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BAC Sermons

Faith Facts

2002-04-01 Hebrews 11:1

Heb 10:38  Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him. 39  But we are not of those who draw back to the destruction of the soul (NASBl, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.11:1 Now faith is the substance/foundation/title-deed/wellspring  of things hoped for, the evidence/conviction of things not seen. 3  By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

To live by faith: Habakkuk 2:4  "Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; But the just shall live by his faith.

Fact-finding re God’s promises is the basis of  Biblical faith; it is NOT a leap in the dark, but a step into the Light of the Truth

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

Acceptance of the Biblical facts as absolute revelation of the all wise God, as necessary for living as air

Rom 14:5 Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. 23  But he who doubts is condemned ...for whatever is not from faith is sin.

Internalization - Visualization through repeated prayer and Biblical fellowship (models) until God’s values are your values (Rom 12:1-2)

Mark 4:40  But He said to them, "Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?"

Romans 4:20  He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God,

Take action to live according to the Transforming Truth, fulfilling our prerequisites to blessing, then maintain and WAIT

Acts 26:18  `to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.'

Gal 3:9  So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.

Jam 2:14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?

Hang on to your hope of God’s goodness, grace, and wisdom through hell and high water, because it will be tested (1Pt 1)

Acts 14:22  strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, "We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God."   Gal 5:5  For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

1 Cor 16:13  Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. 14  Let all that you do be done with love.

2 Thess1:3  We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, 4  so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure,

1 Tim 4:1 the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,

1. Obstacle (Unbeliever): No need: pride in thinking they’re ok, or know better, or that the world revolves around them, independent not dependent on their Creator, inaccurate view of the Creator-God who has revealed Himself in the Scriptures

Cause: human, lack of thought about reality, Satan (see below)

Corrective: crash, reproof, understand the nature of revealed Truth

2. Obstacle:  Not credible or consistent with current/past beliefs/experiences

Cause: spend more time in world than word; too intellectually lazy to verify the facts; distracted by world

Corrective:  develop conviction; can’t be any other way; God is not your earthly parent/spouse, etc

3. Obstacle: Don’t like change

Cause: comfort and security/worth comes from status quo; insecure, fearful of change because only self-confident, not God confident

Corrective: Truth, baby steps, dvlp worth and value from pleasing God; track record (our fault or God’s).

4. Obstacle: Don’t “see” it;  Doubting Thomas, sign of Jonah

Cause: unreasonable std for proof; misunderstanding the nature of  faith

Corrective: 1Pt; if you can see it, it’s not faith   2 Cor5:7  For we walk by faith, not by sight.

5. Obstacle:  Don’t keep in forefront of thinking, therefore forget what God has done and promised.

Cause: no evaluation contemplation consider your ways; too busy, poor fellowship

Corrective: consider your ways, track record, cause/effect  2 Cor 13:5 Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves

6. Obstacle: Not understand/embrace the truth that faith is to be tested to refine it  and strengthen it

Cause: bad teaching, not based on knowledge

Corrective: read Bible, good fellowship

7. Obstacle: Not get what wanted; desires not fulfilled, not work:  “God’s withholding something good when I’m walking uprightly”

Cause: not understanding God’s purpose, process and timetable to have us want and get what’s BEST (Phil 2:13-14)

Corrective: re-evaluate “good” and” uprightly”, see what you can learn from past “no’s” and wait’s”

8. Obstacle: Deceived

Cause: Satan has an in; twisting our free will autonomy to decide for sin, which cuts off rlshp with God , leaving us in darkness

Corrective: warfare prayer concepts

SMin Some thoughts...

- temporal is more immediate and easier to cling onto

- Satan has been successful in getting people to believe God can't/won't do what He said He's do -- lies, the media (conditions people to want things now), technology (we want more faster)

- inability/unwillingness to deny oneself

- other believers are not setting good examples of the faithful

- churches tell people you don't have to be successful in your walk; ok to be unfaithful

- past unanswered prayer (must be God's fault, rather than I've not been in a position to be blessed)

- people not getting what they want

- not understanding the good God brings through things we think are tragedies

- it's hard, and people think once you're a believer everything is honky-dory

- this has been the pattern through history; only a few will find the narrow road laid out for us (could this be God's plan?)

