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WHAT IS FAITH?

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Do you have Faith? Do you have the correct understanding about it? What does the Bible say about it? Who has Faith?

First, we will answer the question: Who has Faith?

There are four situations.

Situation 1: There was once a young husband who never had a child. He and his wife had almost done everything for them to have a child. But all is to no avail. One day, somebody told him to resort to Spiritism and to go to a spiritist who is well-known for his ability to help couples to have a child. Being a believer of deities other than the One true God, this made his hope and assurance that he can have a child through the help of the Spiritist. After a month of diligently following the instructions of the Spiritist for them to dance in the streets whenever there is a town festival and to offer 3 eggs in front of an acacia tree every Friday, his wife got pregnant and eventually, they did have their first child.

Situation 2: There was a small village which was suffering from a severe drought. The crops were dying, and the villagers and their animals had very little water to drink. Based on experienced, all the villagers knew that no rain will come for about a month. One day, the new pastor in the village called the believers to gather at the village’s church to fast and pray together for rain. He told them that they must believe that they will get what they want and that they must exercise their faith for God has the power to grant their prayers. And so, the believers gathered at the church praying and fasting together for the rain to come. At noon, they go outside to see if there is any sign of rain but they saw nothing. The Pastor told them that what they are doing is not enough, so they prayed louder and with fervent crying asking for rain to come. Some are even shouting their prayers. Still, at the end of the day, not even a drop of rain has come.

Situation 3: A teenage girl was diagnosed with cancer. The doctor said that she has only 1 month to live. One day, the girl’s mother heard that there’s a healing crusade being held at their town’s plaza by a group of believers. After knowing this, the girl’s mom wants to bring her to the crusade knowing that this will help her daughter heal from cancer. The teenage girl, however, being an unbeliever doesn’t want to go. But since her mom insists, she had no choice but to go. When the pastor prayed for her after the service, the girl felt something is going on with her body and all the pain that she is suffering were all gone. She can’t believe that she was actually healed during that time.

Situation 4: One night, the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to a young Baptist minister through a vision. At first, the young minister thought that he was only dreaming, but then Lord told him to fear not, for he is not dreaming. Then the Lord told him that He will go to use him to preach for the Pentecostal churches. The Lord further told him that in three days’ time, he will going to meet a Pentecostal minister that will go to invite him to preach to a Pentecostal convention. The Lord showed him both the place and the time where they will go to meet and He even showed him what dress the man should be wearing during their meeting. After the vision, the young minster got very excited for he was sure that it will go to happen. Knowing that it will happen, he asked permission to the elder minister of their church to preach to the Pentecostals. The Elder minister would not allow him telling him that the Pentecostals are a bunch of “holy rollers” and if he will insist, he will be disfellowshipped and will not be given support by the church. The young minister was sad after hearing this. Surely enough, in three days, he meets the Pentecostal minister in the same place, time and dress that the Lord had shown him. And just like in the vision, he was invited to preach to the convention. But then the young minister remembers the words of the elder minister so he declines the invitation.

So here is the question: Who among the people in four situations have/has faith? Why?

Here are the choices:

A. The young husband
B. The pastor and the believers
C. The Teenage girl
D. The young minister
E. All of the above
F. Both C and D
G. Both A and D
H. Both B and C

In order for us to find the correct answer, let us consult the Absolute which is the Word of God.

FAITH IS A REVELATION!

In Hebrews 11:1 we can read:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

In the above verse, the word “substance” came from the Greek word “hupostasis” which means essence, the real nature, assurance, confidence. In other words, faith is the assurance or the real nature of the things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen!

Indeed, in order to be assured, you must first have the evidence! But wait, how can you have evidence of the things which are not seen? Evidence are supposed to be seen! Just like in a court trial, if you have no evidence to show, your testimony cannot be considered strong or valid. The verse is an example of a Paradox. According to Google, a paradox is a self-contradictory statement or proposition that when investigated or explained may prove to be well-founded or true.

