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Why are most people trapped by fears and worries? Because they lack faith! But what is faith?
Is it positive thinking? A certain feeling? One's church affiliation? Is it confidence?
Or hope? Or the simple belief that Jesus died for your sins? Or is it something far more?
Through the years, people have often told me, "Mr. Pack, I lack faith. I do not feel
the presence of God or His power in my life. How can I have more faith?"
Millions misunderstand this subject. Consider yourself. Do you have real faith? Is it sufficient
for salvation? Can you know? This series will explain how to have real,
true faith. God's Word holds plain answers!
The World to Come. The Restored Church of God presents David C. Pack. Author of 80 books
and booklets. Editor-in-chief of The Real Truth magazine. Read by countless and growing
numbers in every nation and territory of the world. In a violent age full of bad news.
Answering life's greatest questions straight from the Bible, and announcing the wonderful
good news of the World to Come. And now, David C. Pack.
The Bible states that "without faith it is impossible to please [God]." This is an incredible
statement—yet, it is in the Bible! Take it for exactly what it says. Just think! Anything
a person does, in attempting to be Christian, means absolutely nothing, if he lacks faith.
For without faith, he has no hope—no possibility—of pleasing God. Any who are not pleasing God
are Christians in vain. So having real faith is serious!
What about you? Do you lack faith to know that God is with you? To overcome sin and
guilt? To be healed of disease? To believe all things in His Word? To know that "all
things [will] work together for good" if you are serving God? To believe God will work
out injustices you suffer? To believe God will provide for you? To believe that you
can endure severe trials and persecution? Or that God will deliver you from them? Do
you lack faith to see the soon-coming kingdom of God more clearly and that you can be in
it? The Bible says that you need not lack faith
in any of these! You can develop real faith. However, God's Word says that most people,
in the age preceding Christ's Return, will not have sufficient faith to confidently claim
any of these or other promises in God's Word! This world is in trouble. Problems are escalating
everywhere for a world cut off from God. The Return of Christ is imminent. This event will
only occur after certain catastrophic events have taken place. Wars, famines, disease epidemics,
religious confusion, economic upheaval and catastrophic weather will have first rocked
civilization to its foundation. When speaking of our time—the last generation
before His Return—Jesus asked, "When the Son of Man comes, shall He find faith on the
Earth?" Think of the incredible implications of this question! Is it possible that true
faith could be completely gone from Earth at Christ's Second Coming? Jesus was able
to look forward, into our time, and know that conditions would exist allowing this to be
true—almost! A revealing article discusses the issue of
people's ignorance of the Bible. Notice: "It is clear that many Americans do not know
their Bible, and a recent George Barna study backs up that notion.
"Barna's research showed that 60 percent of Americans cannot name half of the 10 Commandments
and 63 percent can't name the four gospels of the New Testament. 81 percent believe that
'God helps those who help themselves' is a direct quote from the Bible…"
What a shame! What a terrible indictment of the nation with more Bibles than any other
on Earth. And it is the single greatest reason so little genuine faith exists.
But Jesus said He would build His Church and He promised it would never be destroyed. His
Church—God's Church—is where people do have faith according to the Bible definition.
Therefore, the presence of God's people on Earth will ensure that at least a few people
will be found to have faith when Christ returns. Notice this: "But the fruit of the Spirit
is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against
such there is no law." We must establish another important point
relating to the life of all true Christians. Real faith comes from the Spirit of God—it
is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. No one can have it—or even be a true Christian—without
God's Spirit. Read Romans chapter 8 verse 9.
But what is faith? Surely God would not state that those lacking faith cannot please Him—and
then withhold the correct definition of faith from all who seek to know it. Before examining
what the Bible says about real faith, it is helpful to examine what people think it is.
There are many common ideas about faith. If you doubt this, merely ask a half-dozen people
to explain it—to define it for you. Be prepared for a half-dozen ideas—probably all wrong—all
of them different from what the Bible reveals. I have known many people who believed that
faith is an intangible "feeling" that cannot be defined. It is often thought to be personal,
mysterious and unique to each person—off limits for anyone to question. This feeling
usually has no definition, structure, or clear purpose and, inevitably, is whatever people
want or need it to be. In other words, for almost every person, there is a different
description and definition of faith. It is strange how many people view faith this way,
yet the Bible does not say anything of the sort.
Others believe that faith is some kind of "positive thinking." It is as though as long
as people take an optimistic view and remain upbeat about events and circumstances, they
are demonstrating faith. The Bible nowhere describes faith with the words positive or
optimistic—though these are certainly good qualities of mind.
