The Source of Our Faith

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A sermon about what faith is and its source.

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INTRODUCTION

Today we change series from Walking God’s Way to “the Foundation of Faith.”
Knowing that ‘we walk by faith, not by sight’, let’s study for a the next several weeks all about faith.
One cynic said that faith is the “illogical belief in the occurrence of the impossible.”
Much of the world probably sees this as a true statement. But we as Christian not only know better but we should live better. Maybe the world has a cynical view of faith because we aren’t so good at walking by faith?!
Hebrews 11:1–3 AV
1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good report. 3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
Hebrews 11:6 AV
6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

1. What is Faith?

True Bible faith is not blind optimism or a manufactured “hope-so” feeling. Neither is it an intellectual assent to a doctrine. It is certainly not believing in spite of evidence! That would be superstition.
True Bible faith is confident obedience to God’s Word in spite of circumstances and consequences.
— Weirsbe

A. A Foundation for the Present

word = confidence trust - that which settles to the bottom, the sediment; nature. foundation, support. Faith to a Christian is as a foundation is to a house.
Could be assurance - it is the firm grasp of faith on an unseen fact.
of things hoped for - faith is the act; but hope is the state of mind.
This word substance would be used in business documents as the basis or guarantee of transaction. And as this is the essential meaning in Heb 11.1 we venture to suggest the translation ‘Faith is the title-deed of things hoped for.’
— Moulton and Milligan
Faith gives present assurance of, confidence in, and guarantee of things hoped for. It operates now, in the present, daily.
Faith takes hold of the heavenly promises and blessings now, it is our foundation of the present.

B. A Conviction About the Future

So faith operates in the present but also looks to the future.
proof - conviction
Faith is the proof of the reality of things not seen.
things not seen - beyond man’s normal comprehension.
Romans 8:24–25 AV
24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
Faith and hope go together! We are persuaded, convinced that everything promised in the gospel is real. God’s promises always manifest themselves.
There is not one part of fake news in the Bible.
By faith I have all the proof I need to know that one day I will be delivered from this body of sin! That I will ultimately possess eternal life. That I will dwell in heaven with my Lord Jesus Christ!
Many skeptics reject the Bible because it cannot be proven through the scientific method. However, it’s impossible to be done. The historical events in the Bible cannot be replicated. The spiritual truths of the Bible cannot be observed in a laboratory. But we know because of the evidence in our own hearts. That’s how Biblical faith works.
Faith results in conduct that points to the future reality of what is not yet seen.

C. Learned from the Past

Hebrews 11:3 AV
3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
Some may be concerned about how do I operate or live in this faith every day. The same way that we look to the past by faith, we look to the future.
We find that God made the world; that He made it by His own word; that He made it out of nothing; and we understand this by faith.
We understand the past by faith, therefore we operate today, and live in tomorrow’s hope by faith as well.
Understanding is the reward of faith. Therefore seek not to understand that thou mayest believe, but believe that thou mayest understand.
Faith operates in the past, present, and future. Faith has understanding, a conviction / proof based on hope in God’s promises, and an assurance of following Him now.

2. Faith is Found in God’s Word

Now that we’ve seen a little bit about what faith is, let’s take a some time to look at the source of faith. First we start with the fact that its found in God’s Word.

A. Personally and Directly

God’s Word is spoken to us personally and directly through the indwelling Spirit of God.
Exodus 14:13–15 AV
13 And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. 14 The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. 15 And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward:
We see here the example of Moses when the children of Israel were escaping Egypt.
God gave Moses three bits of instruction here that have a lot to do with faith:
Fear not. Easy to say, but hard to do in a situation like this. Fear is an enemy to faith, and will immediately destroy the impact of faith = every bit of fear is that much less of faith.
Stand still. The natural response (with fear) is to try to run from the problem. God had brought them to the place where there was no place to run, and He often brings us to that place. If you’re in this place, it’s time to look to the Lord
See the salvation of the Lord that He will show to you this day. Watch God work.
Look again at v. 15 - go forward - faith moves forward, but fear will paralyze you. Fear will cause you to run away, but faith will cause you to move forward. But you must listen God when He speaks to your heart.
Look at another example. Here we see the Apostle Paul in the storm at sea.
Acts 27:23–25 AV
23 For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, 24 Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. 25 Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.
Paul’s response here is amazing - I believe God!
Faith his found when we hear God speaking personally and directly to us.
John 10:27 AV
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
The African impala can jump to a height of over 10 feet and cover a distance of greater than 30 feet. Yet these magnificent creatures can be kept in an enclosure in any zoo with a 3-foot wall. The animals will not jump if they cannot see where their feet will fall. Faith is the ability to trust what we cannot see, and with faith we are freed from the flimsy enclosures of life that only fear allows to entrap us.
When God speaks to us personally, it is also specific. God expects us to obey what He says by faith.