Now back to our verse, in order to have an assurance that those things you hope for will really happen, you should have evidence. But how can you have an evidence if in the first place, those things did not yet happened or you are still hoping for it, meaning, it’s still in the future? Any true Christian will know that this can only be achieved through REVELATION.

Yes, the answer is having a Revelation. You are confident and assured that those things will happen because you have seen the evidence! How? They have revealed unto you! You have seen them by revelation. If you are assured and have seen the evidence, then you have the Faith! Therefore, one can’t have faith without revelation. Indeed, it is impossible to have an assurance on something if you can’t understand it if you have not seen the evidence of it.

Hebrews 11:6a “But without faith it is impossible to please him…”

Now, there are many people who want to please God. But since having faith is having the revelation, or having the right understanding and we know that one cannot fabricate revelation, then many don’t have the right understanding that’s why many also failed in pleasing God. Take for example the case of Cain in Hebrews 11:4. Cain wanted to pleased God. He knows that an offering would please the Lord. But he doesn’t know what offers could please the Lord, so he offered Him the fruits of his crops. However, unlike Cain, Abel has the revelation of what offering can please God. That’s why it is said in Hebrews 11:4 “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain”. Yes, you have faith because you have the revelation.

HEARING BY THE WORD OF GOD COMES FAITH

Romans 10:17 “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

The above verse is often misquoted. Instead of quoting the whole verse, most people omitted the word “by”. “Hearing BY the word of God” is much different compared to “hearing the word of God”. The former means you hear by USING or THROUGH the word of God. This only means that one can have faith by hearing USING the word of God. You can hear the word of God as long as you want, but you can only have faith by USING or by hearing THROUGH It those things that you’ve heard.

Now, the Lord can use many things for us to understand something. He can use His word, vision, dreams, problems, trials, His messengers, life circumstances, His creations, etc., in order for us to have a revelation of those things He wants to reveal to us. The thing for us to do is to “hear” those things BY His word.

DEAD FAITH

James 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

James 2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

Indeed, when you have the evidence and the assurance of the things you hope for, the next thing you need to do is to act on it because what is the use of revealing it to you if you do nothing about it? Yes, you have faith, but your faith is dead. It is like having no faith at all! Oh, it would be terrible for us when God will give us an assurance but we do nothing about it because we are afraid, not ready or we have no time for it. It is just like you are all set to go, you have your plane ticket, pocket money, accommodation and all things that you will need are already provided, but you won’t go because you are afraid.

BY WHOSE FAITH ARE WE SAVE?

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

We are saved through faith and not by any of our works. But to whose faith are we save?

Revelation 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.

Galatians 3:22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin that the promised by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

Yes, we are save BY THE FAITH OF JESUS CHRIST and not by the faith in Jesus Christ. Many people are again misquoting this verse. Faith OF Jesus Christ is different from the faith in Jesus Christ. Many have faith in Jesus Christ but only those who have the faith OF Jesus Christ are saved. Even the demons also believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God, but they don’t have the faith of the Lord. We can have many kinds of faith, but only through the FAITH OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST that we can be one with the Lord.

Having read all of these, we go back to our question:

Who among the people in four situations have/has faith? Why?

THE ANSWER

First of all, to answer the question, we must first analyze what was being asked. The question is: Who among the people in the four situations have/has faith? Why? Since we have the Scriptures as our absolute in defining what is faith, we will then go back and concentrate on that given Scripture.

Hebrews 11:1 Says “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Based on this verse, we know that faith is having the assurance (having seen the evidence) of the things we hope for, which can only happen through revelation. Which is, therefore, faith is actually a revelation. That’s why all faith is revealed faith. If it’s not yet revealed, then it’s not yet faith. This is the definition of faith-based on Hebrews 11:1 on which where we should focus on.

We know also that there are many kinds of faith, but the question doesn’t ask that. It only asks about “who among them has faith”. So since faith is having the assurance (having seen the evidence) of the things we hope for, regardless of how, when, where or by what we have seen that assurance or that evidence, then my final answer would be:

Letter G. Both A and D, or the Young husband and the Young minister.

