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.”
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