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Learning to identify the source of godly faith
Thinking of God
Larry Sheehy

The importance of faith in God cannot be over emphasized. The writer of the New Testament letter known as Hebrews identifies faith for us: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). The balance of the chapter is given to the personal, practical demonstrations of this assurance and conviction in the lives of many of the people of Old Testament history. Before he gets very far into this history lesson, the unknown author emphatically states the significance of spiritual faith in God. Following the identification of the patriarch Enoch as one who had “pleased God” by his faith, he insists that “without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). Godly faith involves both belief and trust in God. Can it be stated any more forcefully?

Back to the question which forms the title of this article: “What is the source of Godly faith?” Many will properly point out the apostle Paul’s testimony that “ comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). This “word” is ultimately from God, “inspired” (literally “breathed out”) by God through the work of the Holy Spirit. Carefully read Jesus’ promise to his apostles that they would be led into “all truth” (John 16:13 and context).

Faith is a learned response, through hearing God’s will, as already noted. Jesus’ devoted followers are to teach the word of God to everyone down through the ages to the end of time. (Matthew 28:18-20; 2 Timothy 2:1-2) An important fact is that knowledge is learned through different means. Think of it this way. Due to a dry spell, your lawn needs moisture. So, you attach a hose to an outdoor faucet and a sprinkler to the other end of the hose. When the faucet handle is turned on, the lawn is watered. In this illustration, the water represents faith, while the hose and sprinkler represent teaching, which allows the lawn to “learn.” 

Return with me to Hebrews 11. In verse 23, we’re told that Moses was saved from death by means of the faith of his parents, Amram and Jochebed. “By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king's edict.” Following this, the writer reminds us of the effects of their faith on their son as he lived his life before God.

"By faith Moses, when he was up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them." The question for us today is, is our faith in God lead us to seek to please him? Does our belief and trust in God serve as an example for the lives of our children and those who observe us, even in difficult and dangerous times?

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