Other views of faith are that it is hope or confidence. Neither is true! Hebrews 10:35
does say that confidence is important. Notice: "Cast not away therefore your confidence,
which has great recompense of reward." While this passage reveals that confidence is vital
for Christians, confidence is not faith. Regarding faith being hope, I Corinthians 13 and verse
13 states, "And now abides faith, hope, charity [or love], these three; but the greatest of
these is [love]." If faith and hope are the same, why are they listed separately? Why
does God refer to them as "these three"? Counting love, shouldn't He have said, "these two"?
Obviously, faith is different from hope. Still others believe that one's faith is the
equivalent of the church denomination or affiliation they attend. This description of faith is
seriously flawed and unscriptural. Notice: "There is one body, and one Spirit, even as
you are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism [and the
verse continues]…" If faith is a church—and there are well over 2,000 denominations in
the United States alone—there cannot be just "one faith." This idea makes the apostle
Paul wrong. He should have said "thousands of faiths."
Related to this, many also talk of either "people" or "a person of faith"—you've
heard the term—merely because one is religious. This term has even come to encompass non-Christian
religions. Bear in mind you have just seen the Bible
state there is only one kind of faith! We will soon explore whether the Bible precisely
defines that one kind of faith or leaves individuals to guess its meaning.
The last and perhaps most common idea is that faith is any general belief that Jesus died
for your sins. As with the idea that faith is a feeling, the extent of people's personal
belief in Jesus' sacrifice becomes the deciding factor. Certainly we will see that the true
definition of faith does include this important belief. There is no doubt that if someone
does not believe the most basic understanding that Jesus Christ died for his or her sins,
this person does not have saving faith. Remember, without faith it is impossible to please God,
and if someone doubts Jesus died for him, he certainly is not pleasing God and will
not be saved! Believing in Jesus' sacrifice is a direction—an avenue—of faith, it
is not what faith is! It is now time for the most fundamental question
in this broadcast. Does the Bible give an exact definition of faith? Since it says there
is one faith, does it, in fact, give one definition of that faith? Is there a place where the
Bible says, "Faith is…" and a precise definition follows? If so, where is it, and what does
it say? Hebrews 11 has often been called the "faith
chapter." It describes many of God's greatest servants and how their faith enabled them
to perform great acts and miracles, or to endure severe trials. This long chapter is
very inspiring, and all who want to have real faith should periodically read it. It contains
the word faith two dozen times. Verse 2 says, "For by it [faith] the elders [these Bible
figures] obtained a good report." How could they have obtained a "good report"
unless they understood faith? Now for God's definition in verse 1: "Now faith is the substance
of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Did you notice that faith involves
"evidence" of things "not seen"? The marginal rendering of "substance" is "assurance." Faith
involves an assurance "of things hoped for." But, if something is hoped for, that something
has not yet been received. Therefore, where faith is involved, there is an assurance that
it will be received! But how can evidence be related to something
that is not seen? Do we not rather think of evidence as involving things that are seen?
In a courtroom, evidence is what can be proven. It involves facts that are recognizable—and
usually visible—to a jury. In other words, legal evidence only involves things that can
be seen or demonstrated. How then can faith involve evidence that is invisible—not seen?
Faith involves evidence in the following way. Real faith, in any promise made by God, is
the evidence. It is the belief that is the evidence. If God promises to do something,
it is impossible for Him to lie. Your evidence that He will perform it is the very unwavering
faith that you hold. Understand this! Hebrews 11:1 said, "faith is…the evidence." If you
have true Christian faith, you do not need to search for the evidence—you already possess
it!
The World to Come will continue after this brief message. Discover more from David C.
Pack! Visit our website worldtocome.org. See The World to Come broadcasts, read and order
books, booklets and articles, all free of charge. To continue learning about the topics
covered in this broadcast, visit worldtocome.org today! Now back to David C. Pack.
We have read the biblical definition of faith, but faith is also a doctrine. Notice: "Therefore
leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not
laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God…
[and it adds four more]" Faith is always exercised toward God, but it is Christ who makes this
possible. Faith is something Christ taught—this is
why the Bible calls it "the doctrine of Christ." By now, you realize faith is crucial for every
Christian to understand. You need not be confused about it, though people around you may be.
Eliminate all misunderstanding about faith. Perhaps when Jesus returns, He will find real
faith in you! For every doctrine of God, there are endless
ideas that people conjure up about it. The Bible explains what God says and thinks about
His doctrines. If a doctrine comes from and belongs to God, we ought to examine what He
says about it. You should never be concerned with the opinions of people.
