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What must I do to make my faith in God strong?


What are the disciplines of effective discipleship?

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In the Bible faith is belief. To ‘have faith’ is ‘to believe’.

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

There is only one source of knowledge about God and that is the Bible. Faith is the act of believing what God has caused to be written in the Bible.

Romans 10:17 ...faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

2 Timothy 3:14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Abraham is an example of a man of faith because he ‘believed God’.

Galatians 3:6 ...Abraham "believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." 7 Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, "In you all the nations shall be blessed." 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.

The only way to strengthen our faith is have a strong reason for what we believe. Abraham was prepared to sacrifice Isaac because he believed God’s promise that his offspring would come through Isaac. From this he reasoned that if he sacrificed Isaac, God would raise him from the dead in order to fulfil his promise.

Hebrews 11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18 of whom it was said, "In Isaac your seed shall be called," 19 concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.

A faith or belief in something without a good reason to believe it, is in reality self-delusion. We might begin with believing that there is a God but this is not the faith of the Bible. The Bible requires us to ‘know’ God not to just ‘know of’ him.

Jeremiah 9:23 Thus says the LORD: "Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches; 24 But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight," says the LORD.

John records:

John 17:3 "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

The only way we can know the only true God is by what we read in the Bible.

Romans 10:13 For "whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved." 14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?

God in his wisdom has decreed that we should be saved by believing what he has caused to be preached and recorded in the Bible.

AV 1 Corinthians 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

Hebrews 1:1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son...

Mark 16:15 And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.

The apostles’ message was consistent, as Paul says. What they preached was believed and became the basis of faith.

1 Corinthians 15:11 Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

We have in written form the gospel preached by Jesus Christ and his apostles. Belief comes by reading it and understanding it. The more that we read and understand about God and his purpose the more secure the foundation for our belief becomes.

Faith can only be based on our own understanding and not on that of others. What others tell us has to be checked against what the Bible actually says.

Acts 17:11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.

It follows that the more reason we have for belief, the stronger our faith will become.

I hope this helps.

Glenn Smith

 
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