FAITH AND THE BELIEVER : What faith truly is.

It is very important to understand the subject matter of faith as a believer. We must understand what faith is , how faith works and faith in our every day life in healings, miracles, safety and finance. Have you ever desired to be able to trust God more than you do? Have you thought maybe your faith is not enough or how to know if a man truly has faith? All these will be revealed in this series.
To start with let’s look at WHAT FAITH IS. Many times when people hear faith, what they think of is risk or uncertainty. Faith has nothing to do with all of these. The word faith is gotten from the Greek word pistis. It has to do with persuasion or conviction or assurance. This word was used 244 times in the Greek Text (New Testament Part of the Bible ). Hence, it has various applications. The question will be persuasion or belief in what sense? All through the scriptures we see faith taught for miracles, faith as salvation, faith as faithfulness, faith as doctrine, faith as ministry and even faith as salvation. Let’s look at some of these applications and what faith truly is.
1 Timothy 4
1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
Here we see faith explained as doctrine or teaching. Some departing from the faith has nothing to do with salvation. It explains people leaving their conviction of what the truth is to doctrines of devils. Seducing spirit explained in the verse above is in teaching. These are explanations that are contrary to what the truth is in Christ.
1 Timothy 6
 20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:
 21 Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.
Paul also admonished Timothy in the above scripture to avoid false science. See how ISV translation reads verse 20.
 Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the pointless discussions and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge.
The next verse tells us that those that do these have erred concerning the faith. So, we see here that faith is explained as doctrine. A persuasion that comes in the knowledge of the truth in Christ Jesus.
3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
Here we are told to contend for the faith, that is to contend for right doctrine. The next verse after this explains further by speaking of false teachers. So faith here is taught as doctrine. A persuasion in the knowledge of Jesus.
Faith also is explained as that which is in opposition to the law. In Galatians, we see a lot of these. We see faith used to describe that which Christ has made available to use without the laws of Moses.
Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified
Here we see that a man is justified (made not guilty) before God by faith in what Christ has done not by the works of the law. So, we see faith used to explain that which is available to us by grace not by the works of the law.
In the scriptures, we also see faith used to explain salvation or to describe the saved (believers).
Romans 10
6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above
 7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)
 8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
 12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
 14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?
 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
 17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Reading the above scriptures, you will see that Paul explains how a man is saved by believing the gospel. He calls the gospel the word of faith. It is this word of faith that we respond to that brings about salvation. Understanding how we get saved by faith can teach us how to work in faith in our everyday lives. How did you get born again? You heard the gospel about what Jesus has done in that Jesus died for your sins so you can have the life/Spirit of God in you. You agreed with this without necessarily doing anything. You simply responded to what you heard and you are saved. When a man rejects the gospel by not being persuaded of what is offered in Christ, then it is called unbelief. Let’s looks at John 3.
John 3
15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
 36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
Read the above scripture at least two times. You will notice when a man believes, he has eternal life. The word believe pisteuō is the verb form of faith (pistis). It simply means to be persuaded of or to have confidence in. So when a man hears the gospel and responds positively by being persuaded of it, he receives eternal life. All that you did to be saved was to agree with you hear. Not responding positively to this gospel is called unbelief. So, there is no work in faith; we simply respond to what has been done. We agree in our heart and speak as a response to what we believe. This faith that we have at salvation is what unbelievers can never have. In fact, the way a believer can believe can never be compared to that of an unbeliever. We will see this further in this series. Faith for us is simply responding to what Jesus has done. We HEAR the Gospel, We believe (agree/are persuaded of) and we speak. This is faith for salvation. In the book of Acts, we see faith used to describe Christianity or Christians.
Acts 14
27 And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.
Acts 13
 8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith.
Here we see faith used to describe Christianity. Elymas tried to turn away the deputy to be saved (the faith).
We also see faith for the miraculous in the scriptures. Here we see a persuasion which comes as a positive response to the power of God in a man to work or receive a miracle. The result is always supernatural. Let’s look at some instances of healings and miracles that Jesus called faith. This will help us further to know truly what faith is. Remember faith is not luck or risk. There is certainty in faith. When a man is in faith it can be seen.
Mark 2
 1 And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house.
2 And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them.
 3 And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.
 4 And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.
 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.
 6 But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts,
 7 Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?
 8 And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?
9 Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?
 10 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,)
 11 I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.
 12 And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.
Read the above healing account again. First, we see that Jesus entered into Capernaum and his fame went abroad. Obviously, the paralytic have heard about Jesus before and now that same Jesus is in town. You notice that he responded positively to what he heard about Jesus by him coming by all means to meet Jesus. The normal thing would have been to go back as there was no space where Jesus was. This man with the four men carrying him removed the roof not minding the cost. This is because to them, the healing is already certain. See Verse 5( When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.) So faith can be seen. What did they do that is Jesus called faith? They simply brought the man to be healed. FAITH CAN BE SEEN. How is faith seen? By what a man does or say in RESPONSE to what is already available. This man opened the roof to be healed and Jesus saw his persuasion to be healed. No man can ever believe God without a corresponding action or word. So you will know if a man is in faith or not by what he says and does. Let’s look at other miracles.
