28 – What is Faith?

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27- Refocusing Your Faith with Pastor Angie Hall
January 21, 2022
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February 18, 2022

The first time I fell in love. I knew that it was going to last forever, that nothing could tear us apart. I had complete and total faith in us, and of course it didn’t last forever and we were torn apart and I started losing faith in relationships. And I figured if I can have faith in relationships, I’ll have faith in stuff and things.

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One of the definitions of faith is confidence or trust in a person or things.

And I was trying to find faith in things.

Welcome to this edition of The Simple Christians podcast. And today, I’m talking about what is faith?

Now, my faith in things failed just about as quickly as my faith in relationships. So I decided that if I can’t have faith in things and I can’t have faith in relationships, then I’m going to have faith in myself.

I don’t know about you, but I put myself down far more often than other people do.

I think less of myself than other people think of me quite often as well. And I have very negative thoughts about things that I do sometimes.

So having faith in myself didn’t work any better than any other kind of faith.

 When I became a Christian, I started learning about Biblical faith. Another definition in dictionary.com, about faith is a system of religious belief. Now I can see that kind of faith being in the Old Testament or the Jewish version of the Bible, because Leviticus had, what? 613 laws that the Israelites were supposed to follow.

And of course they didn’t. It’s not that they couldn’t, but they did not follow them.

And that’s why Jesus came on the scene in the first place, simply because the Israelites couldn’t follow those 613 laws.

Their faith was not strong enough. So Jesus comes on the scene. And in Hebrews 11, we learned a biblical definition of faith.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

And that, to me is a better definition of faith.

My new definition of faith is the belief and knowledge that God will do the things that he says he will do, And God is who He says He is.

That’s now my definition of faith.

But Jesus also told us, in Matthew 17:20 (and this got me, especially when I was a beginning Christian): If you have faith like a grain of a mustard seed (and that’s tiny, a grain of mustard seed is less than a centimeter long. It’s a tiny little seed), you’ll say to this mountain, move from here to there, and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’ve never moved a mountain and I’ve never known anybody to move a mountain. In fact, in all of history, there’s no mention that anybody has ever moved a mountain.

So we humans don’t have very much faith, do we? And I know some people think that that’s a parable, but I don’t think so. I think Jesus was actually telling us that if we had faith as big as a mustard seed that we could do that.

But now I wonder, do we need that much faith? Do we need the faith of a mustard seed?

Jesus gave power to His disciples to cast out demons and to heal people, and that takes faith.

Even with the power it still takes faith to believe that you can do it and they did it.

If that wasn’t even the faith of a mustard seed, do we need faith as huge as a mustard seed? Maybe the faith of a tip of a pen is maybe even more faith than we can handle. Or maybe it’s enough faith for us to handle. It seems like we don’t need the faith of a mustard seed to be able to follow God’s will in our lives.

But what really is faith? Is faith is the power to cast out demons? Is it the power to heal people, because Jesus healed many people in the Bible. But is that actually accurate? Did he really heal people?

we have the guy on the mat who was let down from the roof, the centurions daughter, the woman with the discharge of blood, and more.

There are many examples of where Jesus healed people in the Bible… or did he?

I started doing research on many of those Bible passages, and something caught my eye that I had missed before. Jesus told them (the people receiving the healing) in almost every instance, “your faith has healed you, your faith has made you well.”

He didn’t say you’re welcome for me healing you. Or, are you going to thank me for me healing you? He said, “Your faith has made you well.”

They had the faith that if they asked Jesus for the power of healing, that they would be healed. And it makes me wonder, can we have that faith now? Jesus is still with us. We may not see him physically anymore, but he’s still with us.

Can we have the power for Jesus to make us well, for Jesus to heal us?

Even if we don’t have the faith of a mustard seed, I’m starting to think that the faith of a mustard seed has more power than an atomic bomb. So maybe we’re just not ready for that much faith. Maybe we need the faith of the head of a pin. The head of a pin could still be an atomic bomb. And the faith of a mustard seed could be the power of 250 atomic bombs, we don’t know.

Faith is definitely very powerful, because, when so many people came to him, he told them that their faith is what made them well. It wasn’t Jesus that made them well, it was their faith in Jesus, their faith in God.

In fact, no less than six times in the New Testament, Jesus said that. He said, “Your faith has healed you, your faith has made you well, your faith has saved you.”

Faith might not even be just the knowledge that God will do the things that he said that he will do. Faith may even be the knowledge that we know that we can do anything that God wants us to do. Maybe we need to understand that faith isn’t just belief in God’s power, but that faith is the power that God gives us.

That changes things, doesn’t it? Because that means that we have power. Of course, our power is through God. And I think that we have a big problem as people. Because when we first get this power, we thank God for it. And we say, well look at this power that God’s given me.

Then we use it again, and God is awesome.

And we use it again, and people are starting to praise us and we’re becoming famous. And then we starting to tell people, “look at this power that I have,” not the power that God has. We start saying, “look at this power that I have.”

Samson is a perfect example. Read the story of Samson (Judges 13-16). That is a great example of how vanity turned the power of God into “my” power and into “oops, I don’t have power anymore.” It wasn’t his hair that gave him the power, it was his faith in God that gave him the power.