- it takes sacrifice and discipline, something our younger generations seem to really lack

- lack of knowledge of scripture; if you knew how God worked, you'd have more faith

- lack of track record (personally and those around us)

- lack of knowledge of what the kingdom has in store for us

- lack of belief in rewards - give it up today; get more tomorrow (folks don't even understand the compounding effect of interest)

- belief that what we have today is so good


"Faith is our most powerful resource. It enables your spirit to soar above and  beyond the pains and difficulties of life below" -- The Rebbe     A writer who came to meet the Rebbe asked why so many people seemed to have difficulty believing in G-d. "There may be doubts," the Rebbe answered. "To question G-d, however, is the first indication that one believes in something. You must have some acceptance of G-d even to question Him."    "But if they believe, why don't they act on it?" the writer asked.     "They are afraid of their faith," the Rebbe replied.     "They fear the demands their faith might put upon them, that they might have to forego some of their comfort, or compromise some of their ideas. They fear changing their lives."

What is faith and does everyone have it?
Many people don't see faith as a basic human faculty; they see it more as the absence of reason. Others are even more cynical, claiming that faith is a sign of weakness, something to resort to when all else fails. In earlier times, this thinking goes, faith was a necessity because man didn't have science to help explain the laws of nature; but in the face of reason and all of man's brilliant accomplishments, we have outgrown our need for faith. Isn't faith just a creation of our imagination meant to deal with issues that we can't comprehend?

But we see that people inherently believe in something greater than themselves. This feeling is inside all of us; we only need to know how to access it. But how do we cultivate faith? Isn't it something you either have or don't?

We are all born with faith. It is neither acquired nor taught; it is our most natural state. A young child, for instance, just has natural faith.

But as the child grows older, he accepts less and less at face value. His faith becomes obscured by reason and he realizes that his faith has been constantly abused. After years of experiencing hypocrisy and being lied to, he learns to distrust his own inner beliefs.

We cannot allow our reason to drown out the inner voice that tells us what we know to be true with every fiber in our being. We must learn to cultivate our natural faith.

How do we cultivate true faith?
True faith constitutes not only a belief in G-d, but a trust that G-d always does what is good and right. True faith does not waiver, even if things do not work out as we would have liked. Yes, we may have doubts. Yes, we may feel saddened by the neediness and suffering in the world. Yes, we may want to confront G-d for allowing tragedies. But abandoning your faith in G-d means that you are compromising yourself. When we witness suffering at the hands of other people, we should direct our anger where it belongs -- at man. If anything, war and genocide teach us that our faith in man can be misplaced, but never our faith in G-d.

Is believing in G-d naïve?
Many people today still have trouble believing in G-d and are plagued with questions. Is this skepticism healthy or not? Is it an honest search for the truth or a justification for self-serving behavior?

For some, the first step in the search for faith might be to assure yourself that you are indeed ready to listen and grow, that you are willing to accept the responsibility of faith. The next step is dealing with your doubts concerning G-d's existence.

Then we must allow our inner voice to speak. We know there is a G-d just as we know we have a soul -- not because we can see or touch it, but because we can feel it. We feel the soul's effects. We sense its hunger for meaning, its thirst for knowledge, and we feel satisfaction when we nourish it. We feel purpose and direction when we feel G-d in our lives; we feel there is meaning in everything we do.

For a moment, stop what you are doing. Let your mind be silent, and allow yourself to hear the small, still voice of G-d. When you set yourself free, you will realize that your faith is much closer to the surface than you had imagined.

Based on the Rebbe's teachings
From "Toward A Meaningful Life" by Simon Jacobson.


Chapter 1—Faith

The aim of this book is to carefully bring out some of the more important principles of spiritual growth in order to help build on a sound biblical foundation in Christ. He can honor no other.

The Holy Spirit has Paul write to each of us: “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith” (II Cor. 13:5), and the recommendation is certainly not out of order at the very inception of this series of studies. First of all, we must remind ourselves that “without faith it is impossible to please him” (Heb. 11:6) Moreover, and this is all important, true faith must be based solely on scriptural facts, for “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17). Unless our faith is established on facts, it is no more than conjecture, superstition, speculation or presumption.

Hebrews 11:1 leaves no question about this: “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Faith standing on the facts of the Word of God substantiates and gives evidence of things not seen. And everyone knows that evidence must be founded on facts. All of us started on this principle when we were born again—our belief stood directly on the eternal fact of the redeeming death and resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, as recorded in I Corinthians 15:1-4. This is the faith by which we began, and it is the same faith by which we are to “stand” (16:13), “walk” (II Cor. 5:7) and “live” (Gal. 2:20). “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him” (Col. 2:6).

