Layer 4–Faith

Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (Heb 11:6)

FAITH is a big word … it covers a lot of territory. At its core, FAITH refers to how we respond to God and his provision for our spiritual growth and development. Do we respond with boldness and confidence, or are we hesitant and reluctant? Do we follow his teachings and example in the short-term, but then grow weary and discouraged? Can we see things from a godly perspective or do we continue to trust our own judgment and perceptions more?

It is easy to define FAITH as mere belief: as in “I believe this” or “I believe that.” But the FAITH spoken of in Scripture and demonstrated in Jesus’ life involves at least five levels:

  • Conviction—acceptance of the unique ideas and concepts that define us as Christians—beliefs about God and Christ, the Bible and the world, the Spirit and God’s eternal purposes. (“Keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience.” 1Tim3:9)
  • Commitment—a personal and public dedication to follow God—his way, his teachings and commands, his wisdom—wherever he wants to lead. (“Commit your way to the LORD.” Ps 37:5)
  • Trust—complete confidence that God knows best, that his way is best, that his commands are perfect—even when we can’t see what lies ahead. The litmus test of this trust is obedience: can we follow through on our commitment with compliance and submission to God’s will? (”Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Prov 3:5)
  • Perspective—a faith “framework” that allows us to see ourselves, our world, our circumstances, our choices from the standpoint of the spiritual and the eternal. (“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Rom 12:2. NLT”)
  • Perseverance—the ability to persist in faith, to believe for the long haul and through the difficult, to be determined in our commitments and obedience, to be “stubborn” in our trust. (“Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:4)

Here at North Central, we are committed to being the kind of church that provides support and encouragement as people grow strong in their FAITH.

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© 2012 by Tim Woodroof. Reproduction of this material requires permission from the author.