Faith: Believing God

Hebrews 6:6-7

by Cooper Abrams

    Introduction:    The single most important thing in a person's life is faith.

      Ephesians 2:8-9 says we are saved by faith. "For 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."

      Hebrews 11:6 Tells us we can not please God a part from faith.

      "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."

      The very heart of missions is Faith. In truth, missions is the result of faith.


      A. Christians have too often let the world, or the false teachers define for us Biblical truths. Many get their understanding of biblical faith from the TV/Radio Health and Wealth preachers who are con artists, defrauding their listeners out of millions of dollars. They present a distorted deliberate perversion of biblical faith.

      B. What are some false ideas about faith?

        1. Many have the idea that faith is something mystical and faith is some invisible attribute. Some think it to be some mystical thing we conjure up in our minds. In other words, we focus our minds on believing something and force ourselves to accepting it. Thus faith becomes some type of mental exercise we coerce ourselves into accepting.
      2. Clearly many have been deceived and do not understand what biblical faith really is. Thus misunderstanding of faith effects their understanding of salvation and the function of faith in the believer's daily life.

    C. What is a simple and true description of faith?


        The basis of Biblical faith is in accepting and putting into practice the promises of God. Faith is accepting what God has said in His word. When true faith is present action will be the result. In other words faith if real will produce action.

      2. Lets try to illustrate it:

        Suppose I said I believed in something. Wouldn't the proof of my belief be the action it produced in my life? No action no faith. James said that "faith without action (works) is dead!" There was a bridge. Some said the bridge was unsound and others that it was okay to cross. What is someone asked me what I believed about the bridge and I said I believed it to be sound. Then the person said they did too and so asked me to walk with them across the bridge. If I truly believe in the soundness of the bridge I would cross the bridge...but if I didn't deep inside really believe it was sound I would hesitate and not cross. Then the test of my belief would be in the action it caused me to take. Biblical faith believes God and acts on what God says. Lots of people claim to believe in God, but they allow Him no part in their life. The say they understand their is a heaven and hell, and that those who reject the Lord Jesus will go to hell. Yet, many say they believe in hell, but it does not effect their lives.


      3. For too long many Christians have let the world define faith for them instead of God's Word. The basis of Biblical faith is not in miracles and visible demonstrations of God's power. The heart of the error of the modern popular religious movements, yes even some that they look to signs on which to base their faith instead of the promises of God. They want to feel some things and see something supernatural. That is why the modern contemporary service have so much appeal. They get people worked up emotionally and the people think they are having a spiritual experience. 4. Many who claim to know Christ are not experiencing His presence and power in their lives because they are not living by faith. Some then turn to look for something tangible that can hang their faith on.....some sign that God is real.....some feeling or outward manifestation of God in their lives.

      They conclude God is present because they feel He is there. YET, if they have no experience, no feeling, nothing exciting happens they falsely conclude that God is not there or has abandoned them! Do you see the error of that kind of thinking? Folks God is not a fair-weather God! He is always present in the believers life....whether we know it or not. That is His promise. Whether I feel He is there or not, if I have truly believed in Jesus Christ...He is always and eternally present in my life.

      Many feel that if things are going well then God is there and blessing, but when things are bad or not so good they lose sight of God. Many become disillusioned and their supposed faith wanes. Biblical faith truly believes and bases action on accepting what God has said regardless if it can be seen or not.

      Sad to say....I have seen occasions when miracles and supposed acts of God were made up or even faked to keep folks excited about God! Turn on your TV and what the religious con artists, who claim to be faith healers, for a demonstration of fake mirages and orchestrated excitement.

      For some churches it is a regular practice, to try and stir up emotions so folks can feel like God is there. How sad it is to ignore God who is present and try to lure people into a false sense of God's presence by putting on a show.

D. The Biblical record is that the great miracles of God have not really turned men to the Lord and have not increased men's faith in God. Folks I do not mean to lessen the importance of miracles in the Bible. God used them and they always achieved the effect God intended.

    1. Faith in God was only real when men and women simply believed God and trusted in His promises.

    2. What a great miracle God performed when he divided the waters of the Red Sea and the Children of Israel escaped Pharaoh's chariots that were bearing down on them. Yet, in only a short time the people had forgotten what God had done and began complaining bitterly against Moses and God. The whole history of Israel is one of God's deliverance over and over again....but when God performed the miracles their devotion was short lived and they soon returned to unbelief.

    3. In the NT Jesus performed miracle after miracle. Everyone in Israel new of Christ's supernatural acts. Nicodemus, said what was the undisputable fact...."no man can do these mirages except God be with him."

    Yet, did the people in seeing the signs and wonders turn in faith to God? The answer is NO! They rejected the Lord following the con artists and religious leaders of their day who were called Pharisees. They dismissed Jesus' miracles saying that He did them in the power of Satan. Clearly, the miracles did not instill faith in the Jews.

E. In John 6:26 READ It says the Jews followed Jesus for the food he put in their bellies. They were not motivated to faith by the miracles! However, Jesus reveals their true hearts. The Jews were not really looking for a spiritual Savior who would take away the sins of the world. They were selfish self centered people who were looking only for material things.

