You really are not going to be able to understand God, if you do not get what we are talking about in this series.
Faith is absolutely essential to your walk with God.
If you do not have faith in God, you will not walk with God closely.
Why do we need to study faith?
- You cannot be saved without faith.
Ephesians 2:8 | NKJV (8) For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
- Faith is required to please God.
Hebrews 11:6 | NKJV (6) 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.
- You cannot live for God without faith.
Habakkuk 2:4 | NKJV (4) “Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; But the just shall live by his faith.
Romans 1:17 | NKJV (17) For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.”
Galatians 3:11 | NKJV (11) But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.”
Hebrews 10:38 | NKJV (38) NOW THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH; BUT IF ANYONE DRAWS BACK, MY SOUL HAS NO PLEASURE IN HIM.”
- Faith is what allows God’s grace to work in our lives.
Romans 4:16 | NKJV (16) Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all
- Faith in Jesus Christ and His Blood is what makes us righteous before God.
Romans 5:1-2 | AMPC (1) THEREFORE, SINCE we are justified (acquitted, declared righteous, and given a right standing with God) through faith, let us [grasp the fact that we] have [the peace of reconciliation to hold and to enjoy] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). (2) Through Him also we have [our] access (entrance, introduction) by faith into this grace (state of God’s favor) in which we [firmly and safely] stand. And let us rejoice and exult in our hope of experiencing and enjoying the glory of God.
- You cannot walk the Christian walk without faith.
2 Corinthians 5:7 | NKJV (7) For we walk by faith, not by sight.
- You cannot grow spiritually without faith.
2 Thessalonians 1:3 | NKJV (3) We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other,
- Faith is instrumental in defeating the devil in spiritual battle.
Ephesians 6:16 | NKJV (16) above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.
We will study other topics as well because they all work with our faith.
Galatians 5:6 | NKJV (6) For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.
Faith is important and therefore we must spend time studying it.
To understand faith, you must understand a little bit about the spiritual world.
John 4:24 NKJV (24) God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
You cannot worship God just in the outward sense because God is a Spirit, and you must make a spiritual connection with Him by worshipping Him in the spirit.
God is not a physical being at all, although He is very real.
God created this natural physical world out of the world in which He lives called the spirit world.
He created this world out of His Word.
Hebrews 11:3 NKJV (3) 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.
If I limit my scope of my understanding to the natural realm only then I can never really begin to understand God or the realm in which He lives.
1 Corinthians 2:14 NKJV (14) But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Natural man says, “I will not believe in it unless I can prove it by feeling it, seeing it, etc.” He says, “I have to prove it in order to believe it.”
There is a spiritual world that the natural man cannot understand.
1 Corinthians 2:15 NLT (15) Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things…
When you begin to understand spiritual things, you will learn that you have a spiritual nature that is different from your physical nature.
This is why people can be very successful in the material or physical, they are not satisfied or fulfilled.
That is because there is a spiritual God-sized void inside all of us until we have a relationship with Him through Jesus Christ.
Faith is the force of God that creates.
1 Corinthians 13:13 NKJV (13) And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Faith is what moves the creative power of God from the spiritual world where He lives over to this natural world where you and I live.
Faith in God has superiority over any of the natural laws that are in operation in the earth.
The very first thing we see that Jesus did in the Gospels, was to show His superiority over the natural.
John 2:1-8 NKJV (1) On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. (2) Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. (3) And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.” (4) Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.” (5) His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” (6) Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. (7) Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. (8) And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it.
Jesus had never worked a miracle up to this point so Mary probably was not expecting a miracle. But He was full of wisdom and His mother knew that He could solve the problem.
Jesus could have turned air into wine as easy as it was to turn water into the wine.
Water pots were at a minimum of 3 firkins each which was 9 gallons per firkin or 27 gallons. We are talking about close to 150 gallons of water and it took quite a while to fill them up and the pots were very heavy. This took a lot of work.
We think it would be easier to turn the water into wine because it is a liquid but that is not true.
Jesus had them fill the water pots because He wanted them to be involved in the process of God’s power showing up to change the situation.
God could do everything that ever wanted to do without us because He is God and leave us out.
He chooses to bring us into the process and let us have a part in what is going on.
God wants to work WITH us in His plan in the earth but He must have faith to work with for that to happen.
Faith is the invitation we give God for Him to move in our situation the way He wants to and we need Him to.
Notice in verse 11, it says that because of this miracle, His disciples believed on Him and it was because they were involved.
John 2:11 NKJV (11) This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him.
Matthew 18:2-4 NKJV (2) Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, (3) and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. (4) Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Little children intrinsically trust that they will be taken care of. This is the way that we should be in our faith in God.
Jesus was showing us that we must approach the Kingdom of God as a little child believes without any hesitation and question.
Why is faith such a big deal to God?
God wants to work with us all through faith to be able to get His power over into our lives so that He can make the difference He wants to make.
1 Corinthians 13:13 NLT (13) Three things will last forever–faith, hope, and love–and the greatest of these is love.
Notice in his teaching on love, Paul states there are three spiritual forces that will last forever: faith, hope, and love.
In saying it this way, Paul is telling us that there is a difference in hope and faith.
Hebrews 11:1 NIV Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
There are a lot of people who think they are operating in faith but they are not. Hope does have some limitations. There are certain things that it cannot do. The two do work together and are connected.
Hope is a positive expectation of things in the future.
“I see good coming to me. Something good is going to happen to me this week…”
“I believe things are going to get better.”
God always builds our hopes before we actually begin to operate in faith.
Abraham is the father of faith. He is the classic case study of faith. Nobody matches him in terms of the quality of their faith.
What we see is that God did not begin Abraham in faith. He began him in hope.
Genesis 12:1-3 NKJV (1) Now the LORD had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you. (2) I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. (3) I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Genesis 12:7 NKJV (7) Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” And there he built an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him.
Genesis 13:14 NKJV (14) And the LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him: “Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are–northward, southward, eastward, and westward;
Genesis 13:17 NKJV (17) Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width, for I give it to you.”
Notice the tense of the words that God is using while He is speaking to Abram. They are words like, “I will…, shall be…” This is all hope.
We see that God is instilling hope into the heart of Abram first because faith has to work with hope.
Faith and hope can be broken down like this:
Hope is a blueprint or a model.
It is not the building; it is the expectation of the building.
Hope is the ability to imagine what is going to happen.
This is where you start.
God began to build Abram a picture of what He is planning to do not only for him but this people that He is going to make.