Faith is the conviction that something is true which changes how a person thinks and behaves. Many today think of faith as a subjective belief that a person holds, which may or may not bear any relation to reality. This kind of faith is little more than a strong opinion. An example of this kind of faith would be the statement, “I believe the Illuminati rule the world.” Or, “I believe the Broncos are going to win the Super Bowl.”
The Bible presents faith as a believing response to Divine claims. Faith is the conviction of the truth of those things which are objectively true. This kind of faith does not make what is believed in to become more real. This kind of faith accepts Biblical reality as fact. This is why Romans 10 says, “Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” Biblical faith is not a response to internal feelings. Faith is not a vision, a dream or a bold venture. Faith is acceptance of and submission to God’s Word. Faith is the conviction of the truth of God’s Word which leads the person to obedience.
Saving faith is the conviction of the truths of the Bible about sin and the inability of a man to save himself. Saving faith is the conviction that Jesus is God who died for sin, was restored to life and was taken bodily to heaven where He lives and reigns. Saving faith is the conviction that Jesus did everything necessary for your own salvation. Saving faith believes the truths of the Bible and it responds to those truths in the manner the Bible instructs people to respond. Faith does not only agree with Biblical truth. Faith believes those truths and applies the truths to the person’s life.
Saving faith believes and seeks God for salvation. Saving faith obeys God by calling out to Jesus for forgiveness. Saving faith obeys God by repenting of false worship and self-righteousness. Saving faith obeys God by relying on only Jesus for salvation, without adding any personal effort or merit. Faith believes God and that belief changes a person’s thinking and action so the believing one trusts Jesus and calls out to Him for salvation.
Faith does not end at salvation. The Christian must also live by faith. The faith of the Christian is a faith that believes and obeys God’s Word. Abel believed God’s commands about sacrifices and obeyed His instructions on how to properly sacrifice. Noah believed God’s warning about a coming flood that would destroy the world and he obeyed His instructions to build an ark. Abraham believed God’s promises to richly bless him and to make his family great. Abraham obeyed God’s command to leave his family behind and go on a journey to a destination he had not yet been told. Moses believed God would deliver the Israelites and he obeyed God’s instructions to lead the Israelites out of the land of Egypt.
Faith is believing the truth of God’s Word so fully that you completely obey God’s Word. Thus, those who are saved by faith (the just) are also those who will live in obedience to God’s commands (live by faith). Faith is not about stepping out to do something difficult. Faith is not imagining there is a presence with you when you are scared and alone. Faith is not accepting the unreal as real. Faith is submission to the Bible. Faith submits the mind to the claims of the Bible. Faith submits the life to the commands of the Bible. The Christian lives by faith by believing God and being obedient to His commands.