Are We Living by Faith? (And Why That’s Important)

 

Living by Faith

Faith means trusting all that God promises to do for us in Christ.

And since we are called to live by faith, this means everything we do should involve conscious trust in God’s promises.

This is important, because, “without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6), and because, “whatever is not from faith is sin” (Romans 14:23).

But Why?

Why is anything that’s not from faith sinful and displeasing to God?

What helps one to understand this is to see that we are always trusting something to satisfy us — either God as revealed in Jesus, or something else.

So if we are not trusting God to satisfy us, then we are trusting something else to satisfy us – which is idolatry.

Not only that, only God operates on the basis of mercy, which means we can’t manipulate, obligate, or earn anything from him. All we can do is humbly trust him to give us what we need.

But anything else we trust operates on the basis of merit, which means we see ourselves as earning or deserving what we need — which is pride.

Are We Living by Faith?

So how can we tell if we are living by faith?

It’s not –

  • Because we believe Jesus died to pay for our sin (faith is not just agreeing with what the Bible teaches).
  • Because we are not lying or cheating or stealing (the Pharisees didn’t, either).
  • Because this morning we read the Bible (that’s good; but what is my heart doing now?).
  • Because we are doing what God wants us to do (faith is not just what we are doing, but what we are trusting).

So how can we tell? It’s because right now we are —

  • Consciously relying on Christ’s shed blood and perfect righteousness as the only reason God can fulfill his promises to us.
  • Decisively turning our hearts from whatever else we might trust to satisfy us, and trusting Christ alone to satisfy us in himself.
  • Intentionally relying on Christ to strengthen, guide, help, and provide everything we need to have the greatest joy in him now and forever.

What This Shows

This shows how often we are not living by faith in Christ, which means that at those moments we are proudly, self-reliantly, and sinfully living by faith in something else.  Ouch.

So here’s what we should do to grow in living by faith —

  • Trusting Christ’s death to cover all those times that we did not live by faith, which assures me of God’s love and help.
  • Asking God to crush our prideful self-reliance, and increase our humble faith in him.
  • Praying over verses showing that we can do nothing (John 15: 4; 1 Corinthians 4:8; 15:10).
  • We are praying over verses showing the sin of not living by faith in Christ (Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 14:23; Hebrews 11:6)
  • Regularly checking our heart, to see when we are and are not consciously trusting Christ.
  • When we are not, confess this as sin, and intentionally turn our heart back to Christ.
  • When we are, thank him that his grace is changing us, and we seek to keep our heart set on trusting him.
 
 
Scripture for Today:  I Samuel 12:24
Verse for Today:  “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”  Hebrews 11:1