THE DOCTRINE of FAITH
Introduction: "Faith is fundamental in Christian creed and conduct. It was the one thing which above all other Christ recognized as the Paramount virtue. The Syrophoenician woman Matt.15), had perseverance; the centurion (Matt. 8), humility; the blind man Mark 10.), earnestness. But what Christ saw and rewarded on each of these cases was faith. Faith is the foundation of Peter's spiritual temple (II Peter 1:5-7); and first in Paul's trinity of graces (I Corinth. 13:13); In Faith all the others graces find their source".
Dr. William Evans
Great Doctrines of the Faith
Key Verse: Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
Meaning of the word Faith: Faith means "belief, firm persuasion of truth, assurance, confidence, trust. Faith, therefore, is a firm persuasion of the truth of a proposition, on the ground of evidence."
Dr. Samuel Wakefield
Restating the key verse. "Faith is the strong persuasion and clear demonstration of things hoped for, and of things invisible."
Dr. T. O. Summers
Elements o f Divinity
I Brief Survey of Hebrews Chapter 11
This chapter is called the "Hall of Faith" by many Bible College students.
A. The Creation v3
Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
B. Faith of Abel v 4
By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
C. Faith of Enoch v 5-6
By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
D. Faith of Noah v.7
By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
E. Faith of Abraham and Sarah v 8-19
By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. 9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: 10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. 11 Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. 13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. 15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. 16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. 17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: 19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.
F. Faith of Isaac v 20
By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.
G. Faith of Jacob v 21
By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.
H. Faith of Joseph v 22
By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.
I. Faith of Moses' Parents v 23
By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment.
J. Faith of Moses v 24-29
By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; 25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; 26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. 27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. 28 Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them. 29 By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.
K. Faith of Joshua and Israel v 30
By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.
L. Faith of Rahab v 31
By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.
M. Faith of many other Bible Heroes. v 32-40
And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: 33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions. 34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:
II. Faith at Work in Our Personal Salvation.
A. Definitions and grammer of saving faith.
1. Saving faith "is not a mere speculative belief in the doctrines of Christianity. It is confidence in Christ, as the Son of God and Savior of men. It is a state of mind; which, naturally, intuitively, assimilates the believer to the Spirit of Christ, adopts his sentiments, co-operates with his plans, takes him as a leader and guide. Faith in Christ is a voluntary act, by which Christ is accepted as prophet, priest, and King. The moment, therefore, a. man exercises this confidence in Christ, he is a saved man. This is itself the Spirit of loyalty; ... admires the righteousness of God; in it revellion against God dies, The carnal mind, at enmity with God,... is displaced. by its opposite; faith is the Spirit of final obedience. It implies repentance, sorrow on account of sin together with a turning from sin; it brings forth fruits meet for repentance. It implies, further, a purpose of righteousness; it is such a trust in Christ as embraces him in all his offices, and by a strong figure may be said to identify the believer with Christ. Christ is the vine; he, by faith, becomes a branch engrafted in the vine. In a word, Faith is the act of appropriating the blessings and benefits of atonement. Faith is the volitionating act by which roan takes possession of the benefits proffered .
Dr. Miner Raymond
2. "A past tense faith which is not now operative is also classified as dead useless .faith. Faith is always in the present tense."
Paul R. Mutlock
A Thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of
the requirements for the degree of M.A. of Religion
3. "Had he said, 'He that shall believe the next hour is now accepted,' he would have bestowed upon precept unbelief the blessing that is promised to present belief. Had he said,'He that believed a year ago is now accepted of God.' He would have opened the Kingdom of heaven to apostates, contrary to St. Paul's declarations to Hebrew. He therefore very properly says, 'He that NOW believes; for it is written He that believeth, ' (not he that shall believe or he that did believe), 'hath everlasting life."'
Works of Fletcher
Vol. 2 Rev. John Fletcher
B. The Operation of Saving Faith
1. Saving faith is based on revealed truth.
a. The Apostle tells that the Gospel "is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth;" Rom. 1 :16
b. Men are chosen t6 eternal life "Through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth." II Thess. 2:13
c. Salvation comes by "HEARING." Rom. 10:14-17
d. Revealed truth plays an important role in saving faith.