But he abused that power, and he’s not the only one. We do it all the time. Unfortunately, I have been a part of many churches where vanity has either destroyed the church completely or at least caused the lead pastor to leave.

I was part of a church that had over 1,000 members. Then the vanity of the head pastor made that church disappear. And there are probably many people that went to that church that no longer go to church at all simply because of the vanity of that pastor, and they equated it to, “well, God must not be that great.”

They lost faith.

Losing faith can be devastating, so it’s not just about the faith that we get; It’s about losing it. And it’s about understanding where that faith comes from. You can’t have faith in a pastor. Actually, I shouldn’t say that. Yes, you can have faith in a pastor, but not when the pastor does things that are wrong. I’ve left many churches and every time I’ve left the church it was because I’ve lost faith in that pastor. That’s why I’m not at those churches.

That’s also why I’m at the church that I am, because it currently have faith in the pastors of that church. That doesn’t mean that I won’t lose that faith at some point because My faith is not rooted in the pastor; My faith is rooted in God.

My faith is that God will do the things that he says he will do.

And I realize that I say He, when I talk about God most of the time, but we know that God isn’t a He, God is Spirit. And spirit is neither male nor female. God created us to be male and female, I have no idea why. I may have to research that a bit more for a future episode. But he decided to create us male and female, but he is neither or he is both, depending on how you look at it.

I only say he because it would be difficult to just say he, she them, they, it, whatever, every single time. I honestly do not know how to define God. And I think that’s part of it. Because we don’t know how to define God, God is too big for our definition.

And that, to me, is another part of faith. There are a lot of things in the Bible that I don’t understand. I believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, but I don’t believe it’s the perfect word of God. I have faith that the Bible, the inspiration of the Bible, is there for me to better understand God’s will in my life.

But I do not have faith that every single word in the Bible is perfect, because the Bible was written by people, and people have a tendency of being vain and putting in their own things.

David, God says a David was a man after his own heart. And you can read David, I believe it’s in either first or second Samuel, and I’m not going to look that one up right now. But even David did things that were against God. He had a man killed so David could sleep with his wife.

That’s terrible. Paul is the author of a vast majority of the books in the New Testament. But even he wasn’t perfect with what he said, because in one of his books, he says that women should be quiet in church.

That’s not God’s will, that’s just what Paul says.

And I understand the Paul was saying it because of the culture that he was talking to. But maybe God wanted Paul to step out more in faith and to let people know that women are just as equal in church as men are.

I do not believe that it was God that said that women have to cover their heads when they’re in church and men don’t. I believe it was Paul that said that, not God. I believe it was Paul, that said, Don’t get married. In the Catholic religion, priests don’t get married. And I forgive me if I’m wrong, but I think it’s because of what Paul says there (1 Corinthians 7:8). He says, if I were you don’t get married. Well, if no Christians got married, there would be no Christians because we wouldn’t be having kids, we wouldn’t be teaching them about Christ. There wouldn’t be any Christians if no Christians got married.

So for Paul to tell people not to get married, to me, is not Biblically accurate. It’s in the Bible, But in Genesis, it says, A man and a woman will join together and become one. That’s marriage. So Paul is going against Genesis when he says that.

Of course, he’s saying that to get people to not sin, and he’s using it in a cultural reference. But I personally don’t believe that he should have ever said that in the first place. There is a part of the Bible that says that all scripture is God breathed. And I know that there’s some Christians are going push back against me about Paul because of that scripture. But it was Paul that wrote that (2 Timothy 3:16). And he wasn’t writing it about His scripture, because what he was writing at the time wasn’t even scripture; It was a letter.

He was writing a letter to people, he never knew that what he was writing would become the New Testament of the Bible. So when he says scripture is God-breathed, he’s talking about the Old Testament.

And I don’t believe that the Old Testament is the perfect word of God either. I do believe it’s God-breathed. I do believe that God came to these people and guided them on what to write. But I also believe that there were times where these people put in their own things. I do like how the the four major books of the New Testament that talk about Jesus, how they coincide, and how they show Jesus and they’re consistent in it. Yeah, they have some differences in them, but they’re supposed to be differences; they were written by different people.

But they’re very consistent with the teachings of Jesus. That’s how I view everything in the world. First, I ask, is it Biblically accurate? And then I ask, does it follow Jesus?

It was pastor Angie that talked about this in the last episode, where she said that we need to stop asking, “what would Jesus do?” And we need to start asking, “What did Jesus do?”

That, to me, is the cornerstone of faith. Because we need to set our faith on God and on Jesus, not on people, not on things and not on a system.

Our faith should be centered on our relationship with Jesus and our relationship with God.

And who knows, maybe one day there will be a person that has the faith of a mustard sheet, and can say to a mountain move from here to there. And maybe there already has been, because a person with that kind of faith will also understand that God created this earth. And although he’s given us the power to move a mountain, he’s also given us the wisdom to know that we don’t need to.

Thanks for listening to this episode of Super Christians. As always, I’m interested in your comments, click here to contact me. If you’d like to comment about this. Please give me a rating and a review in your favorite podcast player. The more you do that, the more we’re going to be Kingdom builders and the more we’re going to spread this message out to other people. You have a God blessed day.

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