STEP 2: BELIEF or FAITH!
In approaching our study of FAITH, we are mindful of the lesson we just completed on HEARING the Word (Step 1). If there is no hearing, faith will not be present because hearing is the basis of faith: “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. ). This tells us that real Bible faith (the only acceptable faith) must be based upon the Word of God. Since Jesus is the Word, Paul says, "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. ). Therefore, our faith must rest on Jesus Christ.
The Bible speaks of walking by faith (2 Cor. 5:7), keeping the faith (Rev. 14:12), building on faith (Jude 20), and a bearing of faith as part of the fruit of the Christian life (Gal. ). Indeed, the entire response one makes to God is a process of faith. For this study, we will be thinking of faith as the second step in God’s Plan of Salvation. Faith is essential, vital, and necessary. Without it there can be no salvation. Repentance, confession of Christ, and water baptism (other steps in God’s plan) are all proceed by faith. Without faith they cannot take place!
What is faith? “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). Faith involves believing that God is – that He exists. Faith gives us the assurance that in seeking God there are rewards promised, and we expect to receive them. The Bible says, “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” (Heb 11:6). This passage shows the need to please God. Therefore, faith is taking God at His word (Rom. ).
Faith is NOT something merely felt or something imagined, and it is not something read or heard that is not the truth of the Bible. Many people can speak of having “faith” in this or that, but it may only be something imagined, something they desire to believe, or something they believe based on false information. None of these would be the faith spoken of and honored in the Word of God (compare Heb. 4:2).
Also, a faith that merely says, “I Believe,” but has no persuasion toward obeying, is not acceptable to God. James makes that point in reference to the devils: “Thou believest that there is on God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble (James ). Satan and his hosts indeed know that God exists, and that Jesus is the Son of God, but these do not act to obey God and Christ. The only acceptable faith in God is an active obedient faith – a faith that “works by love” (Gal. 5:6). A faith that does not obey is a dead faith (James , 24, 26).
Remember: man is justified (or made right)
by faith (
Please answer the three questions below by reading the scripture and filling in the blanks:
What must we believe?
Mark … We must believe the _______________.
John 2:22… We must believe the _______________.
John 14:1… We must believe in ______________ and in _____________.
John 12:36… We must believe in the _______________.
John 17:1, 21… We must believe God sent _________________.
John 14:26… We must believe God sent the ______________ ________________.
John 6:69… We must believe Jesus is the ______________ of the ______________ _______________.
James 2:19… We must believe there is (ONLY) _______________ God.
Acts … We must believe Jesus was put to death on the ________________.
1 Thessalonians 4:14… We must believe Jesus died and ______________ ______________.
1 John 1:7… We must believe Jesus’ blood cleanses us from _____________ _____________.
What will happen if we believe?
John 20:29… If we believe we will be ______________.
Mark … If we believe all things will be ______________.
What will happen if we do not believe?
Mark 16:16b… If we don’t believe we will be _____________.
John 8:24… If we don’t believe we will die in our _______________.