The Definition Of Faith, Part Two

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by hopeinGod, Sep 3, 2013.

  1. What is faith, part two

    We are continuing to look at the definition of faith as provided to God’s people through Scripture, as well as looking into verses that serve to expand on that definition. The cornerstone of our search is the same as in part one:

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

    When Paul arrived to preach the gospel to the thirty-six cities and towns he visited, many of the folks in those towns would tell him, “We’ve already heard the gospel. The Thessolinicans were already here.” The Christians Paul had taught, were already broadcasting the truth. He couldn’t go anywhere without everyone knowing what God was doing in Thessolinica and what God could do any community.

    1 Thess. 1:8-10
    “For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing. For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.”

    Three aspects of this church’s proclamation of the gospel stand out here:

    · They turned to God from idols to serve the living God
    · They served the living and true God
    · They were waiting for the Son from heaven

    These actions are in direct relationship with that which was written in verse 3:

    1 Thess 1:3
    “Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;”

    What was their work of faith? To turn to God from idols. Their labor of love? To serve the living God. What is their patience of hope? To wait for his Son from heaven.

    Those are three things God wants to emphasize to us. One without the other will not do. Not surprisingly, the church has spent too many years forming denominations of all three. One group emphasizes that Jesus is coming back, so get ready. Another says He’s not really coming any time soon, so it is better to occupy until He comes. (Luke 19:13) And still another tells its members they better serve God. So, there’s a resurrection bunch, a serving God bunch, and an evangelistic bunch. But, God is seeking to do all these things in our lives: to turn from those things that are allowed to take the Lord’s place, to serve others, and to hope in Christ’s return.

    The hope that speaks of Jesus’ return is known as “the blessed hope.”

    Titus 2:11-13
    “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ…”

    SIDENOTE: Hope must be included in the definition of faith because faith is “the substance of things hoped for” according to the biblical definition. More about hope will be included in the principle of resurrection from the dead
  2. I do appreciate your posts about faith here, but I must admit, I'm scratching my head a little here trying to figure out which denominations you're talking about. I've done ministry with lots of Christians from many denominations, and this kind of departmentalisation is not a problem I've encountered.

    It's interesting, though, about the connection between faith and hope. I was talking to a group of kids once who wanted to talk about what heaven would be like, and the first thing I did was turn the question back on them, and asked what they'd heard would be in heaven. One of the kids gave the stock answer, "faith," which got me thinking, faith is for us right now, but there will be no need for it in eternity. Our faith will be replaced by knowledge, and our hope by satisfaction. After all, "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13:13
  3. The point was merely that we separate aspects of all principles and build tabernacles around them, like Peter strongly suggested after seeing Jesus transfigured. I should make that plainer. Thanks for pointing it out.

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