The balance of this broadcast and the next one will explain the Bible's true teaching
about the doctrine of faith toward God. Prepare to be surprised!
Almost everyone believes that faith involves feelings. But physical feelings merely come
from the human senses and have nothing whatsoever to do with what God promises—or faith!
Human beings accept knowledge they have received through the five senses—seeing, hearing,
smelling, touching and tasting. These senses all involve physical information—physical
knowledge. The mind receives and processes this information in order to draw conclusions
about circumstances, things and events taking place around it. Faith is spiritual, not physical.
It is confident assurance, which comes from the Spirit of God in the mind of a converted
person. So many today lack the strength—the power—to
believe God will perform the promises contained in His Word. He seems far away, vague and
ethereal to billions of human beings caught up in a materialistic world. The vast majority
do not have time for God. There seems to be no room for prayer, Bible study, fasting and
meditation. All these things draw us closer to God. The articles shown are most helpful
in developing these all-important Christian tools of growth.
Most ignore them, and then wonder why they have no faith! This leaves them forced to
rely solely on their five senses for guidance. Most people feel that anything derived from
a source other than these is not to be trusted. No one would ever wish to lose his physical
sight. Certainly no one would consider driving a car if he were blind. Now, consider this
verse: "For we [Christians] walk by faith, not by sight." Practicing true faith means
learning to disregard what you see. Literally, sight does not count in relation to what God
has promised to do or when He will do it. This verse reveals that Christians do not
walk by what they see! Think of this example in the following way.
Just as you would never consider driving a car without sight, a Christian is not permitted
to walk through life by sight! This is not a principle one learns overnight. The very
concept of this kind of spiritual understanding is foreign—completely alien—to human thinking.
Unlearning the wrong idea of faith requires a lifetime of practice.
Prayer, study, fasting and meditation are spiritual activities. God is Spirit and Christ
explained, regarding Christians, "They that worship Him [the Father] must worship Him
in spirit and in truth." Of course, people who do not know the truth of the other doctrines
of God, though they may know the truth about faith, cannot possibly worship Him in truth.
They may try to worship God in spirit but it is impossible to worship Him in truth if
they are doing it in ignorance of crucial Bible truths. However, for our purposes here,
at least all who listen to this program will no longer be unaware of the truth about the
doctrine of faith—and how it relates to worshipping God.
Many wonder why they are never healed—or why their prayers are not answered. They wonder
why they are not blessed or are not receiving deliverance from God when needed. They lack
faith, which comes from the Spirit of God. If they had faith, they would have evidence—assurance—confidence—that
they would be healed, blessed, delivered or receive answers to their prayers! They would
know these things were coming—in advance of their arrival.
We have already seen that faith is a fruit of God's Spirit. Obviously, Jesus had perfect
faith. Filled with God's Spirit, and possessing it from conception, He was the most converted
Person who ever lived. It gave Him tremendous understanding of the importance of the power
of God's Spirit. This is why He said, "I can of Mine own self do nothing"! He knew "the
Father that dwells in Me [as He said], He does the works."
It was through the power of God's Spirit in Him that Jesus accomplished everything that
He did. He understood completely that it was only the presence of the Spirit of God in
Him that allowed Him to perform miracles. He perfectly exercised the fruit of faith
present in Him because of the Holy Spirit. No doubt, God gave Him the additional gift
of faith that He would need to endure all that He was to face through His sacrifice
as Savior of the world. I Corinthians 12 verses 8 to 10 list faith as also one of the nine
special gifts of God's Spirit, given to some. Jesus went on to say in John 14, "He that
believes on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall
he do." All the apostles, and many evangelists and others (including even deacons) performed
mighty miracles after Christ's Resurrection and the start of the New Testament Church.
The Bible records this. Through the power of real faith, ordinary people can do amazing
things! But can you have the same kind of faith that
Christ had—or that the apostles had? Do Christians today have a different kind of
faith? What kind of faith does God expect of you?
Most people think they must "work up" faith through human effort. They see it as something
from within that they can will themselves to possess. This is terribly wrong and the
Bible plainly says so. Realize that you can have the exact same faith that Christ possessed.
You not only can—you must! Notice: "Knowing that a man is not justified…but
by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be
justified by the faith of Christ." This is an extremely important verse. It differentiates
two vital points. First, it states that "we believed in Jesus Christ"—this is something
we do. Second, it is the faith of Christ—Christ's actual faith in us—that justifies us (makes
us righteous). Most people never get this understanding straight. Faith starts with
human belief, but must move on to the faith of Christ, which enters a person at the moment
of baptism and conversion with the receiving of God's Spirit.