Since true faith is anchored on scriptural facts, we are certainly not to be influenced by impressions. George Mueller said, “Impressions have neither one thing nor the other to do with faith. Faith has to do with the Word of God. It is not impressions, strong or weak, which will make the difference. We have to do with the Written Word and not ourselves or our impressions.”

Then, too, probabilities are the big temptation when it comes to exercising faith. Too often the attitude is: “It doesn’t seem probable that he will ever be saved.” “The way things are going, I wonder if the Lord really loves me.” But Mueller wrote: “Many people are willing to believe regarding those things that seem probable to them. Faith has nothing to do with probabilities. The province of faith begins where probabilities cease and sight and sense fail. Appearances are not to be taken into account. The question is—whether God has spoken it in His Word.”

Alexander R. Hay adds to this by saying, “Faith must be based upon certainty. There must be definite knowledge of God’s purpose and will. Without that there can be no true faith. For faith is not a force that we exercise or a striving to believe that something shall be, thinking that if we believe hard enough it will come to pass.” That may be positive thinking but certainly not biblical faith.

Evan Hopkins writes: “Faith needs facts to rest upon. Presumption can take fancy instead of fact. God in His Word reveals to us the facts with which faith has to deal.” It is on this basis that J.B. Stoney can say, “Real faith is always increased by opposition, while false confidence is damaged and discouraged by it.” There can be no steadfastness apart from immovable facts. Peter’s burden was: “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” (I Pet. 1:7).

Once we begin to reckon (count) on facts, our Father begins to build us up in the faith. From his profoundly simple trust in God, Mueller was able to say that “God delights to increase the faith of His children. We ought, instead of wanting no trials before victory, no exercise for patience, to be willing to take them from God’s hand as a means. I say—and say it deliberately—trials, obstacles, difficulties, and sometimes defeats, are the very food of faith.”

On this same subject James McConkey wrote: “Faith is dependence upon God. And this God-dependence only begins when self-dependence ends. And self-dependence only comes to its end, with some of us, when sorrow, suffering, affliction, broken plans and hopes bring us to that place of self-helplessness and defeat. And only then do we find that we have learned the lesson of faith; to find our tiny craft of life rushing onward to a blessed victory of life and power and service undreamt of in the days of fleshly strength and self-reliance.”

J.B. Stoney agrees by saying, “It is a great thing to learn faith: that is, simple dependence upon God. It will comfort you much to be assured that the Lord is teaching you dependence upon Himself, and it is very remarkable that faith is necessary in everything.

’The just shall live by faith,’ not only in your circumstances, but in everything. I believe the Lord allows many things to happen on purpose to make us feel our need of Him. The more you find Him in your sorrows or wants, the more you will be attached to Him and drawn away from this place where the sorrows are, to Him in the place where He is.” “Set your affection on things above” (Col. 3:2).

Actually, we cannot trust anyone further than we know him. So we must not only learn the facts involved but ever more intimately come to know the One who presents and upholds them! “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3). “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature” (II Pet. 1:2-4).   Copyright 1976 by Miles J. Stanford.


What Causes Believers to have Difficulty with Faith.  Not understanding and accepting the character of God.  (that He loves us, wants to bless us and makes promises that He keeps and delivers on).

Not examining the evidence to support our faith by not exercising diligence - methods of authentication used for historical documents, scientific data, legal and logical arguments, archaeological digs, etc.

Not understanding Satan’s methods of rule on earth and waging war on God’s people (ie. deception, 3 P’s, tyranny of the urgent as in Screwtape letters, false prophets, discouragement, bitterness, no longer have sin nature and thus are saints, not sinners, etc.).  This encourages us to think lower of ourselves (ie. closer to animals than the image of God and thus rely on our sensory input for decision making than spiritual input)  Not understanding and accepting that what I do or don’t do on earth makes a difference to the quality of my life in heaven (ie. Heaven is not the same for everyone.)(re. Rewards).

Not understanding and accepting the consequences of my actions (on earth and in heaven)

Not understanding the power of the Holy Spirit and all the tools he gives us for victory.

Not willing to work hard, and make the sacrifices to change because we may not get what we hope for here on earth since there appears to be a dislocation of time (when promises occur) and body (not seen or not on earth).  Good habits are easier to develop than changing bad ones.

Not making ourselves open and transparent to caring and wise Christians; perhaps, there aren’t enough of them.  We are as ashamed of our nakedness now as our ancestors, Adam and Eve were back in the Garden.


