web
stats

Faith Toward God

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)

The second of the foundation doctrines is "faith toward God.” "Faith toward God" refers to your attitude toward God. Some men hate God and rebel against Him.

Others are afraid of Him. Your attitude should be one of faith toward God.

Faith and repentance are both necessary for genuine conversion. To turn to God without forsaking sin is not true repentance. To try to forsake sin without turning to God in faith ends in failure. The ministry of Paul to the unsaved was:

Testifying both to the Jews and also to the Greeks, repentance towards God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. (Acts 20:21)

Both repentance and faith toward God are necessary for salvation.

DEFINITION

Faith means to believe and have assurance of something. To believe means to have trust. The words "faith, believe, and trust" all mean the same thing when we use them in relation to God. The Bible defines faith as:

...the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)


Faith gives assurance that the things promised in the future are true and that unseen things are real.

HOPE:

Faith differs from hope. Hope is a desire or attitude of expectancy concerning things in the future. Faith is belief in something you cannot see but have assurance you already possess. Hope is in the mind. Faith is in the heart:

But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith...and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. (I Thessalonians 5:8)

In this verse faith is associated with the region of the heart as a breastplate.

Hope is a helmet associated with the head.

Hope is a mental attitude of expectancy about the future. Faith is a condition of the heart producing belief in God:

For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness...(Romans 10:10)

It is not enough to accept the Gospel with the mind. This is not true Scriptural faith and does not produce change in your life. True Scriptural faith, believing with the heart, always produces change in your life. The result is something experienced in the present, not something hoped for in the future.

MIND OVER MATTER:

Faith is not the same as "mind over matter" which is taught by some religions.

"Mind over matter" teaches that man can overcome all problems in the real world [the world of matter] by using his mind, reason, or willpower. These teachings are man-centered.

They rely on self and not on God. "Mind over matter" is not based on the King James Bible.

Faith is God-centered, not man-centered. It is a gift of God, not something man produces through self-efforts of his own mind.

TYPES OF FAITH

There are different types of faith.

NATURAL FAITH:

This is a natural trust in things that have proven stable. For example, faith that the chair on which you are sitting will support you. This faith is not "faith toward God.” It is a natural faith in certain things around you that you have learned by experience are usually dependable.

The following types of faith are what we mean when we speak of "faith toward God":

SANCTIFYING FAITH:

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)

Sanctifying faith enables the believer to live a holy life after conversion.

Faith toward God includes sanctifying faith which is believing you can live a holy life.

You do not do this by your own strength but through the power of God which dwells within you.

DEFENSIVE FAITH:

Faith is one of the weapons for defense against your spiritual enemy, Satan:

Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. (Ephesians 6:16)

Satan will try to attack your faith by sending "darts" of unbelief into your mind.

Having faith toward God provides a spiritual defense to these attacks.

SAVING FAITH:

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:1)

Faith toward God, combined with true repentance, is saving faith. Salvation is knowing, believing, and personally accepting the Gospel message. Saving faith requires a personal response toward God. No person can respond on behalf of another. Each person is saved by his own response to the Gospel.

Faith is a fact. It is the gift of God to men to enable them to be saved:

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God... (Ephesians 2:8)

But faith is also an act. Each person must act upon the faith given him by God.

Faith toward God is your response, your action by faith toward Him.

After you have experienced "faith towards God" and become a believer, the spiritual fruit of faith and the gift of faith both increase your faith toward God.

MISPLACED FAITH

The doctrine you are studying is called "faith toward God.” It is not just faith in general, but it is directed faith. You can have misdirected faith. Misdirected faith can be in...

NATURAL WEAPONS:

For I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me. (Psalms 44:6)

GREAT MEN:

Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. (Psalms 146:3)

SELF:

He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered. (Proverbs 28:26)

IDOLS:

They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in graven images, that say to the molten images, Ye are our gods. (Isaiah 42:17)

FALSE PROPHETS:

Trust ye not in lying words...Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit. (Jeremiah 7:4,8)

NATURAL POWER:

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God. (Psalms 20:7)

WEALTH:

Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness. (Psalms 52:7)

FRIENDS:

Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me. (Psalms 41:9)

Having faith is not enough. Your faith can be misplaced. True faith is directed faith. It is "faith toward God.”

