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BELIEVING GOD

BASIC DOCTRINES
LESSON 4:

TRUE FAITH BELIEVES GOD IN ALL THAT HE SAYS

We are empowered by Christ to live a life of victory in all aspects of our life. But we still have choices before us. We can choose to walk in faith or in unbelief.

 In the area where we fail in trusting God, we will fail in our walk with Him.

We are told that we must stand fast in the faith.

1 Cor 16:12-13
12     As touching our brother Apollos, I greatly desired him to come unto you with the brethren: but his will was not at all to come at this time; but he will come when he shall have convenient time.
13     Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.


We know the 11th chapter of Hebrews to be the "faith chapter".
Here we have living examples of men and women of God who had faith toward God. These models of faith were persuaded that the One who they believed in was able to do more than they could ever ask or think. In Hebrews 11:6, we are told that it is impossible to please God if we do not have faith:

Heb 11:6
6     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.   (KJV)


Thayer defines the word "Faith" in the Greek as:

4102  pistis-
1) conviction of the truth of anything, belief; in the New Testament of a conviction or belief respecting man's relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervor born of faith and joined with it
a) relating to God:
the conviction that God exists and is the creator and ruler of all things, the provider and bestower of eternal salvation through Christ
b) relating to Christ:
a strong and welcome conviction or belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through whom we obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God
c) the religious beliefs of Christians
d) belief with the predominate idea of trust (or confidence) whether in God or in Christ, springing from faith in the same
2) fidelity, faithfulness;
the character of one who can be relied on

We will look at the 11th chapter of Hebrews later, but first, let us turn to the words of the Author and the Finisher of our Faith, the Lord Jesus Christ in the light of Thayer's definitions:

1) conviction of the truth of anything, belief; in the New Testament of a conviction or belief respecting man's relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervor born of faith and joined with it

Matt 21:21-22
21     Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.
22     And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.


Faith and doubt are not partners that go hand in hand with one another.
Doubt is a destroyer of faith. Jesus said if we have faith, and DOUBT NOT, all things whatsoever we will ask we will receive. Just as the flesh is at war with the Spirit, so doubt battles against faith.

The Bible says that doubt is being double minded concerning an issue…

James 1:5-8
5     If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
6     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.
7     For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
8     A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. (KJV)

Double mindedness is in effect saying, "I know God can do this, but…" The word "but" effectively dispels the faith.
We must remember that Faith is the conviction of the truth of a matter.
If one has a conviction as to the truth of a matter, one will not compromise in that conviction. In my walk as a Christian, I have had no doubt that the Bible is the infallible inerrant Word of God. All that it says is True. I know this. And yet, sometimes my life doesn't reflect this, because I have a tendency in some areas to say "I know God said this, but…"

Satan is the one who instills doubt in a person. His very name means adversary. He is opposed to everything concerning our walk with God. See how he operated in the garden, when he asked a question of Eve that was designed to instill doubt in her mind:

Gen 3:1
1     Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

Once the question - which was designed to bring some incredulity to the Word of God - was asked, then the enemy of her soul took her through a process of thinking which eventually dispelled her trust in the Truth of God's Word. This resulted in disobedience to God.

Throughout the Bible, we can see that it is lack of faith (the conviction that God's Word is absolutely true) that causes people to err.

This brings us to another part of our definition of faith as given by Thayer's:

a) relating to God:
the conviction that God exists and is the creator and ruler of all things, the provider and bestower of eternal salvation through Christ

Faith, according to this definition, is a conviction that God exists and is the Creator and ruler of all things…As such, nothing is too difficult for Him.
 When Jesus called Lazarus from the tomb, He prayed a prayer to the Father that shows us what his conviction was toward the Father:

John 11:40-43
40     Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?
41     Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.
42     And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.
43     And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.

Another term used for "ruler" used frequently in the Word of God is "LORD". As the Word of God says, we are to examine ourselves and to see whether we are in the faith…(2 Cor 13:5)
This includes asking the question, is Jesus the Lord (or the ruler) of all my life? Remember, without faith, it is impossible to please God:

Deut 32:20-21
20     And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith.
21     They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.

In the passage quoted above in Deuteronomy, we see that the Lord's complaint is that the Israelites were children in whom there is no faith. We can see that they hadn't embraced the Almighty God as the LORD or the ruler of their lives, but rather, they had gone after and embraced other gods.
 Another charge the Lord laid to them was that they had provoked Him to anger with their vanities. Vanity is self-indulgence in things that have no real spiritual value. Vanity says "He who dies with the most toys wins." Vanity boasts in one's abilities as being superior to another's. Vanity is centered around one's own self.
If they had thought that God's Word concerning a matter was absolutely true, they would not have sinned against Him.
So Jesus, in the New Testament book of Luke, asks a question which is relevant to all of us who call Him Lord.
Just as Faith and doubt  are exact opposites with one another, faith and obedience go hand in hand:

Luke 6:46
46     And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?   (KJV)

Let's look at another aspect of that definition of faith that we have been looking at:

d) belief with the predominate idea of trust (or confidence) whether in God or in Christ, springing from faith in the same


Throughout the books of the Old Testament we can see that the root of Israel's many occasions of stumbling was the result of their lack of faith. Satan tried to get even Jesus to doubt Who He was.

