Scriptures

Complete Study For Becoming A Christian

Introduction

The Bible says that without faith we can’t please God and that the goal of our faith is salvation. God wants us to have living faith so we can grow in our relationship with Him. So what is faith, and how do we receive it and grow in it?

Acts 8 tells the story of the Ethiopian eunuch, a high official under Queen Candace, who was confused by what he was reading in the book of Isaiah. He believed the Bible and strove to follow God’s way, but he didn’t yet understand about Jesus Christ. God sent Philip to explain more of God’s truth to him and to help him take the next steps in his relationship with God.

After reading the Messianic prophecy in Isaiah 53:7-8, the Ethiopian official asked Philip,

‘I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?’ ‘Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. ‘Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, ‘See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?’ “Then Philip said, ‘If you believe with all your heart, you may.’ And he answered and said, ‘I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God’ Acts 8:34-37

The Ethiopian eunuch demonstrated his belief—his faith—in our Saviour Jesus Christ and was ready for the next step in his growing relationship with God.

What Is Faith?

Faith is an essential part of our relationship with God. It is a prerequisite to beginning the conversion process, which is a necessary step on the road to salvation and eternal life.

‘Without faith we can’t please God’ Hebrews 11:6

Essentially because if we don’t believe in Him and believe Him, we won’t really be trying to please Him! In the New Testament, both faith and belief are generally translations of the Greek word pistis. People who live by faith as followers of Jesus Christ are called ‘believers’, Acts 5:14.

‘The main sense of the word ‘faith’ in the NT is that of trust or reliance… [Pistis] bears the sense not of faithfulness alone, but of the reliance and trust that is the basis of man’s faithfulness, i.e., the faithfulness that expresses confidence in the faithfulness of God’ (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, 1982, article, ‘Faith’).

How does the Bible describe faith?

‘Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.’ Hebrews 11:1

Faith goes beyond what we can perceive with our physical senses, so it does not work by the rules of science. Faith allows us to believe that the invisible God can do what is physically impossible. In that sense, faith is built and grows on a spiritual plane, not a physical or scientific one.

But that doesn’t mean observation, science and rational thinking aren’t part of how we come to believe in our miraculous Creator God in the first place. In fact, there is no contradiction or conflict between godly faith and true science. After all, since God is the Creator of everything, science is the study of God’s creation.

Is our belief in God based on a rational foundation?

‘For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.’ Romans 1:20

‘Test all things; hold fast what is good.’ 1 Thessalonians 5:21

God’s way is rational, and He wants us to test it out and prove that it works. But there is more to faith than what we process in our rational brains. There is a spiritual and emotional component that is a gift from God and grows as our relationship with God grows.

Who is the source of faith?

‘For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.’ Ephesians 2:8

As we saw in the last lesson, our relationship with God starts with God.

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Complete Study For Becoming A Christian  

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ."

Romans 10:17

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