Webster’s 1828 Dictionary  FAITH, n. [L. fides, fido, to trust; Gr. to persuade, to draw towards any thing, to conciliate; to believe, to obey. In the Greek Lexicon of Hederic it is said, the primitive signification of the verb is to bind and draw or lead, as signifies a rope or cable. But this remark is a little incorrect. The sense of the verb, from which that of rope and binding is derived, is to strain, to draw, and thus to bind or make fast. A rope or cable is that which makes fast. Heb.]

1. Belief; the assent of the mind to the truth of what is declared by another, resting on his authority and veracity, without other evidence; the judgment that what another states or testifies is the truth. I have strong faith or no faith in the testimony of a witness, or in what a historian narrates.

2. The assent of the mind to the truth of a proposition advanced by another; belief, or probable evidence of any kind.

3. In theology, the assent of the mind or understanding to the truth of what God has revealed. Simple belief of the scriptures, of the being and perfections of God, and of the existence, character and doctrines of Christ, founded on the testimony of the sacred writers, is called historical or speculative faith; a faith little distinguished from the belief of the existence and achievements of Alexander or of Cesar.

4. Evangelical, justifying, or saving faith, is the assent of the mind to the truth of divine revelation, on the authority of God's testimony, accompanied with a cordial assent of the will or approbation of the heart; an entire confidence or trust in God's character and declarations, and in the character and doctrines of Christ, with an unreserved surrender of the will to his guidance, and dependence on his merits for salvation. In other words, that firm belief of God's testimony, and of the truth of the gospel, which influences the will, and leads to an entire reliance on Christ for salvation.

Being justified by faith. Rom. 5.

Without faith it is impossible to please God. Heb. 11.

For we walk by faith, and not by sight. 2Cor. 5.

With the heart man believeth to righteousness. Rom. 10.

The faith of the gospel is that emotion of the mind, which is called trust or confidence, exercised towards the moral character of God, and particularly of the Savior.

Faith is an affectionate practical confidence in the testimony of God.

Faith is an affectionate practical confidence in the testimony of God.

Faith is a firm, cordial belief in the veracity of God, in all the declarations of his word; or a full and affectionate confidence in the certainty of those things which God has declared, and because he has declared them.

5. The object of belief; a doctrine or system of doctrines believed; a system of revealed truths received by christians.

They heard only, that he who persecuted us in times past, now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed. Gal. 1.

6. The promises of God, or his truth and faithfulness.

shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? Rom. 3.

7. An open profession of gospel truth.

Your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. Rom. 1.

8. A persuasion or belief of the lawfulness of things indifferent.

Hast thou faith? Have it to thyself before God. Rom 14.

9. Faithfulness; fidelity; a strict adherence to duty and fulfillment of promises.

Her failing, while her faith to me remains, I would conceal.

Children in whom is no faith. Deut. 32.

10. Word or honor pledged; promise given; fidelity. He violated his plighted faith.

For you alone I broke my faith with injured Palamon.

11. Sincerity; honesty; veracity; faithfulness. We ought in good faith, to fulfill all our engagements.

12. Credibility or truth. Unusual.]

The faith of the foregoing narrative.

BELIE'VE, v.t. To credit upon the authority or testimony of another; to be persuaded of the truth of something upon the declaration of another, or upon evidence furnished by reasons, arguments, and deductions of the mind, or by other circumstances, than personal knowledge. When we believe upon the authority of another, we always put confidence in his veracity.

When we believe upon the authority of reasoning, arguments, or a concurrence of facts and circumstances, we rest our conclusions upon their strength or probability, their agreement with our own experience, &c.

2. To expect or hope with confidence; to trust.

I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Ps.27.

BELIE'VE, v.i. To have a firm persuasion of any thing. In some cases, to have full persuasion, approaching to certainty; in others, more doubt is implied. It is often followed by in or on, especially in the scriptures. To believe in, is to hold as the object of faith. "Ye believe in God, believe also in me." John 14. To believe on, is to trust, to place full confidence in, to rest upon with faith. "To them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name." John 1. Johnson. But there is no ground for much distinction.

In theology, to believe sometimes expresses a mere assent of the understanding to the truths of the gospel; as in the case of Simon. Act.8. In others, the word implies, with this assent of the mind, a yielding of the will and affections, accompanied with a humble reliance on Christ for salvation. John 1.12. 3.15.

In popular use and familiar discourse, to believe often expresses an opinion in a vague manner, without a very exact estimate of evidence, noting a mere preponderance of opinion, and is nearly equivalent to think or suppose.