Here’s why:

Situation 1: Since having faith is having an assurance, we must then look for those situations in which people have seen the assurance of the things they have hope for. Situation 1 passes the definition of faith according to Hebrews 11:1. So the young husband who resorted to Spiritism has faith. Now you may ask: How can that be? That man did just what is forbidden in the Bible? Yes, it’s true! He has done what was forbidden. But again, the question did not ask about who has the faith leading to God or faith to God, it just asked who has the faith. Our faith may be misguided faith or mislead faith but as long as you have the assurance or the evidence was revealed unto you, you have what is called FAITH. We must remember that the Lord gives sunshine and rain to both the tares and the wheat. The Lord revealed to the young husband that he will have a child. He has seen it and he was sure of it. But as to how, when and where, clearly the Lord did not reveal it to him.

When the Lord revealed something to us, sometimes we are too impatient to wait for its fulfillment. This is what happened to Abraham and Sarah when the Lord revealed to them that they will be going to have the promised seed who is Isaac. They have Faith on it because they are assured and have seen the evidence. But as to how, when and where, surely they have no revelation, because if they have, then Abraham will have no other child aside from Isaac.

Instead of serving the Lord to whom his service is due, the young husband turned into Spiritism. His faith was misguided. He has put his hope and assurance to spiritism and was foolishly blinded thinking that it was the spirits who can give him his child (all children came from God alone). And this is what happened to the children of Israel most of the time. They have seen the hand of God working in them, they have seen the river became blood, the water parted and many more evidence! All of the time, they are sure that it was God who helped them. They have seen many assurances! But alas, they still choose to worship Baal! Misguided faith. Just like what is happening today. Many people were healed through “faith healers” who do spiritism and those spiritists are not even mentioning the name Lord Jesus Christ, yet their patients were healed. Why? Because those patients have faith – misguided faith!

Situation 4: Basing also on the definition of faith in Hebrews 11:1, the young minister has faith. He has seen the evidence and was assured that it will happen by revelation through the vision. Only that, it is an example of faith according to James 2:17 – a dead faith! Faith without work is a dead faith. He has the assurance that it will happen, all he needs to do is to work on it. But then fear engulfs his faith. Fear is the greatest enemy of Faith. Because when there is fear, there comes also Doubt. Without Fear, Doubt can never prevail on Faith. Doubt alone cannot win over Faith. Because how can you doubt if you are already assured and you have already seen the evidence? You are already 100% sure that it will happen, how can you doubt it? But because Fear was introduced, Doubt follows and Faith was engulfed.

This is just like the cased of Peter who has the revelation that if the Lord will tell him to come, he surely can walk on the water. He knows that the Word of the Lord has power. And surely, enough based on the revelation he has received, the Lord told him to come. This is it! He has already the assurance, he has also seen the evidence, all he had to do is to act it! Indeed, he walked on water to go to the Lord. But Matthew 14:30 says “But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was AFRAID; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.” Fear engulfed his faith. All of those assurances and evidence he had seen just a few moments ago, were all gone. And he begins to Doubt, his faith weakens, it shrinks and it almost died. And the Lord told him: “Thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt”?

This is the reason why we should conquer our fears; we must remember that the Lord is with us. Just like what David said in Psalm 27:1 “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Faith is strengthened when we trust in the Lord. Trust is the key to conquer Fear. When we remembered those things that the Lord has already done into our lives, our Trust grows and that’s how we can conquer our fears. And when our fears are gone, doubt can never prevail on faith.

So that is my final answer. Letter G.

Now this time, I would like to explain also why I don’t believe that the teenage girl in situation 3 and the Pastor and the believers in Situation 2 have faith.