    John 6:30 Foolishly they continued to ask for a sign. They had already seen the signs in the miracles Jesus performed! Note what they said: "Show us a sign that we might believe!" What they wanted was something spectacular. Is that not what the modern attitude is us something spectacular...some great and exciting thing.

    Look at V35-36. They saw Jesus the Messiah standing before them, they heard His message, they had seen His miracles, but they did not believe. Verse 40 states, "This is the will of God...BELIEVE on the SON." Verse 47 says "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life." John 6:47

    Jesus then told them again, but look at verse 60 at the disciples response, "This is a hard saying; who can hear it" meaning who can accept it. Does that sound familiar? Today we hear that we must be upbeat and preach only positive messages with no mention of sin. I was told recently that I should only preach salvation messages, because that is what people wanted to hear.

    Verse 66 explains (READ) They all left, but the twelve. Jesus then asked them "Will you also go away?" What did Peter respond to Jesus' question. Did He say "You have the signs the miracles" NO. . . Peter correctly said "You have the words of life."

    Here lies the crux of the matter. Many people come to church wanting some spiritual experience so they can leave and feel good about themselves. They are not there to address their faithfulness to the Lord, nor hear God speak to their hearts about godly living. They are not interested in addressing and confessing their other word they are not there to hear the word of God preached with conviction....but rather to receive a pat on the back.

F. Luke 16: Jesus told the story of Lazarus and the rich man.

The rich man in Hell, begged for Lazarus to be sent back to warn his brothers. Abraham replied to him:

    "Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. (Luke 16:29)

    "And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent." (Luke 16:30) The rich man knew his brothers did not believe the Word of God....He knew he had not believed it. His wrong thinking continued even in Hell. He concluded that they would believe if they saw a dead man return to life.

    "And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. (Luke 16:31)

What saved Lazarus was simple faith, he believed and trusted in what God said. He trusted the promises of God. He certainly had little to feel good about. He was a poor beggar and sick with sores over his body.

He was a poor sick beggar. He was not blessed with material things. You cannot say his faith was evidenced in God's material blessings as he had only the crumbs that fell from the rich mans table. By the way you do not hear the modern TV health and wealth evangelists preaching about Lazarus's sorry condition do you? Yet, he as a man of faith....he was man loved and used of God. Even this message God is using Lazarus faith as an example to us.

G. Two words are associated with faith which are "belief and trust." They can not be separated.

    Belief and Trust are two words that define what faith is.

    Belief is an acceptance of the truth. Trust is an action and result of belief.

    Paul Harvey said, "If you don't live it you don't believe it."

    You cannot separate these three words. They are totally interdependent on each other.

    In the Old Testament the two Hebrew words used for faith literally mean: "TRUTH, trustworthiness: meaning something that is set, firm, stead fast, stable."

    In the New Testament, the Greek word is "pistis" {pis'-tis}; which means: "persuasion, conviction truth, or the truthfulness of God."

    Jesus said, "Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake." John 14:11

    Faith is the medium by which the power of God is made visible. The evidence that people had faith was that they responded to Jesus, they responded to what Christ said. In simple terms they believed and thus the acted on their belief.

    Hebrews 11:1, Faith is the substance of things hope for the evidence of thing not seen.

      1. The heart of the Bible is in God. It is believing what God has said and then acting upon it.

      2. By looking at the faith of Noah, we can understand what is saving faith is in action. What it is and what it is not.


    The verse says being, "warned of God."

      - Faith is not a leap in to the dark. Biblical faith knows the final outcome.

      - True faith is based on TRUTH. It is based the One who is is based on God's Word.

      - Some have misunderstood the statement Jesus made about having faith the size of a mustard seed.

    Jesus was making a common use of language. Suppose I said I was big as a cow. Am I? No, I am over weight, but not that big. The phrase simply means large. Jesus was rebuking them for not having any faith, He was not suggesting a way to excavate mountains. He was simply saving if faith were present, if you believed, you could do great things.

    B. God told Noah the world was going to be destroyed because of sin.

    So Noah's faith is simply this: He believed it was God who spoke to him. If it was God who spoke to him, then what he heard was true so he acted upon it.

    C. QUESTION? Does God speak today?

      1. What is it that I hold in my hand? The Bible...God's recorded Word to man. He believed God's word, so he lived it!"

      He prepared the ark and he preached to the lost souls around him. Not one other person believed! But Noah did!

      His faith in God Word, God's promises saved Noah.

      2. Does God speak audibly today? Yes, in His recorded word.

      "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life." (John 5:24)

      3. John 1:1 says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

      The "word" is translated from the Greek word "Logos." So says John the "Logos" is Christ. Christ and His word is the same.

      Today we cannot see physically Christ Jesus. To us he is known by the Bible, which is the Word of God.

    D. So, today, we still have the Word of God, as powerful as it was in New Testament times. We have it in recorded form.

      God's promises are immutable! They do not change! In the OT and NT, God spoke to some directly. Today He speaks to us through His word.

