Church words - faith: So often in church’s we use our own unique words - faith is one of those.
My hope for this series is that we can define faith so we can experience faith.
1: Faith has confidence.
Hebrews 11:1 “ Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
Faith is the vehicle that connects us to God
Thats what the confidence in this verse is referring to.
Confidence leading to hope - God is in control & God has a plan
What we hoped for: to wait with confidence, to trust with hope and expectation. Faith has substance – faith is specific.
Assurance - means a trust
Assurance: What can be believed – what can be trusted the substance of our faith. The foundation of our faith; the ‘bucket’ that contains our faith.
Faith is not:
You or I simply hoping - it’s not like those Hallmark movies where one person hopes the person they like, likes them and it tase the whole movie to resolve that
Faith is not simply ‘believing therefore its real’ - I can believe I should have played professional soccer but I wasn’t good enough
Think about this - Lies are lies even if everyone believes them - the truth is the truth even if no one believes it
But understand this: It’s not faith that’s all powerful - it’s the object of your faith that’s so important
Faith as a bicycle illustration.
Imagine this scene
You are the parent of a young child
You are teaching your child to ride a bike
You spend ages holding the back of the saddle and giving germ confidence
Then one day they do it - they ride their bike by themselves
As they come back to you with a massive smile and jump off their bike to hug you
You push them aside and hug the bike
Bike is the vehicle that helps your kid learn
Faith itself isn’t what we are focused on
To grow in faith we look to the object - the substance of our faith
Here’s a helpful summary so far: Faith is confident belief in God.
So we’ve defined what faith is; now let’s develop this a little and talk about what the substance, the focus of faith should be.
You see you may have thought I was downplaying the role from faith - Confident Faith is vital but so also is the object of our faith substance.
The right focus
2: Faith has substance.
Hebrew 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him”.
Without faith we can’t please God –
Meaning can’t be acceptable, in relationship with God without faith.
Faith is the vehicle that connects us to trust in God.
Faith is not some sentiment – some whim – some romantic fantasy – it’s not some fairy tale.
God isn’t somehow affirmed by how we respond, God isn’t some insecure weak god who needs us,
God delights in our faith because it gets Him involved in our life.
Faith has substance, faith has content.
You see faith isn’t some pie in the sky hope –
Like I hope this guy likes me, even though he doesn’t know my name –
That’s wishful thinking without substance.
Faith has substance and this key verse gives us that substance - Look at the substance of faith:
You have to believe that He is
What the Bible says about Him –
Jesus came to this earth proved Himself God - died and rose again
Faith believes that He rewards those who seek after Him.
Our working definition: “Faith is confident belief focused on God, trusting and obeying Him no matter how I feel”
So my takeaway for you today is simply this - Is this working definition something you would honestly say describes your faith?