B. Through the Written Word

Another way that God speaks to us is through His written Word. This is a great confirmation whenever God is speaking to our hearts that we can verify its truth through the Word of God as well.
John 2:22 AV
22 When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.
Note here that they believed the Scripture.
John 20:30–31 AV
30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
John tells us that which we have right here (the Bible) is written that we would believe in Jesus.
The Bible is the story of Jesus!
If you find that your faith is weak, it may be that your reading, studying, and knowledge of God’s Word is weak.
Reading the Word is allowing the seed of God’s word to be planted in our hearts - then it grows and as it grows, so does our faith.
Then after reading God’s Word we need to obey it, do it. Our faith grows when we put the Word of God into actions

C. Through the Preached Word

But lastly here, faith comes by hearing the Word. Look at these verses.
Romans 10:14–17 AV
14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? 17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
You must be under the preaching of the word! You might say well I have the Bible on tape or I listen to Christian audio books.
No, you need to be under the personal preaching of God’s Word - note our verses again - ‘hearing requires a preacher’, then we have a preacher bringing glad tidings - or the good news, Isaiah the prophet is quoted about his preaching - who has believe our report.
Then faith comes by hearing....hearing what? By hearing the preacher preach the Word of God.
John 17:20 AV
20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
The Bible is designed to be preached. Not just studied and read, but preached to the sinner and the saint.
Where will you find faith? Well, listen to God’s voice, read and study your Bible, and listen (in person) to Bible preaching at your local church.
So we’ve seen in the Foundation of Faith, we’ve looked at What Faith is and at one source being the Word of God.
Let’s look at another source.

3. Faith is Found in our Knowledge of God

Of course, this point develops from our knowledge of the Word (reading, studying, and hearing it preached). But let’s note two characteristics of God that should be an eternal source of our faith.

A. The Faithfulness of God

"I'm a millionaire," the church member said, "and I attribute it all to the rich blessings of God and his faithfulness in my life. I can still remember the turning point in my faith, like it was yesterday:
I had just earned my first dollar and I went to a church meeting that night. The speaker was a missionary who told about his work. I knew that I only had a dollar bill and had to either give it all to God's work or nothing at all. So at that moment I decided to give my whole dollar to God. I believe that God blessed that decision, and that is why I am a rich man today."
As he finished it was clear that everyone had been moved by this man's story. But, as he took his seat, a little old lady sitting in the same pew leaned over and said: "Wonderful story! I dare you to do it again!"
Deuteronomy 7:9 AV
9 Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;
Hebrews 10:23 AV
23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
The faithfulness of God should renew our faith and our faithfulness to Him.
See our faith isn’t just some fantasy hope-so feeling, but it is rooted in the unchanging nature of God’s faithfulness. Look at these verses.
Lamentations 3:19–24 AV
19 Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall. 20 My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me. 21 This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. 22 It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. 24 The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.
If you ever find your faith wavering, root it, or ground it in the faithfulness of God.

B. The Power of God

I believe that God’s power should greatly enhance and increase your faith. Look at some examples with me.
Look at God’s power in creation!
Romans 1:20 AV
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:
Psalm 19:1–3 AV
1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. 2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. 3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.
Isaiah 44:24 AV
24 Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;
Isaiah 45:12 AV
12 I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.
Can you even really fathom for one moment the true power of God in creation?
Jeremiah 32:17 AV
17 Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:
Look at God’s power in saving the children of Israel from Egypt
Exodus 15:6 AV
6 Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy.
Exodus 15:11 AV
11 Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?
Look at the power of God at the virgin birth in forming a body for His Son Jesus
Luke 1:34–37 AV
34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. 36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.
Look at the power of the miracles of Jesus
Luke 9:43 - And they were all amazed at the mighty power of God
Look at the power of Jesus, who rose from the grave!
Romans 1:4 AV
4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:
Look at His soon return
Matthew 24:30 AV
30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Revelation 5:11–12 AV
11 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; 12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.
Revelation 19:11–16 AV
11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
And you want to walk by sight? You want to walk by what your limited brain and physical resources can comprehend? You want to live after the fame of this world? You want to pursue material resources?
You say that living by faith is too hard, it’s impossible! I’d contend that there is absolutely no other way for a Christian to walk, but by faith.
You have limited faith? Your faith is small? Well I can tell you that God’s faithfulness is not limited, God’s power is not small.
I’d challenge you in 2021 as Moses challenged the children of Israel - go forward!! Forward by faith.
CONCLUSION
Faith - yes, it’s the real deal - its evidence to me, I’m confident, assured, I’m trusting. And when I get shaky, I’ve got to listen to God speaking to my heart, spend time reading His word, and make sure I’m under the preaching of His Word.
And there, it’s there, I find that He is faithful. That He’s the same yesterday, today, and forever. Yes there I find that He is all powerful and yes, I’m in an impossible situation sometimes, but with God, nothing shall be impossible.
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