QUESTION: Why Do You Have Faith?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Dr Mixer GED, Jun 8, 2011.

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  1. Dr Mixer GED

    Dr Mixer GED
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    I want to just start off that this is not meant to be a Calvinism/Arminianism debate. I am not asking if God gave you the faith. What I am asking is why do you have the faith you have? Is it something you just know to be true? Is it because your life has changed since receiving Christ? Do you have faith due more to the logic behind the gospel accounts? I got to thinking the other day about faith, and why I believe Jesus Christ is God and why I know He is surely the Way, Truth and Life. To me, it is just a truth I cannot deny. I feel insecure sometimes because logic (or at least the "logic" of the world) creeps in and says prove it! I guess part of it is the difficulty of feeling close to the real physical Jesus, visualizing Paul preaching to the Gentiles. I guess this is why Jesus said that those who have not seen but yet believe are truly blessed. Anyhow, back to the question. What do you think is the reason behind the faith you have? I hope this post makes sense. Thanks in advance for the replies.
     
  2. Skandelon

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    This is an answer from experience and not meant to serve as a theological declaration, so no nit-picking please.

    For me, faith came at the point in my life when I said, "God, despite my doubts, fears, uncertainties and sin I will serve you the rest of my life." For so long I wanted God to "show me himself" or "prove Himself to me" so then I could really believe and follow, but I had to learn that in a way, faith without doubt is dead. Faith requires "not seeing." I had to learn what God meant when he said, "Trust me and I will show you great and mighty things which thou knowest not." I wanted him to show me first, but He requires I trust him completely in order for me to begin to see glimpses of Him. It is in trusting and obeying that He reveals himself and that faith grows.

    One of the best pictures I've seen of faith is in that scene in Indiana Jones where he has to step out on that invisible bridge in order to get to the holy grail. It wasn't until he stepped that he saw, yet so often we want to see in order to step. It doesn't work that way. You have to give up your life, completely abandon it all, and then He will show himself to you.

    We know that faith leads to works, but in many ways works (obedience) actually leads to faith. It's that first step of faith that is the hardest to take. It's getting out of the boat that is so very difficult, but once you've stepped out you will never again be satisfied staying in the boat.
     
  3. Dr Mixer GED

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    Thank you

    Trust me, no nit picking from me. I just want some honest answers. I appreciate your truthfulness regarding doubt. The last few days have been rough on me regarding doubt. But I just put it all in God's hands and keep on serving Him. What else can I do? Please others, your input is appreciated.
     
  4. Winman

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    Faith can be hard to explain, but it is easy to observe. Think right now of the person you most trust in this world and ask yourself why you trust them. I think two basic reasons come to mind, that person is honest with you. It is difficult to trust someone who has not shown themselves honest with you. Second would be that person loves you. You know that person truly cares about you.

    Now think of the person you trust least. Isn't it because they have shown themselves dishonest, but also demonstrated selfishness and lack of love and concern for others?

    As for your bout of doubt, I think most of us have gone through that. Doubt comes from looking at self and not Jesus. If I asked you if you doubted your wife or parents, what would you say? Most would say, Of course not! Did you ask yourself if you had faith in them? NO. You did not even think of yourself when I asked that did you? Don't ask yourself if you doubt, ask whether you can trust Jesus. Can Jesus be trusted? Will he fail you? Does he lie? Does he love you?

    Think of Jesus, not yourself, and your doubts will disappear.
     
    #4 Winman, Jun 8, 2011
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  5. Winman

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    I hope you don't mind if I write a little more. I had a serious period of doubt in my life and know how tormenting it can be. I came out of it and learned a lot, and so hope I can help others, this is a very common problem. It comes from a wrong concept of what faith is. People often mistakingly believe faith is this continuous confidence. Folks try to work up faith, but then doubt. This troubles you, so you try even harder to work up faith. But being human, you doubt and become more troubled. It is a vicious cycle and can become a real problem.

    Faith is not looking at or examining ourselves. It is looking away from ourselves and simply looking at the other person. If I asked whether you trust your mother, what would you say? Could anybody shake this faith? NO! You trust your mother because you KNOW she loves you and would never intentionally hurt you.

    You don't get all stressed out asking yourself if you REALLY trust your mother do you? NO.

    But folks tend to look inward when asked about Christ. Do I trust him? Do I REALLY believe in him? And knowing our own failures and weakness we doubt.

    Look at Jesus like you look at your mother. Can he be trusted? ABSOLUTELY!

    I hope this has helped. We will always fail, we will doubt. Look only at Jesus, FORGET ABOUT YOURSELF. Jesus will never fail you, and he loves you even more than your mother.

    Hope this helped.
     
  6. canadyjd

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    The indwelling Holy Spirit of God convicts me of the truth of who Jesus is and what He has done.

