faith as the gift of God whereby we lay hold on Christ through whom we
come unto God and we furthermore are able to be pleasing unto God.
AIM: That we
might ever be found as the just ones of God who are so by faith and live
INTR: In that
it is declared that we are “saved by grace through faith” it behooves us
to learn all that we may and that we might be careful that we be not
deceived by the imitations of true faith that are all about us.
Many claims are made to faith by people at all levels of religious
activity and thus we hear many things that find no correlation in
scripture. The claims of many seem to indicate that they have faith in
2. We, as believers are never to take any gift of God for
granted else what may appear to us as faith may indeed be presumption.
3. There is no way that we could cover all the aspects and references to
faith, but we can address it as it appears in this text – that which is
towards our Lord Jesus Christ.
True faith has Christ alone as its objective, its confidence and its
hope. Through faith God is honored in that His Son is believed, trusted,
reverenced and so salvation is made manifest.
I. Faith defined
1. It is first to be understood as a spiritual gift of God worked in us
for the purpose of being exercised in a right relationship with God and
that through Christ our Lord.
2. Faith entails a number of things all
pertaining to Christ:
1) Persuasion of the truth of a matter and so
we find the report of the being and existence of Christ and His work to
2) There is moral conviction of the truth witnessed in
Christ and the Word of God through Him.
3) There is total and
exclusive reliance upon the object of that faith.
3. It is evident
that the foregone comes to be realized as a way of life to the
possessors of it.
1) Now faith is the substance of things hoped for,
the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1
2) Faith is defined by
the behavior – James declared that he would show his faith by his works.
The implication here is that faith moves us to the imitation and
obedience of Christ.
3) Paul’s claim was made clear in I am crucified
with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:
and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the
Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20.
II. Faith in operation
1. We are often reminded of such scripture
as: 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. Hebrews 11:6.
1) We would note that pleasing God
is an objective and that requires attention to His precepts
hymn writer observed that we should “Trust and Obey” when in fact the
two cannot be separated – if we trust Him than we know all that he
commands is good and profitable for His glory and our good.
begins with believing that He is, and ends with diligently seeking Him.
2. In that Christ is the objective and that eternal life is defined in
knowing God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent we are constrained to
interaction with Christ – there is nothing passive in faith.
3. It is
the means by which Christ is revealed – It is required to behold (with
recognition) the Lamb of God and to understand both the necessity and
the provision of the only acceptable sacrifice for our sins.
thus exhorted Timothy: Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on
eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good
profession before many witnesses. 1 Timothy 6:12
connection of faith to repentance
1. The fact is that this thread
occurs throughout in that there can be not turning from sin where there
is no turning toward Christ – So Christ preaches “repent ye and believe
2. In that Paul addresses it we must give attention to
the matter of direction or aim:
1) The following is a quote from
Matthew Henry: “We must by repentance look towards God as our end; and
by faith towards Christ as our way to God. Sin must by repentance be
abandoned and forsaken, and then Christ must be faith be relied on for
the pardon of sin. Our repentance towards God is not sufficient, we must
have a true faith in Christ as our Redeemer and Savior, consenting to
Him as our Lord and our God. For there is no coming to God, as penitent
prodigals to a Father, but in the strength and righteousness of Jesus
Christ as Mediator.
3. Thus having abandoned all hope of self and
come to despise our sin against God we are brought by faith to full
surrender to Christ and that which He alone can provide.
appropriates to its holder the truth and reality of salvation –
understood by Christ in us the hope of glory.