Faith is the foundation upon which all the virtues are laid. It is the center from which the diameter of the Christian life is measured. It is the buoy from which the depths of life are plumbed. It is the starting block from which the Christian race is launched. It is the dock from which we sail to eternity.

Faith’s Definition

Faith is the confidence that someone or something is reliable. The Bible word (pistis) refers to “assurance, persuasion, conviction” (Strong). By inspired definition, faith is “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Faith is the foundation of our hopes (substance, hupostasis, “a setting under”) and the evidence (elegchos, “proof ”) of things we cannot see.

A preacher’s small son was told by his mother that he should wash his hands because there were germs living in “all that dirt.” He complained: “Germs and Jesus! Germs and Jesus! That’s all I ever hear around this house, and I’ve never seen either one.” To him, “seeing is believing,” but not to a Christian. Jesus promised a blessing on those who believed without visual confirmation (John 20:29; cf. 1 Peter 1:8). At the same time, just because the eye has nothing to see does not mean that the mind has nothing to examine. Faith’s trust is neither optical nor blind (1 Thessalonians 5:21). Though we do not walk by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7), we do not walk in darkness (John 8:12).

Faith’s Source

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). Faith rests in God’s communication to man.

Faith’s Necessity

Our whole life is based on faith. Without it banks and post offices would not be possible. Paper money and credit cards (the very word credit is from the Latin verb “to believe”) would never be accepted. Until we attain faith, God will not accept us. It is the “Simon says” of Christianity—until we have it nothing we do counts. “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe . . . ” (Hebrews 11:6). By faith we are freed from condemnation (John 3:18); enlightened (John 12:36-37), sanctified (Acts 15:9), and justified (Romans 5:1). By faith we live (Romans 1:17), walk (Romans 4:12), have access to God (Ephesians 3:12), resist evil (Ephesians 6:16), and overcome the world (1 John 5:4-5). It preserves us in death (Hebrews 11:13).

Faith’s Object

The writer continues in Hebrews 11:6: “must believe that he is . . .” The Bible does not begin with an apologetic preface defending God’s existence (GenesiHe is the grand “Given” of the cosmos.

Moses simply tells us He is the Creator of all thas 1:1). t we see in the physical world. This world had to start with something. Is it more reasonable to commence with a tiny, lifeless speck or a powerful, self-existent God? The very sky above us screams, “There is a God up here” (Psalm 19:1).

A young skeptic said to an elderly lady, “I once believed in God, but since studying science I am convinced that God is an empty word.”

The lady replied, “Well, I have not studied science, but since you have, maybe you can tell me from whence came this egg.”

“Why, of course, from the hen,” was the reply.

“And where did the hen come from?”

“Why, the egg.”

“And perhaps,” she said, “you can tell me which existed first.”

“The hen, of course,” rejoined the young man.

“You mean that a hen existed without having come from an egg?”

“Oh, no,” he said, “I should have said the egg was first.”

“Then you mean that an egg existed without having come from a hen?”

He exclaimed, “You’ve got me all mixed up.”

She drove home her point: “Young man, since you cannot explain the existence of even a hen or an egg without God, you cannot expect me to believe that you can explain the existence of the whole world without Him.”

We must believe that God is:

  • Eternal. He is “from everlasting to everlasting” (Psalm 90:2). There has never been a time when God was not, nor will there ever be a time when He is not.
  • Omnipresent. Jonah tried to flee from God’s presence (cf. Jonah 1:3), which is a laughable thought to one who understands God, for He is everywhere at the same time (Psalm 139:7-11).
  • Omnipotent. Every power there is to possess, God has. God once asked the question, “Is any thing too hard for the Lord?” (Genesis 18:14). Jeremiah answered, “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” (Jeremiah 32:17). He is the Almighty God.
  • Omniscient. There is nothing that God does not know. He is never caught off guard or unprepared. No problem ever presented itself that caused God to scratch His head and say, “Umm, now what are we going to do?” No angel ever phrased a question and received a reply, “Let me get back to you on that.” God on a bad day (if He ever had one) is better than man on his best day. Paul explained, “The foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1 Corinthians 1:25).
  • Omnibenevolent. God is a four-letter word spelled l-o-v-e (1 John 4:8). He is an overflowing fountain of love. It pours on us from its ocean reservoir in constant torrents. God’s love has never been diluted, although it now spreads to cover seven billion people at the same time. He loves each of us as much as He did Adam and Eve when they were the only earthly recipients.

Pick up your Bible and begin the grand journey of faith (Romans 10:17). It leads to the grandest Being in the most marvelous place for the longest period.

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