Living by faith

An important aspect of being a Christian involves the element of “faith.”  The word occurs some 234 times in the New Testament which should impress us with the importance God attaches to the subject as well as the vastness of the subject.  There are many uses of “faith” in the Scriptures which, when we take time to study them, help us to understand the vastness of the subject
For Example, there are passages that reveal that “The Faith” is sometimes used to describe the gospel to which a person responds in becoming a Christian.  This is “Faith” in the noun sense of the word.  In these verses, we see “Faith” as something to believe in.  It’s the system of Religion that relies on our faith (trust and belief) in Christ to produce salvation as opposed to a system that relies on law keeping and human merit.
It’s significant to see that “The Faith” is something which we are to be obedient to.  Obedience has never been set apart from “faith” in the Scripture so as to suggest they have nothing to do with each other.  Acts 6:7 (KJV) ⁷ “And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.”     
“The Faith” is also something that we are to defend, contend for, as in Jude 1:3 (KJV) ³ “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”
Furthermore, Christians are referred to as “The Household of Faith” indicating a fellowship of believers.  Notice Galatians 6:10 (KJV) ¹⁰ “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”
Those who obeyed the gospel have been “Faithful to the Lord” - Colossians 1:1-2 (KJV) ¹ “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother, ² To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”  In this verse we are reading of a quality that defines our relationship to God.
Indeed, “Faith” is the underlying principle of all the Christian’s conduct.   It is fundamental to our salvation in Christ - Romans 1:16-17 (KJV) ¹⁶ “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. ¹⁷ For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”
It is central to the life we now live in Christ - Galatians 2:20 (KJV) ²⁰ “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”  Yet the nature of faith and its importance in the life of the Christian are often misunderstood and neglected.  For the next few articles we will examine other thoughts about the significance of “Faith” and emphasize what it means when we say “Living By Faith”!

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