Mark 5
 24 And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him.
 25 And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,
 26 And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,
 27 When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.
 28 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.
 29 And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.
 30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?
 31 And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?
 32 And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing.
 33 But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.
 34 And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.
Read the above passage again, you will notice the sequence of action therein. First the woman HEARD about Jesus (verse 27). What she heard was what everyone knows about Jesus; that Jesus heals. She responded positively by SAYING to herself (verse 28) and she took steps to meet Jesus because she was persuaded about Jesus being able to heal her. Notice Jesus response to her in verse 34..Your faith has made you whole. Jesus called these actions of the woman faith. So you see that faith can be seen. Faith is not luck. When a man has faith others can see it by WHAT THE MAN SAYS OR DOES in RESPONSE to what has already been done or what is already available. This woman’s persuasion made her receive by simply touching Jesus while others were thronging Jesus.
Matthew 8
 5 And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him,
 6 And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.
 7 And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.
 8 The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.
 9 For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
 10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so GREAT FAITH, no, not in Israel.
 11 And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.
 12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
 13 And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the self-same hour.
Looking at this story of the centurion, you will see what he did that Jesus called great faith. This man came to meet Jesus that the servant was sick. He was persuaded of what Jesus can do through His words. You know the normal circumstance would have been for Jesus to come lay hand on the servant. The centurion was so persuaded that all he needed was a word from Jesus. His persuasion was evidently portrayed in what he said to Jesus “ SPEAK THE WORD ONLY and my servant shall be healed.” Jesus called this great faith. Where some persons like Naaman in 2 Kings 5 will be dictating how they should be healed, this man was ready to receive only by what Jesus said . So, we see again how that a man’s response to God’s power is shown in what he says and does. The centurion approached Jesus and spoke what he is persuaded of. It was called great faith.
Matthew 15
 22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.
 23 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.
 24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
 25 Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.
 26 But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.
 27 And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.
 28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.
Look at this scripture above. A Canaanite woman came to meet Jesus for her daughter to be healed. The issue with this woman was not Jesus not willing to get her healed. It is that Jesus needed to correct her pretence. She came in pretence as an Israelite in addressing Jesus as son of David in verse 22. There is every tendency for the woman to have given up as Jesus corrected her. Imagine in a healing line, where you came out to be healed , the man of God shouted at you because of a wrong attitude. You know, if you are not persuaded of the healing, you will surely be offended and not receive again. This woman responded positively to Jesus by answering Jesus’s parable that “yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” This her persistent asking because of her persuasion for her daughter to be healed is what Jesus called great faith in verse 28. “Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.” You see again that a man believe and had corresponding action with words. This is what faith truly is. YOU CANNOT HIDE FAITH. If a man is truly in faith, it will show what a man does and says in response to what has already been done. There is certainty in faith. The actions or words in faith are simply because of what is already available not to make it available. It is not the woman’s insistence that made Jesus to have the power to heal her daughter. Rather, her insistence was simply a response to the power in Christ. So it is safe to say from all these scriptures that a man cannot say he has faith without corresponding words and actions to show his persuasions. In Acts 14: 9, Paul saw that the crippled man had faith to be healed. Remember faith can be seen.
Acts 14
 8 And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother’s womb, who never had walked:
 9 The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed,
 10 Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked.
We understand now that when James said , faith without works is dead, it means that faith always goes with corresponding actions and words. THERE IS NO FAITH outside what a man says or does in response to what has been done. Don’t forget the actions here are not like the works of the law to make one accepted before God. They are simply what we do because we believe.
Let’s look at James 2.
James 2
 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
 22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
 23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
 24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
 25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also
When you look at this scripture carefully, you will notice that James emphasis was on the fact that faith always have corresponding actions. See the analogy he gave. The Spirit without the body is dead so faith without works is dead. This means, that faith can’t be separated from corresponding actions. Imagine Rahab didn’t receive the messengers from the Israelites, it would not have been said that she believed. How we knew that she believed in God was by what she does. Even Abraham believed God. In attempt to see what God has said, he tried to kill Isaac because he believed. He could tell the servant God will provide itself a lamb. His faith was shown in what he did.
So far we have seen what faith truly is. Faith is that persuasion on what Jesus has done which is shown in what a man says and does in response. Faith is evidence and substance. It is not luck or risk. But man of God, how then do we have these persuasion? How do we have the right response to God and His power or what He has done ? It is by relying on God’s faithfulness, staying on God’s and speaking what you want to see .
Emeke Modesty Obiazikwor
Gospel and Miracle Campaign (GAMC)
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