      "God, who at various times and in different ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets. has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; Hebrews 1:1-2

    E. Question? Can we hear the Word of God and have God speak to us today? Clearly we can....every time we pick up our Bibles and read God's word. Some people are looking for signs and even to hear God speaking to them. Folks we can hear God speak to us anytime.....just open the pages of this Bible.


    A. Was Noah's faith based on what he could see?

      1. No. It had never rained, or had there been a world wide flood.

      2. There was no physical evidence in Noah's life or knowledge that what God said could happen.

      3. He had no knowledge to base his belief on except that God said it would happen.

    B. Did Noah believe God? Yes. He believed God in spite of what logic and experience had taught him.

      1. The verse says he moved with fear".

      2. Greek Word is "eulabeomai" {yoo-lab-eh'-om-ahee}; to be circumspect, i.e. (by implication) to be apprehensive; religiously, to reverence: -(moved with) fear.

      3. When he heard the Word of God, that God was going to destroy the world, he became apprehensive and fearful. Clearly he believed what God said.

      4. With no physical evidence on which to base his actions, he acted anyway, based solely on what God said.


    A. With God's warning was also a promise of deliverance!!!

      1. Noah believed God, and accepted God's promise of salvation.

      2. Note the evidence that he truly believed. "he moved with fear, prepared an ark in order to saved his house."


    A. He prepared an Ark. He set out to build something no one there had ever seen.

      1. He build a large barge or boat on dry land. Noah could see the action of faith in his life. Others could see too.

      2. How did the people who did not believe in God react? They rejected Noah's warning and they all died in unbelief.

    B. Could these people have been saved?

      Yes. Absolutely. Did God warn them? Yes. He warned them through his preacher Noah.

      2 Peter 3:19-20 - "by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, who formerly were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while {the} ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water." 1 Peter 3:19-20

      2 Peter 2:5, "and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, {one of} eight {people}, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly;" 2 Peter 2:5

      Noah preached for 120 years while the ark was being built, yet only his family believed, only seven people were saved.

    C. How then is God warning men today of the coming judgment? By His word, preached and taught by His faithful messengers. Does God offer redemption today? Yes. Again, He promised to save all who will believe.


    A. NO. The verses in 1 and 2 Peter indicated he was a witness by his actions, and he also spoke his witness for God.

    B. Noah preached at home and in his country.

    C. The verse says, "by which he condemned the world."

    Homer Kent, in his commentary on Hebrews, explains. "Noah, in his preaching condemned the sin and wickedness of the people, but won no converts." But his lack of converts did not change his message. He did not water it down to make it more pleasing to people God was trying to reach. He did not bring in a so called "rock Christian band" to draw people. He just preached the simple word of God.

      1. The people were condemned because they heard the truth, and yet refused to believe.

      2. In Baker's commentary on the Bible he says, "the very nature of the Word and of faith becomes an obstacle to the proud and powerful".

      3. Jesus said in John 3:19, "And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil." John 3:19

      4. Noah's faith was evident. He obeyed and lived a righteous life for God. Homer Kent further says, "the very fact that Noah believed God made the guilt of his contemporaries all the more inexcusable."


    A. Was Noah right? The world and those around him said he was a fool, a fanatic, pushy, to bold, self-righteous, and had no right to say such things. Today the call such godly preachers, fanatics, Pharisees, ignorant, legalistic and a host of other uncomplimentary things.

      1. Yet, in love Noah preached. Out of a love borne only from the love of God he tried to help.

      2. He was a righteous man. That means he did not hold bitterness and contempt in his heart for those that would not believe.

      3. He loved them more and continued to preach when it was not popular or was it even accepted.

      His preaching was based on God's Word. It was not his word, but God who spoke to the people through him.

    B. Noah is safe with the Lord even at this moment, as well as all who have believed and obeyed God.

      1. He was saved!!!! Not only physically from the Flood, but more importantly God saved his soul.

      2. Noah and his family lived through the greatest and most destructive event in the history of the Earth.

      3. One day, I will ask Noah about all the events of the Flood. I have many questions. All which are to the glory of God, how God worked and what God did in saving him and his family.


    1. How do you stand in light of the statement, "If you don't live it you don't believe it."

    2. Faith is believing and trusting what God has said.

      It is not looking for some special feeling, or just the right time to receive Christ as one's Savior. It is not looking for a flash of light or a voice from heaven.

    3. Saving faith comes my believing simply what God has said!

      "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. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Romans 10:9-10)

      JOHN 3:16

      "But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe." Gal. 3:22

      "Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)" Hebrews 10:23

      "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." (2 Peter 1:4)

    Maybe there is someone here today that has heard the Word of God but you have not believed. You know that God says to believe, to accept Him at his Word and be saved and have seen God's truth and now do believe in Him. You need to come forward in the invitation and publicly declare your faith in Him. That is obeying His word.

    There is a heaven and a hell, you are a sinner and Christ died for your sins. If you will receive Him he will save you, forgive your sin and give you eternal life.

    Professing Christians...there is an important message here for us too. What does our professed faith produce in our lives. What action does it take?

    IFB 1000 The Top King James Bible Websites!! IFB The Fundamental Top 500

free counters