Volume: 794 January 25, 2021
Faith, Not Man-made “Religion”
To the early believers in Galatia, obeying the Old Testament laws was part of their life and upbringing. If they were Jews, the commandments were drilled into them much of their life. Those laws were even a part of the Gentile’s upbringing. The morality of those laws had done what God introduced them for, to teach many what was right and wrong (Galatians 3:24).
Even today, with few even attending church or reading their Bible, the law has still done its work in many hearts. It still convicts many to know what is right, and what is not.
When Christianity started spreading, its message was different. Instead of the strict enforcement of the law, its message had much to do with “faith.” They had to believe something that was not written down at the time, was talked negatively about in their temples, and could not be seen or proven. It was an “invisible” trust on their part.
Faith was an old concept, but many never realized it was part of the Old Testament living. When it was emphasized in the early church teachings, there were some questions and doubts. The Jews did not quite realize that much of what Abraham (Galatians 3:9), Moses, and other Old Testament characters did was done by faith. Those saints had to step out and follow God when there was no evident direction or sign. Their faith that the Almighty would deliver or help them was what allowed them to get closer to God and to be used by Him.
The early Christians had to step out and trust what Jesus said and commanded them to do. They had to believe that His words were also God’s commandments. With the pull of what they used to do for hundreds of years, by sight, and obedience to the law, they now had to understand that it was more important for them to trust Jesus’ finished work on the cross (Galatians 3: 26).
I imagine their feelings were much like the feelings of one saved from an unbiblical religion today. Those people may have been used to lighting candles, reciting prayers, telling their sins to a man in a confessional, and following other teachings of their church. After they got saved, they realized that those practices were not scriptural and that they were not to do them anymore. They had to step out by faith and believe Jesus’ words and trust him and forget what they had done in the past.
Faith can be difficult for some to let lead them. Laws are easier and more secure for many to follow. That is why so many try to hang on to both sides. They try to follow the laws they also learned previously and try to live by faith. It cannot be both. Trusting in something other than faith is not faith (Galatians 3:12). We can only be justified (“pardoned or cleared of sin’s guilt”) by faith in Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:27).
“Faith without follow is folly.” — Author Unknown
The Importance of Faith
- What is Faith?
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1
- How One Gets Faith.
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17
- The Necessity of Faith
“(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)” II Corinthians 5:7
- Faith Is Necessary for Salvation!
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:” Ephesians 2:8
“Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” Gal. 3:24
“And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.” I Corinthians 15:17 Also: I Cor. 15:14.
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
- Live by Faith!
“But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.” Gal. 3:11
“Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.” Hebrews 10:38 Also: I Tim. 6:11.
“But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.” James 1:6
- The power of Faith.
“And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.” Luke 17:6 Also: Mat. 17:20.
- Faith Affects One’s Life.
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:” Romans 5:1
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,” Gal. 5:22
“Faith is the daring of the soul to go farther than it can see.” — Author Unknown
Faith in Our Daily Lives
F. W. Robertson (Edited), 1816-1853
Faith is a theological term rarely used in other matters. It is not a strange power, supernaturally infused by Christianity. Most live by it daily and do not even realize it.
We trust others. A battle may often be risked on the intelligence of a spy. A merchant commits his ships with all his fortunes onboard to a hired captain, even though the temptations of dishonesty are enormous. Most have faith in teachers, politicians, friends, parents, and employers.
Without faith, society could not hold together for a day. It would be a mere sand-heap.
Such too is religious faith. We cannot prove God’s existence, yet many have faith in Him and His promises found in His Word. The trust in Him is guiding, has countless times proven true, and gives many hopes that He will be there to help them again and again. In the Bible, Paul defines this faith as, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb 11:1).
“It is not faith and works; it is not faith or works. It is faith that works.”
— Author Unknown
Upham, (Edited) 1876
The child sets out with his parents upon a long and untried journey. He trusts his parents will supply his wants, guide him in the right way, and will bring him home again safely. He knows what it means to believe and have faith in others.
A young man enters upon business for himself. He finds it necessary to work with other people. The young business owner then entered into arrangements, contracts, and fulfill promises he made. He knows what it means to believe and have faith in others.
A mature man was called by his countrymen to a high government office. He must enforce laws. He cannot do it by himself and must rely on others’ help. He soon knows what it is to believe and have faith in others.
Likewise, we all must know we cannot reach eternity with the Lord by ourselves. Our good intentions and works will not get us there. We must believe and trust what God’s Word says one must do to go there. It is our faith in what Jesus has done for us on the Cross that can only pay our sin debt. Our faith can save us.
“Some may think it wrong to say this, but we no longer live by faith. We have seen God work every day of our lives and have seen Him do the impossible. It no longer is a step faith; it is a fact!! He helped us before, and we KNOW He will do it again! We know He will never leave nor forsake us! God is our great help, hope and assurance.” — Bill Brinkworth