Matt 4:3-10
3     And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
4     But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
5     Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
6     And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
7     Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
8     Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
9     And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
10     Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. (KJV)

Notice that in each instance, Jesus answered the temptation with the Word of God. The core of our faith is in the very Word of God, which the enemy is constantly trying to undermine.
Jesus' firm conviction in the Absolute Truth of that word enabled Him to resist the temptations that the enemy threw at Him.
In John 1:1, we can see that Jesus Christ IS the Word. We Trust the Word of God, because  we Trust Jesus.

Faith is daily living in the Truth of the Word of God. While men attempt to undermine the Word of God in this day and age, the Christian who embraces its' Truth will not be disappointed. We need to throw down the thought process that battles against the Truth of the Word of God.

2 Cor 10:4-5
4     (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
5     Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (KJV)

Prov 3:5-6
5     Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6     In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (KJV)

My eyes may tell me one thing, but if the Word of God tells me just the opposite of what I see, I need to go with the Word of God.

2 Cor 5:7
7     (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)   

Just as Faith is the second basic principle mentioned in Hebrews Chapter 6, and Repentance from dead works was the first thing mentioned, we can see that Repentance and faith go hand in hand.

Mark 1:14-15
14     Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
15     And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. (KJV)

     We have seen that repentance from dead works and salvation go hand in hand…the word translated “repent” is the Greek Word “metanoia” which means to change one's mind.
 When we are faced with an attitude of unbelief in relation to the Word of God, we need to change our minds concerning that attitude.
The word translated as "believe" is a form of the word "pistis" which we have been studying, which is translated as "faith".

4100  pisteuo (pist-yoo'-o);
from 4102; to have faith (in, upon, or with respect to, a person or thing), i.e. credit; by implication, to entrust (especially one's spiritual well-being to Christ):
KJV-- believe (-r), commit (to trust), put in trust with.

Jesus was saying in effect, "change your mind as to your old way of thinking, and have faith in the Good News of the Kingdom of God". But just saying we believe in Him is not the answer. If we have a firm conviction concerning Him and His Truth, we will walk in that conviction. We will continue in His Word.

John 8:31-32
31     Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
32     And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

When we walk in faith toward God, we see His Glory evidenced in our lives. Let's look at the account of Jesus and Lazarus again:

John 11:38-45
38     Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.
39     Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.
40     Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?
41     Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.
42     And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.
43     And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.
44     And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.
 45     Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him. (KJV)

In verse 40, Jesus told Martha that if she believed, she would see the glory of God. We can see that the Glory of God was about to manifest itself in the miracle of Lazarus rising from the dead. We know that God's Glory is revealed in the wondrous miracles He works.
It is important at this point to mention the final definition of the word faith:

2) fidelity, faithfulness;
the character of one who can be relied on

This is a two way street. We Trust God and His Word, because we know that He is One Who can be relied on. But we also must abide in that fidelity and faithfulness before Him, if we are walking in faith.
Just saying we have faith in Him and His Word doesn't mean anything if we are not being faithful to His Word. We can stand on all the promises of God that we want to, and they will not avail us anything if we are not Faithful to Him according to His Word. Deuteronomy 28 says IF we obey Him, the blessings shall overtake us.
If we obey Him, and are faithful to Him, we will be like that man who built his house on a rock.


HOW DO WE FAIL IN OUR CHRISTIAN WALK? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________

WHAT DOES HEBREWS 11:6 TELL US?


WHAT IS THE CONDITION TO ANSWERED PRAYER ACCORDING TO JESUS' WORDS IN MATTHEW 21:21? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________

HOW ARE WE TO APPROACH GOD CONCERNING HIS WILL IN OUR LIVES ACCORDING TO JAMES 1:5? _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________


WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT THE  PERSON WHO DOUBTS WHEN HE APPROACHES GOD CONCERNING A THING? (JAMES 1:7-8) ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


2 COR 13:5 GIVES US A WONDERFUL PRESCRIPTION FOR OUR WALK WITH GOD. WHAT IS IT? ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


JUST AS FAITH AND ____________________ ARE EXACT OPPOSITES OF ONE ANOTHER, FAITH AND ______________________ GO HAND IN HAND.


LIKE JESUS, HOW ARE WE TO RESPOND TO TEMPTATION? __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


WHAT DOES PROVERBS 3:5-6 SAY? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


1 CORINTHIANS 4:2 SAYS WHAT? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________



11. WHAT DOES 2 CORINTHIANS 5:7 MEAN TO YOU?



FAITH TO BELIEVE GOD FOR WHO HE SAYS HE IS