CHURCH OF CHRIST BIBLE CORRESPONDENCE COURSE

LESSON 4

FAITH

     The great writer of the Hebrew letter gives God's definition of faith
in (HEB 11:1) "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of
things not seen." This puts faith in the realm of the unseen. In the realm of
the things we cannot know by our physical senses. Things that we cannot know by
seeing, touching, tasting, smelling and hearing. Faith comes in the place of
things hoped for. This does not mean that we are left without a guide. The word
of God is our guide and we walk by it. Notice carefully the following:

1. (ROM 10:17) "So then faith {cometh} by hearing, and hearing by the
     word of God."

2. (2 COR 5:7) "(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)"

     Thus we see that we cannot have Bible faith without the Word of God
both to produce it and to confirm it. It will not do for us to think that we
can compose our own faith. Jeremiah said in the long ago in (JER 10:23) "O
Lord, I know that the way of man {is} not in himself: {it is} not in man that
walketh to direct his steps." Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus in (EPH 4:5),
that there is, " One Lord, one faith, one baptism."

     The careful student of the Word of God will soon see that it is not
left up to man to decide his faith but to decide for the faith of the New Testament.
The Bible knows nothing of the idea that one man can have his faith and
another can have his faith and both of them be accepted. We need the one faith
of the New Testament. Peter writes in (2 PET 1:1) "to them that have obtained
like precious faith." In the New Testament every Christian had a common faith.
A faith just like the faith of every other child of God in the days of the
apostles. Jude writes in Jude 3, "That ye should earnestly contend for the
faith which was once delivered unto the saints." Thus, we see that the Bible
talks about "the faith," "one faith,""like precious faith" and all of this is
the faith of the New Testament of which Christ is the author and finisher
(Hebrews 12:2). We are never to be misled that it does not make any difference
what we believe, anymore than we should be carried away with the doctrine of
error that it does not make any difference what we obey. That faith we are to
have is the faith Christ commanded and the faith that we are to obey is the
faith Jesus Christ commanded.

     Read carefully the following scriptures and fill in the blanks from
the verses given:

1. Faith is the of things hoped for, the of things
    not seen (Hebrews 11:1)

2. HOW WE GET FAITH. "So then faith cometh by , and hearing by
    the of God (Romans 10:17)

         Our faith in God and Jesus Christ is the product of hearing what God
    has declared in His Word. It is not the product of some mysterious,
    unexplainable working of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. This is God's word on
    this matter!!

3. Faith is so important that man cannot God without it (Heb. 11:6)

4. Name some who believed but were not saved.

     a. James 2:19 .

     b. John 12:42-44 .

    These men believed but their faith was lacking. It was not accompanied by the
    works of obedience.

5. The New Testament was written that men might (John 20:30-31).

         It is the New Testament, the Word of God that produces the faith
    that is necessary for our salvation. Our faith comes by hearing (Rom. 10:17)
    the Word of God. To this end the New Testament was written and preserved for
    us.

6. How do we show our faith? (James 2:18)

7. Will faith without works save? . (James 2:20)

8. Will "faith alone" or "faith only" save men? (James 2:14-24).

         James shows us definitely that the only faith that will ever save man
    is a faith that is obedient and active. A dead faith, like that of the
    devil, cannot and does not save. Salvation by faith only may be a doctrine
    very full of temporary comfort but it does not save either now or eternally!

9. How many faiths are there? (Ephesians 4:5-6)

         It is a doctrine completely foreign to the Bible that a man is entitled
    to the faith of his choice. A man is entitled to the one faith that Jesus died
    to establish.

10. Is it possible for one who believes to lose his faith? (LUKE. 8:13)
         The doctrine that a man cannot live and conduct himself in this life
    so as to be finally lost after he has once believed is completely foreign to
    the Word of God.

11. What kind of faith will save? (Galatians 5:6)

12. Different degrees of faith are:

     a. Romans 4:20, faith.

     b. Romans 14:1, faith.

     c. Luke 12:28, faith.

     d. Luke 7:9, faith.

13. How did the following heroes of faith prove or demonstrate their faith.
     a. Hebrew 11:4:

     b. Hebrews 11:7:

     c. Hebrew 11:8:

     d. Hebrew 11:17:

14. Those who do not believe will be (Mark 16:16)

15. Christians walk by (2 Cor. 5:7)

     By answering the questions carefully and studying the Bible to know
the truth, we have found that faith is the bedrock of all our acceptability
unto God. The writer of the Hebrews declares in Hebrews 11:6, "Without faith it
is impossible to please God.." All things must be done in faith. There is no
way to please God without it. It must be present even when we give a drink of
cold water in His Name. We have also learned that we are not saved by faith
only or by faith alone. There is a great deal of difference in saying we are
saved by faith only and that we are saved by faith. We need to remember James
2:17
, "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone." When people
tell us that we are saved by faith only we need to remind them that it takes
all of God's plan to save.

The Bible teaches that we are saved by all the following and no one of them
alone.

        1. God saves us--------------------------1 Timothy 4:10
        2. Christ saves us-------------------------Matthew 1:21
        3. Saved by His blood--------------------Romans 5:9
        4. Saved by the gospel-------------------1 Cor. 15:1-2
        5. Saved by grace------------------------Ephesians 2:8
        6. Saved by faith-------------------------Romans 5:1
        7. Saved by works-----------------------James 2:24
        8. Saved by hope------------------------Romans 8:24
        9. Saved by baptism---------------------1 Peter 3:21
        10.We save ourselves--------------------Acts 2:40


***All Bible texts and quotations are taken from the King James Version.




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