1). John 17:20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
2). John 20:30-31 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
3). John 4:50. Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way.
e. "It is worthy of remark," says Dr. Wakefeild, "that while the scriptures propose to us truths to be believed, they also offord the evidence on which rational faith may be founded.''
1). John 10:37-38 (believe the work)
2). Heb. 2:2,3 (with signs and wonders with diver miracles)
3). II Pet. 1:16-17 (came such a voice... This is my beloved Son)
f. Conclusion: The scriptures, therefore, establishes a two fold truth. First, in God's grace and providence we are required to believe. Second we are to believe the evidence which constitutes a rational foundation for our faith.
2. Saving faith is something more than a mere intellectual assent to Divine truth.
a. It is not denied that the fallen angels believe in the existence and true character of God Almighty.
1). Mark 2:7 Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?
2). Luke 4:34 And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power.
3). James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
b. Therefore, our justificaition does not necessarily follow a mere intellectual assent to Divine truth.
c. Man and devils may believe in Christ, and Divine truth, and still be eternally lost.
1). John 12:42-43 (chief rulers)
2). Acts 8:21,23 (Magus was baptized and believed)
3). Acts 26:27 (King Agrippa)
"Many touch Jesus who are not healed by him; the reason is, they so it not by faith, though a sense of their wants, and a conviction of his ability and willingness to save them. Faith conveys the virtue of Christian to the soul, and spiritual health is the immediate consequence of this received virtue without faith Jesus does nothing to mem's souls now, no more than he did to their bodies in the days of his flesh."
Dr. Adam Clarke
3. Saving faith implies full and hearty consent of the will to the Gospel plan of salvation.
a. "We are everywhere addressed in the word of God as voluntary agents."
Christian Theology . Dr. Samuel Wakefeild
1). Matt. 16 :24 (let him deny himself)
2). Acts 9:37 (the eunuch desired to be baptized)
3). Rom. 10:10 (man believes with his heart)
b. Conclusion: Faith implies the enlistment of t the whole heart, will, and affections, in the plan of salvation.
4. Saving faith also implies unshaken trust in Godpast, present, or the future.
a. Faith is uniting a noble confidence in the word and promises of God with an assent to the truth of his revelation.
1). Psa. 22:4 Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.
2). Heb. 11:8-19 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. 9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: 10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. 11 Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. 13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. 15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. 16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. 17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: 19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure
3). Job 13:15 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.
4). Psa.. 112:7 He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD.
5). Matt 8:10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in
6). Matt. 12:21 And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.
7). I Tim. 4:10 For therefore we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, specially of those that believe.
b. Conclusion: It is by trusting the humble penitent throws himself upon the' mercy of God, through Christ, and lays claim to the blessings of pardon. By Faith the Christian wars a good warfare, overcomes Satan and the world, and gains everlasting fire.
"The formal notion of all Faith and that which makes it the appropriate condition of salvation, is personal trust in a Person. Its efficient cause i s the operation of the Spirit on the human faculties; its instrumental cause is the revelation of the truth concerning the Savior; and its formal cause, which makes it what it is, is trust in the Person of that Savior."
Dr. William Burt Pope
Compendium of Christian Theology
C. General conclusion to Saving Faith.
1. "The whole of our salvation past, present, and future, is dependent upon Faith. Our acceptance of Christ (John 1:12); our justification (Rom. 5:1); our adoption (Gal. 3:26); our sanctification (Acts 26:28); our keeping (I Peter 1:5), indeed our whole salvation from start to finish is dependent upon faith."
Dr. William Evans
Great Doctrines of the Bible
2. "Believe it, sinners; God will not take you from the dung hill of sin, and covered with Satan's leprosy, to place you by Him on his throne. The holy land shall not be filled with filth and rottenness; and in heavenly canaan there are no nest for serpents and vipers;..."
Rev. John Fletcher
Works of Fletcher
3. "NOW FAITH IS THE SUBSTANCE OF THINGS HOPED FOR, THE EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN." Heb. 11:11