Faith is vital and very fundamental in Christian life and in the kingdom of heaven. It constitutes the basic vehicle of access to God’s kingdom, and is also the basic currency for its operations, activities and provisions. Indeed, nothing can be acceptably done or be legitimately obtained or received in God’s kingdom without faith. We are saved by faith and not of works (Eph. 2:8-9). It is not possible to become a citizen of the kingdom of God or a member of the household of God without faith. That is why God’s kingdom on earth, (which is the church of God), is otherwise referred to as “the household of faith. “ (See Gal 6:10).
The word of God makes it clear that “Without faith, it is impossible to please God” (Hebrew 11:6). In fact, faith is the sure means of living in the kingdom. That’s why the Word of God expressly states that “the just shall live by faith.” All the saints, the patriarchs and the prophets in whom God has taken delight and drawn near to Himself have all been men and women of faith. Abraham, noted to be a friend of God, was a man of faith. He walked with God by faith and it is written concerning him in the Bible, for our learning. Gen 15:6
Now it is written in different places in the Bible that “the just shall live by faith.” It is for our learning and guidance. It is the word of God. You cannot be just without faith is so important because without faith, you cannot please God.
So we see that faith is very fundamental. What then is faith?
Meaning of Faith: The Bible defines faith. Heb. 11:1
Faith is what enables one to see the unseen and makes the invisible visible. Faith is seeing by or through the eyes of the Spirit and beholding things by the eyes of a believer’s understanding.
Note the following:
- It is the connecting bridge to God’s throne and the realm of the Spirit (Heb. 11:6)
- It is living the future today. It is seeing things before they happen and keying into what the Lord is set to do. Joseph saw through Pharaoh’s dream what God has set to do and gave wise counsel and insight into how best to cope by buying and storing up food during the seven years of abundance and plenty. It was living with eyes on the future that others could not see. (Gen 41:25-57) it was the type of life Noah lived when he was building the ark. He lived by faith. Heb. 11:7
- Faith can also be referred to as the confidence you have in God’s faithfulness, believing and holding on to His word. Abraham and Sarah held on to the promise of God to them to make their seed like the sand by the sea shore and like the stars of heaven, even at very advanced old age! (Heb. 11:8-12)
Levels and dimensions of faith: Five level can be identified.
- No Faith: (Mark 4:40). This is where faith is lacking or lost and there is unbelief, total absence of faith. The disciples of Jesus Christ went to wake him from sleep questioning if He did not care if they perished. They possibly have lost sight of all He had taught and charged them to do when faced with challenges. The Lord, Jesus Christ had to query them for gross unbelief, hopelessness and not having faith.
- Little Faith: (Matt 6:30): People of little faith worry unduly. They fear and entertain doubt after starting out well, like Peter walking on water to meet Jesus and doubting when the wind became stronger (Matt. 14:31).
It is faith that is fickle and does not lend to easy understanding of spiritual truth. That is the description that Jesus Christ gave of His disciples when He charged them to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and they did not understand Him. (Matt 16:8)
- Faith like a Mustard seed. (Luke 17:6) This is tiny, very minute faith but with substance. It has the word of God as its rich content. It works by faithful decrees and utterance without doubt or wavering.
- Visible Faith (Mark 2:5) This is faith that is pronounced or substantial enough to be perceived or noticed. It is backed or evidenced by requisite acts or deeds. For example, the Bible talks of Jesus as seeing the faith of the man sick of the palsy and those who brought him on a bed before Him. (Mark 2:5). “How did Jesus see their faith? By their desperate, unusual step in getting the man before Him through the roof!
- Great Faith: (Matt 8:10); Great faith is remarkable and uncommon faith that takes the word as so authoritative that it is good as done once it is pronounced. It is the type of faith that God Himself exhibits, and by which He created the whole universe. (Matt 8:8-10)