen that our faith and hope must be in God and not in another. However, bible talks about our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ also, since he is God. People will be sanctified by faith in Jesus Christ, it will give them forgiveness of sins and eternal life. "Acts 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me (by having faith in Jesus)."

B. Not to use his name in Vain

It is sad that most Christians think that Jesus Christ will save them from hell for the mere calling of his name or such flimsy things and consider this as their faith in Jesus Christ. But scripture cautions about using the name of God. Exodus 20:7 says, "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain," and 2 Timothy 2:19 says, "…Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity." If Christians use the name of Christ without departing from iniquity then it is not faith, it is sin and they will be punished for that sin.  

6. Faith of Jesus Christ and Our Faith

A. Became Author of Faith and Salvation

Jesus Christ endured the cross, despised his shame and he became the author and finisher of faith. "Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." Jesus Christ being the author of salvation as well as the author of our faith, he wants us to look at how he ran his race to obtain the throne of God, and to follow his way as we run our race. "1 Peter 2:21 …hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps. 2 Timothy 2:11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: 12  If we suffer, we shall also reign with him." He calls us to follow his life of sufferings to sit in his throne.

B. How about Your Faith?

God made Abraham, the father of faith, very rich. "Genesis 13:2 And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold." His eyes were fixed on the kingdom of God but not on his riches. "Hebrews 11:10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God." Where are your eyes focused? 

The devils believe God, but without the works of righteousness. "James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.  20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?" How about you? Are you doing the work of righteousness by your faith?

We all have faith and hope. They will take us either to hell or to heaven depending on what are we hoping for and what kind of faith we have, that is, what kind of work that follows. Let us also have faith in God to do what he wants us to do, in oeder to inherit the kingdom of heaven. "Luke 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." Most Christians ask and claim the kingdom of God instead of being obedient. The kingdom of heaven is free for those who obey God. So, obey God.

Note: If any point needs explanation, OR, if you find an error according to scripture,
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Thank you for listening. God bless you.

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