Understanding Faith vs. Growing Faith

paul-325-webAll faith in God is based on the Word of God. This is because faith in God is based on the will of God, and the will of God is communicated to us by the Word of God. To understand faith itself, one must study scriptures on faith. To grow faith, one must study scriptures on the specific issue. In all things, faith begins when the will of God is known.

Understanding Faith

To understand what faith is, and how it works, one must study scriptures on faith (noun), and on the act of believing (verb form of faith). The following are some a few topics and scriptures on faith:

Faith Is Absolutely Essential in Receiving God’s Blessings

But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. (7) For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord… James 1:6, 7

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is (exists) and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. Hebrews 11:6

Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not drive it (demon) out?” (20) And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith… Matthew 17: 19, 20a

And He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief. Matthew 13:58

We Receive According To Our Faith

… Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” (29) Then He touched their eyes, saying, “It shall be done to you according to your faith,” (30) and their eyes were opened…. Matthew 9:28 – 30

13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.” And his servant was healed that same hour. Matthew 8:13

But Jesus turning and seeing her said, “Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well.” At once the woman was made well. Matthew 9:22

And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction.” Mark 5:34

By faith Noah…became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. Hebrews 11:7

The power of prayer is the presence of faith (unanswered prayer is unbelieving prayer)

“Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you. Mark 11:24

The Power and Possibilities of Faith

And Jesus said to him, “If you can? All things are possible to him who believes.” Mark 9:23

…and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us to believe, according to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the Heavenly places,… Ephesians 1:19, 20

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith. Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? I John 5:4, 5

How Faith Is Grown In the Heart of Man

The Seed is sown in the heart – Matt 13:1 – 23, Mark 4:1 – 32, and Luke 8:4 – 15

Faith is the reality in the heart of things hoped for, that are promised in the Word

Faith is the substance (reality, assurance) of things hoped for, the evidence of things not (yet) seen. Hebrews 11:1 See, Faith Is ‘hupostasis’ – Hebrews 11:1

Faith Is Believed In the Heart and Released Through the Words of the Mouth

..for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses resulting in salvation. Romans 10:10

“Truly I say unto you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him. Mark 11:23

But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I BELIEVED, THEREFORE I SPOKE,” we also believe, therefore we also speak,… (18) …while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:13,18

We Are To Pray the Will of God into this World

“Pray, then in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:9, 10

Believing and receiving from Him glorifies Jesus and the Father

“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. (8) My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples. John 15:7, 8

In short, faith begins as the incorruptible seed of the Word of God. It is first sown in the soil of the heart, and if the soil is good, it grows and brings forth faith. Once it is full grown, it is released through obedience and the words of the mouth. For a complete list of New Testament verses that refer to faith, see NT Scriptures on Faith.

Growing Faith for a Specific Purpose

Faith for a specific thing is based on the promise of God concerning that specific thing. The promises of God are the will of God. Again, faith begins when the will of God is known. Faith is the reality of the will of God communicated to the heart of man concerning a specific action or thing. For example, if you desire healing you must focus on healing scriptures. You must study, speak to yourself (confess), and meditate on healing scriptures, and seek Him until the promises become alive in your heart. Faith is specific; scriptures on other topics will not work. Some topical categories of God’s promises are:

Salvation – Born Again & Saved222 Prayers of the Bible
Growing in Him – In Him RealitiesGuidance & LeadingPsalm 119 – God’s Word Translation
Healing – Healing-Kenneth HaginHealing-Dodie Osteen
Deliverance and Protection – God’s Protection
Emotional Issues – Against DepressionAgainst FearAgainst HopelessnessAgainst LazinessAgainst WorryComfort During Grieving
Prosperity – Prosperity & Finances

Once you know what He has promised in His Word, and you have met the conditions, faith comes. It’s as simple and as hard at that. Everyone can do it but unfortunately, few actually do. My hope is that you are one that responds to the Lord with diligence and obedience. It pleases Him when we trust Him, and act accordingly. Faith is the only system God has instituted by which man can receive from Him.

One final thought, a passage from Paul to the Galatians:

You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? (2) This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? (3) Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? (4) Did you suffer so many things in vain – if indeed it was in vain? (5) So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? (6) Even so Abraham BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. (7) Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. (8) The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU.” (9) So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer. Galatians 3:1-9

Faith is the only system God has instituted by which man can receive from Him.

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