THE IMPORTANCE OF FAITH

There are two reasons why faith toward God is required:

IT IS NECESSARY FOR SALVATION:

The first reason faith toward God is important is that you cannot be saved without it:

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned. (Mark 16:16)

For by grace are ye saved through faith... (Ephesians 2:8)

These by the wayside are they that hear, then cometh the Devil and taketh away the Word out of their hearts lest they should believe and be saved. (Luke 8:12)

YOU CANNOT PLEASE GOD WITHOUT FAITH:

The second reason faith is important is that you cannot please God without it:

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)

LEVELS OF FAITH

The Bible reveals that there are various levels of faith. Jesus spoke of people who did not use their faith as being "faithless" (Matthew 17:17). He spoke of those with little faith (Matthew 6:30; 8:26; 14:31; Luke 12:28) and of those with great faith (Matthew 8:10; 15:28; Luke 7:9).

The Bible teaches that each person has a certain amount of faith which is given to him as a gift of God:

...according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. (Romans 12:3b)

Each believer has some faith because it is through faith you are saved:

For by grace are ye saved, through faith... (Ephesians 2:8)

HOW TO INCREASE FAITH

Sanctifying faith enables you to live a holy life. Increased faith will help you go on to perfection. Defensive faith shields you from the attacks of the enemy, Satan. If you increase your faith you increase your spiritual defensive forces. The Bible tells how to increase faith:

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. (Romans 10:17)

You increase faith toward God through hearing the Word of God. You must first hear the Word of God in order to repent of sin and receive Jesus as Savior. Saving faith comes by hearing God's Word.

After you are saved, Biblical teaching and preaching will continue to increase your faith.

The more you hear the Word of God, the more your faith will increase. The more faith increases the easier it will be to live a holy life and defend against the spiritual attacks of the enemy.

Just a small amount of faith is very powerful:

And Jesus said unto them...For verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. (Matthew 17:20)

Nothing is impossible if you have even a small amount of faith.

FAITH AND WORKS

Faith is a gift of God. It cannot be increased by works. By faith we mean "that which you believe.” By works we mean "that which you do.” The Bible teaches:

Now by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Faith is the gift of God to believe. This does not mean that works [what you do] are not important. Faith comes first, as a gift of God. Works [what you do] are the test of whether or not your faith is real. James wrote:

What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: Shew me thy faith without thy works and I will show thee my faith by my works. (James 2:14-18)

Your works ... how you live and react to the needs of those around you … are a test of the reality of your faith.

James sums up the connection between faith and works by the example of the relationship between man's body and spirit. The Bible teaches that when a man dies, his spirit leaves his body. James says that...

...as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. (James 2:26)

Your actions should reflect the living faith within you:

For the just shall live by faith. (Galatians 3:11)

AN EXAMPLE OF FAITH

Hebrews chapter 11 lists the names of many people who were great examples of faith.

But there is one man in the Bible who is called "the father of all them that believe" (Romans 4:11). His name is Abraham.

Christians are those who walk in the steps of faithful Abraham (Romans 4:12) and are spoken of as the children of Abraham (Galatians 3:7). Because of his faith toward God, Abraham was justified:

And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness... (James 2:23)

When Paul wanted to illustrate faith toward God, he used Abraham as an example:

Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offenses and was raised again for our justification. (Romans 4:23-25)

Paul said that the record of Abraham's faith which resulted in justification was not kept just for him. The record was kept so that we also, by believing the Gospel message, could be justified.

The reasons Abraham was an example of faith are as follows:

HE HEARD THE WORD:

Abraham listened to the promises of God:

For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law but through the righteousness of faith. And being fully persuaded that, what He has promised, He was able also to perform. (Romans 4:13,21)

HE BELIEVED THE WORD:

He not only heard the promises of God, he believed: Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. (Romans 4:18)

Like Abraham, it is by believing that we receive the promises of God: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. (I Peter 1:8-9)

HE TURNED FROM HIS HOPELESS CONDITION:

Hearing of the Word of God resulted in a change in Abraham's life:

Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb. (Romans 4:18-19)

Just as men and women lost in sin, Abraham faced a hopeless condition in the natural world. The promise to become the father of many nations could only come through God because Abraham and Sarah were too old to have children.

Salvation comes only through Jesus Christ. There is no other way you can receive the promise except by faith in His plan of salvation:

That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith... (Ephesians 3:17)

HE ACCEPTED THE PROMISE AS A FACT:

He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God. (Romans 4:20)

This is faith toward God.

