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

Copyright ©  1976, by Diane S. Dew

I.     What is faith?

         A.   The Bible gives its own definition of faith.

                Hebrews 11:1

         B.  Scripture says that believing God is the greatest thing we can do.

               John 6:28-29 (Even Jesus marveled at the centurion's faith)  Matthew 8:10

         C. There is a difference, however, between having faith & believing.

              1. The faith God requires is more than a factual knowledge of His Person.

                  Even the demons know who Jesus is.

                  Mark 1:24; 5:7, 8         James 2:19

              2. There must be an outworking of that inner conviction. Faith is perfeted

                  (completed, matured) in works.       James 2:18,. 20, 24

        D. Unbelief is sin.

             John 16:9         Romans 14:23         Hebrews 3:12

II. Every individual has been given a measure of faith (Rom 12:3), however

     mustard seed-sized it may be (Mat 17:20).

         A. But faith grows.

              Galatians 5:22 (like fruit)           2 Thessalonians 1:3

         B. Faith must be tried, to be proven true.

              Psalms 18:30; 105:19          James 1:3, 4          1 Peter 1:6, 7

         C. It can be disturbed (overthrown) & lost through useless disputations, false

              doctrine, and "vain babblings."

              2 Timothy 2:16-18

III. How is faith increased?

        A. Worship.

             Romans 4:20         Colossians 2:7          Jude 20

        B. The Word of God.

             1. The spoken ("rhema") word.

                 John 4:39-42; 8:30          Acts 4:4           Romans 10:17

             2. The written Word.

                 John 20:31         Acts 17:11, 12

         C. Prayer.

              Mark 9:24           Luke 22:32

         D. Miracles (signs & wonders).

              Exodus 4:30, 31           Acts 9:42          John 2:23; 3:2; 7:31; 11:45; 20:29

         E. Fulfillment of prophecy.

              John 14:29

IV. We need not strive for faith. It is given to us freely by God.

       Acts 14:27

         A. "Faith cometh."

              Romans 10:17

         B. It is a gift (not earned).

              John 3:27           I Corinthians 12:9           Ephesians 2:8           Philippians 1:29

         C. "Your faith groweth." (It is a fruit of the Spirit--not a work of the flesh.)

              Galatians 5:22           2 Thessalonians 1:3

         D. Its Author & Source is God, not our will.

              Hebrews 12:2

V. Faith is one of the most basic & fundamental doctrines of the New Testament.

     Hebrews 6:1, 2

        A. Without faith there can be no salvation.

             John 3:18, 36          Romans 4:16; 5:1, 2         Ephesians 2:8, 9       1 Peter 1:5, 9

        B. Without faith we cannot stand victoriously in spiritual warfare against the enemy.

             Ephesians 6:16 (faith is our shield)           1 Peter 5:9           1 John 5:4

        C. Without faith we cannot worship God.

             Hebrews 3:19; 11:7

        D. Without faith we cannot know the blessings of answered prayer.

             Mark 11:22-24         James 1:6, 7

        E. Without faith, we cannot even profit from the Word of God.

             Hebrews 4:2

        F. Without faith, God's promise of healing is made void to us.

             Matthew 8:13; 9:28-30        Luke 17:19         Acts 3:16; 14:9        James 5:14-16

        G. Without faith, we cannot minister deliverance.

             Matthew 17:19, 20

        H. Without faith, we cannot enter into God's rest.

             Hebrews 3:18; 4:2, 3, 6

         I. Without faith, we cannot inherit the many promises of God.

             Hebrews 6:12; 11:33

        J. Without fiath, we cannot operate in the gifts of the Spirit.

             Romans 12:6

        K. Without a consistent life of faith, we cannot know the joy of our salvation.

              Romans 15:13          Acts 16:34          1 Peter 1:8

        L. "Without faith, it is impossible to please Him."

              Hebrews 11:6

VI. The world says that seeing is believing. But Jesus said, "Blessed are they which have not

      seen, and yet believe." For "faith is ... the evidence of things not seen."

      John 20:29          Hebrews 11:1

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