The Bible describes a certain temporary human faith that many have. In the New Testament,
when Jesus healed people, none of them were converted. Yet He sometimes told them, "your
faith has made you whole" or "according to your faith be it unto you." These people lacked
God's Spirit—it had not yet been given at Pentecost when the New Testament Church began—but
they did have a temporary human faith that allowed Jesus to heal them.
It is this growth from human faith to the faith of Christ that Paul referred to when
he said, "the righteousness of God is revealed from faith [human] to faith [of Christ in
us]." If there was not human faith and the faith of Christ in us, how else could people
go from one kind of faith to another? If a person is in one room, that person cannot
go to a different room and still be in the same room. Do you see this? It is the same
with faith. Human faith is like a small room, which true Christians must leave to enter
the great room of Christ's faith working in them.
Human faith wavers continually and goes up and down according to how one feels at any
given moment in time. It is much like a rollercoaster. When events seem positive or look good, human
faith is up. When things look bad and the outcome of a matter appears gloomy, human
faith usually disappears fast. God's faith is permanent and does not waver. He requires
that all who come to Him in prayer, with requests, not waver. Notice: "But let him ask in faith,
nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and
tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. A double
minded man is unstable in all his ways." Every time you demonstrate faith in God, it
involves a specific promise. A promise can involve healing, answers to prayer, receiving
blessings, deliverance in a trial, guidance in a difficult decision and—most important—receiving
salvation. In every instance, faith involves claiming a specific promise made by God. We
will see the importance of searching His Word to find those promises.
Consider! Paul recorded, "Above all, [take] the shield of faith, wherewith you shall be
able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked [or it means the wicked one, the devil]."
Now notice: "Every word of God is pure: He is a shield unto them that put their trust
in Him [that have faith in Him]. Add you not unto His words, lest He reprove you, and you
be found a liar." Put together, these two verses show that faith
becomes a shield to all who trust in exactly what God says. To doubt His Word, or to alter
it in any way, is to call God a liar! That is serious! Understand. When God makes a promise,
He keeps it. Human beings may break their promises, but God does not. If He tells you
that He will do something for you—if you meet certain conditions—He will perform
His promise. You have faith as an assurance that He will. So, browbeating yourself into
faith is silly. It suggests you doubt God will do His part after you have done yours.
No wonder a lack of faith—calling Him a liar—makes it impossible to please Him.
In fact, God says such people are liars. Faith is relaxed. It is calm. It is sure.
Where most people might have great doubt, the person led by true—real—faith is confident
that God is guiding the final outcome of matters. When you claim a promise, expect it to be
carried out by God. Do not try to figure out when or how He will do it. I have learned
two things about answered prayer. First, God always answers my prayers—if I seek His
Will—but second, He almost never answers in the way that I expect. This is why walking
by faith cannot include sight. Looking for God to answer prayer a certain way, or in
a certain timeframe, is a waste of energy. Besides, it is far more important that God
answers our prayers and fulfills His promises, than how He does it or when! And He always
knows the best time and way to do it, anyway. No promise of God can be claimed unless you
have learned what the promise is. God promises some things and does not promise others. So
the only way to know whether He has made a particular promise is to study His Word.
In any matter, always ask, "What does the Bible say?"
Paul wrote, "Prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Proving
involves study. Study involves effort, work. Then, knowledge of God's promises brings confidence
to those who pray about them. God is eager to bless people, but He cannot do this if
people are ignorant of what He is willing to do. Paul also wrote, "Be you not unwise,
but [understand] what the will of the Lord is." Let's face it. It is terribly "unwise"
for people to live in ignorance of God's promises. Why? Because they cut themselves off from
so much that He is willing to do for them! Therefore, you do not have to wonder about
God's will. His Word tells you His will on every single important aspect of life. (Take
time to read II Timothy chapter 3 verses 14 to 17.)
But Bible study is not the only condition regarding faith. There is still much more
to learn about real faith. Here is a vital booklet, What Is Real Faith? Be sure to read
it. Until next time, this is David C. Pack saying,
"Goodbye, friends." This program was made available by Restored
Church of God members and donors from around the globe. Explore our vast library of literature
and other World to Come programs, which are all made available free of charge. To order
literature featured in this program, call toll-free 1-855-828-4646. That number again:
1-855-828-4646.
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真實的信心 (True Faith)

406 分類 收藏
Qing Lee 發佈於 2019 年 3 月 4 日
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