ELEMENTS AND CHARACTERISTICS OF FAITH
The following elements or characteristics qualify or describe faith, going by the biblical definition in Hebrews 11:1.
- Faith is a current and continuous thing. It should not be on and off. It is a ‘now’ thing. Currency is paramount. The Bible talks of “now, faith.” (Heb 11:1). Your faith in the past will not avail for your current situation. Neither will the faith you will have later be of any use now.
- The forerunner of faith is hope: You cannot be faithful and hopeless, or hopeless and faithful. The two go together with hope leading. Note therefore that one can have hope and no faith, but you cannot have faith and no hope. The moment hope dies, faith disappears. Faith is the substance of what is hoped for, the evidence of the unseen reality of hope.
- Faith must have substance: Something that is tangible that it is anchored upon. The word, the everlasting promises of God should constitute the substance of living faith. Where the word of God, the proceeding word constitutes the substance of faith, it surely cannot fail. (Isaiah 55:10-11)
- Faith produces evidence: You believe before you see it physically because the word of God says so. In other words you see with the eyes of faith that which is ordinarily invisible. Living Faith produces proof of itself.
- Faith is instrumental or causative. We believe that the things we see are created by the things that we do not see. God created all things by His word.
Content of Faith (Heb. 10:36-38)
From the scriptures, Hebrews 10:36-38, we can deduce certain things clearly.
- Hope in the word of God is the key element of faith. Always put your hope in God and His word. Therein is safety.
- Patience is a necessary element for faith to be productive. The faithful must be patient for his faith to produce according to God’s own purpose and pleasure. Abraham waited in hope. The Bible says in: Hebrews 11:9
Abraham hoped in God for a city which had its foundations laid by God. That city is the church of God, the assembly of the redeemed of the Lord, the New Jerusalem talked about in the book of Revelation. (Rev 3:12, 21:2)
- The will of God is vital for living faith. The pleasure of God is in the faithful and righteous, the just. Living by faith is therefore the life of the just from day to day and from moment to moment. It is living to the good pleasure of the Lord. Whatever He tells you to do, do it (John 2:5). Obedience to God is an important key to living in the supernatural.
- The certainty of the promise of God’s word should make us to hold God by His word and be totally dependent on Him. What this means is that there are many things that God has spoken in His word that are promises that will evidently come to pass, if we hold on to them.
- God has no pleasure in backsliders or anyone falling away from faith. Always abide in faith. All the heroes of faith mentioned in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews are examples for us to pattern our lives after to attain to the heights of glory that the Lord has prepared for them that love Him and are called according to His purpose.
IMPORTANCE OF FAITH
- Faith is very crucial or essential in the kingdom of God because it is the vehicle by which we gain access to God’s presence and His activities and operations. (Rom 5:1-2)
- Nothing can be acceptably done/obtained in God’s kingdom without faith. Heb 11:6. Says that it is impossible to please God without faith.
- We are saved by faith and not by works. (Eph 2:8-9)
- It is not possible to become a citizen of God’s kingdom or a member of His household without faith. The way to doing this is by accepting Jesus Christ as your savior and Lord. (John 1:11-12, John 3:16)
Once you have given your life to Him, all that is required of you is to live in obedience to God and His word and always do good, by His grace, being guided by the Holy Spirit. (Gal 6:10)