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The Bible has a lot to say about faith. Some people have little of it, or lack it altogether, while others find joy in it. It is living, but can also be dead. One can even wear it and share it. With something that appears to be so multi-faceted, it can be a challenge to come up with a concise definition.
At Clarksburg Baptist Church, we believe that faith is our confidence in God. To have confidence is to have full trust. Yet, that confidence is only as good as its object. You cannot put your full trust in someone, of something, that will disappoint you. So, we have chosen to put our confidence, our full trust, in God.
When you break it all down, there are two basic things we need to know about faith:
1. We are justified by faith.
“We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.” – Romans 3:22-24 (NLT)
When we speak of salvation, we use the term “justification by faith.” The term refers to a legal decree. As sinners, we are guilty before God. However, we are justified, declared righteous, at the moment we believe in Christ and accept him as our Savior. We don’t earn it. God declares us righteous, and we are forever free from the penalty of sin, when we place our faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ.
2. We are to live by faith
“See, the enemy is puffed up; his desires are not upright— but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness.” – Habakkuk 2:4 (NIV)
In contrast to those who will die in their pride and arrogance, the righteous person, by their faithfulness, will live. Because of their steadfast loyalty to God, the righteous person will be preserved through all the difficulties and hardships of life; even though the odds appear to be insurmountable, or the situation unbearable.
Faith is very practical thing and how it works is not complicated. God speaks, we hear His Word, we trust His Word, and we act accordingly no matter the circumstances or consequences.
The circumstances may seem impossible, and the consequences may frighten us, but we obey just the same, and have confidence (full trust) that God honors his Word. Though at times God may appear distant, he cares for his people. Though the answers to our problems, or the relief we need, may appear to be agonizingly slow in coming; we are to wait for it. Remember, faith is our confidence, our full trust, in God.
Picking up on this truth, the writer to the Hebrews says, “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.” – Hebrews 10:35 (NIV)