Here’s why:

Situation 2: We have read in this situation that all the villagers (which means including the believers) knew that no rain will come. This only implies that no assurance has taken place, or they have not seen the evidence of the rain to come. In simple words, no revelation was given to them by the Lord, which also means no faith. This situation DID NOT satisfy the definition of Hebrew 11:1.

Now you may ask, “But the believers prayed and have fasted together, some are even praying louder and with fervent crying?” I tell you my friend, even if it looks so good, doing it without revelation from the Lord, will only lead to “doing God a service without His will”. All they have is merely but Positive Thinking, it is not faith. Having positive thinking is much different than having faith. Positive thinking makes one think that what he/she hopes for will come true even without seeing the evidence and the assurance; or in other words, without having the revelation. While faith is having the revelation, being assured and seeing the evidence, positive thinking, on the other hand, is just false assurance. Faith comes from God because it is God Who gives us the revelation, positive thinking however, comes from the mind of man because he is the one who assures his self that it will happen. This is just like Cain who has no revelation but having positive thinking that his offering will be accepted. This is very dangerous. This is doing God a service without His will. What’s more worrisome is, they are blackmailing God by fasting and praying that God should give them what they are demanding even if God did not tell them that He will give rain that day. I am not saying that we should not fast and pray or it is wrong to fast and to pray when we want something. No. What I am saying is, we should not consider those works as ransoms so that God will give us what we want. We must remember that God responds on our Faith and not on our works.

We must always remember what the Lord Jesus told us in Matthew 16:18 “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” The rock that He is referring to is the rock of Revelation, for it is through Revelation that Peter recognized him to be the Son of the living God. This only means that the Lord will build us (His Church) through Revelation. Simply, whenever He will do something on us in order for us to be built (grow and made perfect), it will be through Revelation. He will give first the revelation so that we will know what to act. Sadly, most of the times just like Cain, we act without the revelation thinking that we are pleasing Him by those “good” deeds. Instead of letting Him use us, we are telling Him “let me use myself to serve You”. Again this is very dangerous. It is like you are building your house in the sand, and not on the rock of revelation.

Those Pastor and believers who fasted and prayed without revelation from God are building their house on the sand – a quicksand. Positive thinking is like that sand. Since it is not founded on the rock of revelation, when flood and rain comes, those houses they built on that sand will be quickly destroyed. Surely enough, that euphoria of fasting and praying will quickly vanish because it has no foundation. This is what is wrong with most of the believers today. They regard faith as positive thinking. They thought that when they want something, all they need to do is to think positively about those things and they think of it as faith already. Charismatic people are like this. However, the Lord wants the opposite, we must let Him work in us (Phil. 2:13). Let Him give the revelation first so that our faith is founded on the rock.

When the Lord said in Matthew 17:20 “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” They think of this as “If I will only think positive that this mountain will be remove in its place, it will be remove because I have this faith.” But it doesn’t mean like that. It means that if the Lord has revealed to you that that mountain will be removed, then it will be removed. No matter how tiny that revelation is, as long as you have seen the assurance and the evidence, it will come true. Because it is God who reveals it to you, surely it will come true. The Lord will find a way for His plan to be fulfilled. However, if it’s merely positive thinking, there is no assurance that it will be fulfilled just like in this situation. If God has revealed to them that it will rain that day, surely it will rain. But since it is only the positive thinking of their pastor, of course, there’s no assurance for it.

Situation 3: The teenage girl in this situation is an example of a typical unbeliever. There’s no faith on her at all. Even if she’s already healed, she can’t still believe it. Why? Because no revelation (assurance, evidence) was given to her. It was given to her mother! So the person who has faith in this situation is her mother. But since her mother is not on the choices given, then letter C is not the answer.

There are also situations in our lives which the revelation is given to someone and not to us. Example of this is the centurion who has a sick servant in Matthew 8:8. The revelation was given to the centurion and not to the servant who is sick. This is due to the purpose of the Lord in giving his revelation. Sometimes, our loved ones are the one being given the revelation and not us. This is all according to the purpose of the Lord.

May the Lord will guide us into all Truth is my prayer.

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