01 Dec 7 Things Real Faith Is Not
It’s a little word with big implications.
In church, the preacher talks about faith, the band sings about faith, people share their testimony of faith, and sometimes the church’s name even includes the word “faith”.
In Romans, Paul tells us that Abraham is our father in the faith. We are all born again just as our father was – by faith in God. Romans 4:20-21 gives us one of the best summaries of faith in all of Scripture saying Abraham was, “fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. Faith is faith in God’s Word. When God says something, faith trusts He will do it until we see it. In Romans 10:17, this connection between faith and God’s Word is again made, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” The more you are in the Scripture, the more faith grows in you. This explains why Bible reading and study, along with sitting under the Spirit-anointed preaching of God’s Word, are food for your soul to strengthen your faith.
Regarding Abraham, Romans 4:18 says, “In hope he believed against hope”. When you believe the possible is possible, that is hope. When you believe the impossible is possible, that is hope beyond hope. For example, a healthy young married couple believing they can have a baby is hope, but when Abraham and Sarah who are barren and old enough to be great-grandparents wait 25 additional years to have a baby, that is hope beyond hope. Importantly, there are 7 things that Christian faith is not:
- Faith is not irresponsibility. Some people become lazy, disobedient, or irresponsible and say they are trusting God, which is untrue as they are defying God.
- Faith is not positive thinking. The worldly counterfeit of faith in God’s Word is speaking positive words over my life.
- Faith is not optimism. Optimism looks for the bright side, but faith looks for God even if there isn’t a bright side.
- Faith is not hope in a possible outcome. Faith trusts a certain future that God promises like trusting in our resurrection from the dead one day.
- Faith is not having proof. Sight trusts what we see, but faith trusts what God says even where there is no evidence in sight.
- Faith is not a fleeting feeling, but a concrete conviction. Because faith is tied to God, who is over our circumstances, it is not changed by how life is going and we continue to believe what God is saying.
- Faith is marching forward based upon what God says, not what you see. Because faith is an internal conviction that leads to external action, it acts in obedience as Abraham did leaving a place and people he knew for the completely unknown because God told him to trust and obey.
Which of these 7 things is something you need to grow in learning?
To find the free Romans study guide for individuals and small groups, hear Pastor Mark’s entire sermon series on Romans, or find a free mountain of Bible teaching visit realfaith.com or download the realfaith app.