AN EXAMPLE FOR US

The faith toward God demonstrated by Abraham is an example for you to follow. You must:

-Hear the Word of God.

-Believe the Word of God.

-Turn from your hopeless condition (change through repentance from dead works).

-Accept God's promise as fact. His promise is that you are justified by repentance and faith toward God through Jesus.

FOR FURTHER STUDY

"Trust" is another word for faith. David wrote much about trust in the book of Psalms.

Use the following study to continue learning about faith toward God which David calls "trust.”

MISPLACED TRUST

Study the following references. In the column provided list what David said NOT to trust:

Reference Do Not Trust...

Psalms 20:7 ____________________________________________

Psalms 41:9 ____________________________________________

Psalms 44:6 ____________________________________________

Psalms 49:6 ____________________________________________

Psalms 52:7 ____________________________________________

Psalms 115:8 ____________________________________________

Psalms 118:8-9 ____________________________________________

Psalms 135:17-18 ____________________________________________

Psalms 146:3 ____________________________________________

WELL PLACED TRUST

Throughout the Psalms David encourages trust in God. He also encourages trust in things related to God. Study the following references. In the second column make a list of what David said he would trust in.

Reference Trust In …

Psalms 33:21 ____________________________________________

Psalms 36:7 ____________________________________________

Psalms 13:5 ____________________________________________

Psalms 52:8 ____________________________________________

Psalms 57:1 ____________________________________________

Psalms 61:4 ____________________________________________

Psalms 78:22 ____________________________________________

Psalms 91:4 ____________________________________________

Psalms 119:42 _________________________________________

WHEN TO TRUST...

Psalms 56:3 ____________________________________________

BENEFITS OF TRUSTING

David listed many benefits of trusting or having faith toward God. Study the following references. In the column provided list the benefits of trusting God:

Reference Benefit Of Trusting God...

Psalms 25:2 ____________________________________________

Psalms 25:20 ____________________________________________

Psalms 26:1 ____________________________________________

Reference Benefit Of Trusting God...

Psalms 28:7 ___________________________________________

Psalms 31:1 ____________________________________________

Psalms 31:6 ____________________________________________

Psalms 31:19 ____________________________________________

Psalms 32:10 ____________________________________________

Psalms 33:21 ____________________________________________

Psalms 34:8 ____________________________________________

Psalms 34:22 ____________________________________________

Psalms 37:5 ____________________________________________

Psalms 37:40 ____________________________________________

Psalms 40:3 ____________________________________________

Psalms 2:12 ____________________________________________

Psalms 5:11 ____________________________________________

Psalms 7:1 ____________________________________________

Psalms 9:10 ____________________________________________

Psalms 16:1 ____________________________________________

Psalms 17:7 ____________________________________________

Psalms 21:7 ____________________________________________

Psalms 22:4 ____________________________________________

Psalms 22:5 ____________________________________________

Psalms 22:8 ____________________________________________

Reference Benefit Of Trusting God...

Psalms 40:4 ____________________________________________

Psalms 56:4 ____________________________________________

Psalms 56:11 ____________________________________________

Psalms 57:1 ____________________________________________

Psalms 64:10 ____________________________________________

Psalms 71:1 ____________________________________________

Psalms 73:28 ____________________________________________

Psalms 84:12 ____________________________________________

Psalms 86:2 ____________________________________________

Psalms 112:7 ____________________________________________

Psalms 119:42 ___________________________________________

Psalms 125:1 ____________________________________________

Psalms 141:8 ____________________________________________

Psalms 143:8 ____________________________________________

Psalms 144:2 ____________________________________________

RESULTS OF NOT TRUSTING GOD

David identifies the results of not trusting God:

Reference Result Of Not Trusting God

Psalms 32:10 ____________________________________________

Psalms 55:23 ____________________________________________

Psalms 78:21-22 ____________________________________________

DAVID'S HISTORY OF TRUSTING

David tells how long he has trusted God:

Psalms 71:5 Since my "____________.”

ADDITIONAL REFERENCES

The following passages are additional references David made to trusting God. Study the references. In the column provided summarize each verse in your own words:

Psalms 31:4 ____________________________________________

Psalms 4:5 ____________________________________________

Psalms 11:1 ____________________________________________