"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
Faith is a product of the Word. It comes by hearing and hearing the Word of God. The heroes of faith in the bible heard directly from God.
The more we hear God and His Word, the greater and stronger our faith becomes. We know that God is a God of integrity (Num.23:19). We need to believe His Word.
As we constantly listen to God and His Word rather than the opinions of people or to our traditional and religious beliefs, we begin to develop faith.
Faith that does not originate from the Word of God isn't faith in God at all! What many believers may call faith is often "high expectations based on the wrong information." You can't expect something that is not in the bible.
Faith is the commodity or the mode of exchange between the hands of God to your hands. In the world, money is a legal tender for exchanging goods and products. Legal tender is a medium of payment permitted by law meeting a financial obligation. The term "legal tender" is from Middle English tendren which in French is the verb form for tendre, meaning to offer. The Latin root is tendere meaning to stretch out, and the sense of tender as an offer is related to the etymology of the English word extend meaning to hold outward. Each country has its currency. In Mauritius, we use the Rupee. In Europe, they use Euros. The Euro is about forty times stronger than the Mauritian Rupee. Although the Rupee is legal tender in Mauritius, it is not acceptable to purchase products in Europe. In order, to purchase goods, we need to exchange to Euros. Likewise, you need to change your belief system so that you can receive from God. You need to hear and believe His Word.
Now a legal tender coin or notes needs to have two sides in order to trade on the open economy market. On a coin, we refer to the two sides as heads or tails. The obverse of a coin is commonly called heads and it often depicts the head of a prominent person whereas the reverse side will probably have an emblem. The two sides are not the same but both must be intact to be valuable, acceptable and spendable. If one side is defected, it is default and not acceptable. God has established a legal tender in the spiritual market. Just as the two sides of the coin are not the same, so too faith and belief are not the same. Faith and belief are two sides to a coin in the spiritual market. Both are important but they are different.
We all start by believing the Word. It is important that once we gain knowledge of God's will through His word and by the leadership of the Holy Spirit that we believe God. But believing is the starting point. We do not receive because we believe, we receive because we live and walk by faith. Hebrews 11: 2 said: "By faith, the elders obtained a good report." Therefore we need to apply faith.
But what is faith?
When I am referring to faith, I am not referring to your religion. Almost every person has a different description and definition of faith. Some states that faith is some kind of “positive thinking.” Others believe that one’s faith is the equivalent of the church denomination or affiliation they attend. But I want to give you a biblical definition of what faith is:
"Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]."
Hebrews 11:1 (Amplified)
The bible tells us that faith is the assurance or guarantee of the things we hope for. Therefore faith is acting on what you heard and believe from the Word of God. It is corresponding action to your belief. If you do not act, though what you believe is true, it will not change you or your circumstances. Let me illustrate:
Let's say that we are in a company meeting and one of our co-laborer attending suddenly falls from his chair. We rush over to see if he is ok. We open his collar and make room for him to breathe. Let's say we had a qualified doctor in the office. He consults our friend and he informs us that that this man is very weak due to the lack of food and insists that if this man doesn't eat in the next few hours, he will suffer and die! That's bad news! So we all rush out and bring different food in order to save our friend's life. Within fifteen minutes, we have brought roasted chicken, a fillet steak, fish, chips, roti, beef burgers, noodles, fried rice, sandwiches with water and refreshments all before the eyes of our friend. He is very weak but can speak. So we ask him a vital question: "Do you believe that if you eat this food, you will regain your strength and live." He looks at all of us as if we are stupid and positively nods. But he doesn't eat any of those lovely food. The doctor warns us: "If he doesn't eat within the next hour, we will lose our friend." He is getting worst by the minute. So once again we ask him the all important question: "Do you believe the doctor's report? Do you believe that if you eat this food, you will regain strength and live." Very weakly he answers: "Yes." But we doesn't eat anything! More food and refreshments arrives and is laid before him. He has enough to have a feast! But sadly our friend dies! Sad isn't it? Do you understand that our friend died believing something that is true? He died believing something that could have changed his life! What was the problem? Why did he die? Because he didn't act on what he believed was true! He didn't eat anything!
Many believe that God heals, delivers, performs miracles and
that it is His will to prosper us yet they are destroyed because they do not
act on what they believe. Believing is right but it will not change your life
and circumstances. Believing is only the one side on the coin. The other side
is faith. I repeat, believing is the starting point but not where you stop. You
need to apply faith. Act on what you believe is true. Four scriptures in the
bible, from the Old to the New Testament testifies that the just shall live by
faith (Hab. 2:4, Rom. 1:17, Gal. 3:11 & Heb. 10:38). The just are those declared righteous. Based upon our
acceptance and confession that Jesus is the Son of God and what He did for us
on the cross of Calvary, dying for our sins and giving us his life, we are born
again and as a result God the Father declares us righteous. We have been
justified by the blood of Jesus (Rom. 5:9). We are a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17)
and have a new lifestyle, we live by faith in the Word. We hear the word,
believe the Word, speak the Word and act on the Word. If you are going to step
out in faith in any area of your life, make sure that you have the scriptures
to back up your steps. Faith is an action (Js. 2:17). Faith is the most potent
force in the universe. Your faith conferred divinity and gave you access to
God. Your faith can cause you to overcome all circumstances in life. When you
operate by faith, you are operating in God's class and His realm (Mark 9:23).
"But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 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."
The bible refers to the Word as the Word of faith. The ideal place for the Word is in your mouth and heart. Too many of us have bibles in our bookshelves and in our handbag and that's good but for the Word of God to produce after its own kind, it need to be sowed in our hearts. Then out of abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks (Lk. 6:45). Word in equals word out. I want you to notice the connection between mouth and heart. For faith to work it must be in two places: in your heart and in your mouth. Salvation is obtained by the word in your heart and confession by your mouth.
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God."
Salvation is ours because of what Jesus did. Salvation was offered by grace. Salvation came as a result of the blood the Jesus shed on the cross of Calvary. This was a demonstration of God's love to us. Salvation is not only for a group of people. Jesus died for the world. He died for the human race. He died for everybody but not everybody is saved. Not everybody accepts Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. Salvation, although is for everybody, is only effective when we believe and confess what the Lord says. In order to receive God's free gift, you have to do something. You receive what God did as a result of your faith. God's grace is for all but you need faith to receive.
Now salvation does not only mean that you will be allowed in heaven. That's your inheritance after death. When we die, we have eternal life because we received Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. But salvation has more benefits. It has more to do with the way you live your life presently. In this gift of salvation, we can live a heavenly life on earth. Salvation is what is available to you when you get born again. The word salvation in the New Testament comes from the Greek word soteria which denotes deliverance, preservation and includes healing, peace of mind and protection. These are part of your salvation package and are available to you by faith in God and His infallible Word. Faith for healing, deliverance, safety and victory in our life and future comes the same way we obtain salvation - we hear the word constantly, we believe the word in our heart causing faith to arise, we act with assurance on what we believe by confessing and acting on the word and finally we reap the benefit of the powerful word of God. That word of faith will change our life and destiny. Confession and action are the connections between what we believe and receive.