How do we define faith? If faith is essential in the life of a person that pleases God as we have seen in Hebrews 11:6, than our understanding of a proper definition of faith is also essential.
Fortunately, the Bible not only tells us that faith is essential, it gives us a clear definition of what God pleasing faith really is.
Over the course of this three message series we will use the following definition as our working definition of faith:
“Biblical faith is seeing the invisible by taking God at His Word.”
I. Faith is substance 11:1-2
“Substance of things hoped for”
The substance of faith is the way that we live in light of that thing which is hoped for. For the believer, we have a confident assurance, a biblical hope, that we will one day stand complete in heaven with God and that the ultimate victory is His. This hope causes our lives to live for Him, victoriously regardless of the situation that our physical eyes may perceive. We see the invisible and live according to it.
Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
Hope is something that is certain but not yet realized.
“Faith is seeing the invisible, not the non-existent” –AW Tozer
2Corinthians 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Hebrews 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
Hebrews 11:39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
II. Faith is evidence 11:1,3
“Evidence of things not seen”
“Faith does not believe in spite of the evidence, it believes because of the evidence.”
Our faith is not based on a mystical belief or unrealistic fantasy, it is based upon the words of a God that has reveled Himself through creation and given direction through His Word.
Romans 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
We understand that creation demands a creator. We have confidence in this creator and His words!
Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Faith is seeing the invisible, but it is seeing by taking God at His word because of the evidence that He has provided to us. We will continue to look at this definition, but what a blessing to understand that our faith is not foolish or unfounded but is founded on the evidence of God and His Word.