"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of
things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1)
Faith is that which characterizes everything about the Christian
life. As Christians we live by faith (Galatians 3:11); we walk by faith (2
Corinthians 5:7); we worship God by faith (Hebrews 11:4, 6); and we serve Him by
faith (1 Thessalonians 1:3, 8). "Without faith it is impossible to please
Him..." (Hebrews 11:6)
Hebrews 11 gives several examples of what some did by faith.
Able offered to God a more excellent sacrifice by faith (Hebrews 11:4).
Noah built an ark by faith (verse 7). Abraham offered up Isaac by faith
(verses 17-19). Moses forsook Egypt by faith (verse 27). He
continued to show that others suffered and died because of their faith. In
each of the above cases from Hebrews 11, their faith was a response to God's
word. "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans
10:17). To act apart from God's instructions is not an action of faith,
even though one may sincerely believe that what they are doing is right.
We cannot be saved by faith unless we act in accordance with God's instructions.
We cannot worship acceptably by doing whatever makes us feel good. We must
follow God's instructions!
One of the greatest examples of what it means to live by faith
is seen in the life of Abraham. God had promised Abraham a son by Sarah.
But both were beyond the years of having children. Paul spoke of his great
faith in Romans 4:20-21, saying, "He staggered not at the promises of God
through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; and being fully
persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able to perform." To Abraham
and Sarah having a child at that their age may have seemed impossible, but God
promised this, and Abraham was persuaded God would do as He promised. We
need this kind of faith. If God promises something, He will do it!
-Harold D. Turner
Gravel Hill church of Christ