What is godly faith?
That has been the subject of many articles and sermons in the Church of God over the years.
Most Christians know that faith is more than believing in God's existence. "You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe-and tremble!" (James 2:19).
Some have taught that a primary part of faith is believing God's promises, believing that what God has said He will do, He will do.
That is true. That is a vital aspect of faith. We need to trust and believe God's promises to us. In believing God's promises, we are also trusting in God's righteousness, because it is due to our belief that God is righteous and trustworthy that we are willing to trust that He will always keep His promises to us.
But I think total faith is more than even that.
Faith means "belief", and in the context of the way that word is used in the Bible, referring to the kind of faith Jesus Christ had and Christians should have, I think it includes believing whatever God says, period, whether what God says is a promise or not.
In other words, we are not just to believe God's inspired promises in the Bible, but we are to believe ALL of God's inspired words in the Bible.
You say you believe God's promise in (Matthew 6:31-33) that if we seek God's righteousness and kingdom first, God will take care of our necessities of life such as food and clothing. That is good.
But do you believe Jonah was in the belly of a fish for three days and nights? Do you believe the human race started with Adam and Eve about 6,000 years ago, and not hundreds of thousands of years ago as scientists claim? Do you believe God renewed the face of the earth in six days?
What would you say about the faith of someone who says that he believes and trusts the promises of God, but does not believe a worldwide flood covered the earth in the days of Noah?
God teaches us many things in the Bible that are not promises. He teaches us how the world began. He teaches us the history of how He has worked out His plan for the human race so far in history, a history that includes many miracles such as the death of Egypt's firstborn, the parting of the Red Sea, and the stopping of the rotation of the earth for about a day in the days of Joshua (Joshua 10:12-14). God also gives us prophecies about what will occur in the future, and He has given us prophecies of events that have occurred in recent history that enable us to prove that God inspired the Bible.
If we do not believe everything the Bible teaches us, how can we know our faith in God's promises is genuine and deep? It is easy for us to kid ourselves and tell ourselves that we trust God's promises when the going is easy. We may even do it during light or moderate trials. But will we trust God's promises when the trials are severe and prolonged? That is the test. And God may test us that way.
Satan is very deceptive. He has made atheistic materialism his number one lie in our modern society. He has other lies including many varieties of false religion. But materialism is number one right now. Later, in the days of the beast and false prophet, materialism will take a back seat and a certain false religion will be promoted to the position of number one lie among Satan's lies.
But right now, Satan pulls out all stops to deceive mankind with the idea that there is no God that has intervened in history or the universe. The key to this false belief is the scientific method, which rejects faith in God and God's inspired word, the Bible. The scientific method even rejects consideration of the possibility that God has created anything or has ever intervened in this physical universe. Reasoning that considers the possibility of God's intervention in this earth or the universe, past, present, or future, is not allowed by the scientific method. And nearly all science and secular education is based to one degree or another on the scientific method. This is true in the United States and many other countries.
We are bombarded with that point of view.
That point of view is false.
But it can be persuasive.
Scientists look at physical evidence. But they never interpret it according to Bible revelation. They interpret it according to the scientific method. Their interpretations are based on the assumption that every piece of evidence can be explained by physical causes only. Hundreds of thousands of scientists, many of them brilliant men, each having studied for years one or more specialized areas of scientific knowledge in depth and in detail, have devoted lifetimes to inventing explanations for evidence that only include physical causes and reject any consideration of God's miraculous creation or intervention in the universe.
But such interpretations and explanations are fundamentally untrustworthy for the simple reason that they are biased. Science won't look at both sides of the issue impartially. They will give you arguments that support their point of view, but not the other side. The culture of scientific research is driven by men and women who do not WANT to believe in the true God of the Bible.
And behind this philosophy is Satan, the deceiver of the whole world (Revelation 12:9).
"The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God' " (Psalm 14:1).
"The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17:9).
But it is possible to prove that God exists. Science has no explanation whatsoever for the existence of the human mind and human consciousness. The existence of our conscious minds proves the existence of a Creator God who has made our minds. The universe itself shows that design choices have been made, which proves there must have been a master Designer to make those choices. There is an abundance of evidence that God exists.
Moreover, fulfilled prophecy, particularly prophecies about the sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh, and prophecies in Daniel about end-time conditions, prove not only God's existence, but the inspiration of the Bible. You can prove the Bible is God's word.
And having proved that the Bible is God's word, you can make a personal choice to believe what the Bible says. By believing the Bible, you are really believing God. That is faith.
I believe God made mankind with Adam and Eve about six thousand years ago, that the account in the Bible about Noah's flood is true, and that Jonah was in a fish for three days, because I have proved beyond any doubt, for myself, that God inspired the Bible, and I trust that God would not lie to me.
Faith includes more than just trusting God's promises because real faith is based on trust in God's character. Part of that character is truthfulness. I trust that God is not a liar, that in fact it is impossible for God to lie (Titus 1:2, Hebrews 6:18). That is why I believe the promises of God, but that same foundation, trust in God's righteous character, is what causes me to believe EVERYTHING that God says in the Bible, even if it is not in the exact form of a promise.
"Thus says the LORD: 'Cursed is the man who trusts in man And makes flesh his strength, Whose heart departs from the LORD" (Jeremiah 17:5).
I trust God's word more than I trust the word of scientists.
Here are links to related chapters or sections in Preaching the Gospel:
Chapter 1 - The United States and Britain in Prophecy
Faith, Chapter 6