    So, to directly answer your question... God is the reason behind the faith that I have.

    I trust His Word, with its focus on the person of Jesus Christ, to be the true revelation of Himself to His creation.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  7. Cypress

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    Doc, first off a hearty amen to the testimony of the others who have already replied. Now, on to faith. The object of our faith is the risen Lord Jesus. He is the solid rock. Any other focus subjects us to the logic of the world as you mentioned. There is nothing, repeat, nothing that fills the longing of the human heart for eternity and love than Jesus. Something that has helped me in times of doubt has been to look to others of the faith that finished life still pointing others to God. I pray that you and I finish the same way.Jesus did:praying:!
     
  8. Tom Butler

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    I identify with Skandelon andWinman on faith, doubt, etc.

    I haven't doubted for a long time, but I did undergo a radical re-evaluation of Baptist doctrine and practice about 14 years ago. That re-examination of what I held dear survived a rather rigorous testing, although I did jettison some stuff in the process. The result was a strengthened faith.

    Since then, I have dumped my entire eternal future into one basket. If I'm wrong, I'm a dead man. I have no place else to go.
     
  9. Dr Mixer GED

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    Thank you all. Tom, I like the last line. I read something similar online saying:

    I am trusting Jesus to take me to Heaven. If He can't take me to Heaven then I'm not going. I don't have a plan B.

    Amen
     
  10. psalms109:31

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    I have faith because there is nothing else good in me. All I have is what God has given through the word about Jesus and Jesus word. God continues to add to my faith daily, to doubt it is to doubt my life. My desire is that all have it, it's free what a gift?
     
  11. Allan

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    I have to give a hearty AMEN here brother, especially on the last line. That is me 100% and that is where I leave it.

    I used to get my pastors rather frustrated because when I was saved at 17, I asked many hard questions.. and most of them couldn't give me an answer others just said 'read such-and-such book'. However when in Christian college some things happened that lead me into a deeper understanding of many things cause I had to know for sure what some things were and if others were true. One of them was - what is faith?

    I came to understand that from a biblical perspective faith is not some nebulous thing out there (or in us) we are reaching for and hoping we can grab hold of. It is sure and we can know we stand in, walk by, or live through faith every second of every moment.

    It is that which you know is truth, but are waiting for it to be made manifest and thus before others, and so sure of it you are.. there is no other reality. We know it is truth because God has proven Himself to be true and thus when we grasp His truth we can be sure of it, and wait upon the Lord.

    I use this example in describing it when I teach on faith.
    A 9 year old child is sitting waiting on his father after soccer practice. 10 minutes after practice while getting the gear together the coach asks if he would like a ride home. "No thanks, my father said he would be here" the child states happily. 10 minutes later, the coach is getting a bit worried and asks again.. "Are you sure, it is getting late. Maybe something came up". "No thanks, my father said he would pick me up", and then as the child was speaking a car comes around the corner. "See, I told you" says the child smiling.

    At that moment, the child's faith becomes manifest to the coach and the coach knows the child's father keeps his word.. and thus the child has no fear regarding that truth. The fathers faithfulness has been proven or established through the child's faith in him.

    For me, that is key and the very reason I have faith. God has proven His truths to me.. that I am a sinner in need of saving because I can do nothing, offer nothing to appease God for my sins. He proved that He is Holy and Righteous and that all things must one day stand before Him at Judgment. He proved to me that Christ did indeed die for sins and that He was worthy to save a retch like me not because of how good I am or could be, but because He loved me and proved it through His death for me. He proved Himself as the old hymn states "O'er and O'er" (over and over).

    And as JD stated.. all of this by the Holy Spirit.. who was sent into the world to convict the world of Sin, Righteousness, the Judgment to come.. and for those of faith whereby He comes to indwell us.. leading us into all truth that we might henceforth live by faith (His truths we have believed).

    I have said it many times.. if you claim to believe something but do not live according to that belief, it is NOT faith but an opinion!
     
    #11 Allan, Jun 8, 2011
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  12. convicted1

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    First and foremost, I have faith because God gave it to me. :thumbs:

    Secondly, I have faith, because when I read His Word, I see all that He did in fulfilling the scriptures of the OT. And when I read the NT, I see that it is fulfilling in "rapid fire" succesion. So to see a history book unfolding in front of me, gives me faith to realize that I need Him more than my next breath.
     
  13. Luke2427

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    In spite of your request I have to say that this is problematic.

    "Faith came when I..." (followed by any action verb that is linked to the subject "I") is a problem.

    Faith is a gift of God. It comes by the word of God which God enables us to hear.

    When I came to Christ I had not yet read any of Lee Strobel's books.

    I could not make a great case for God's existence.

    But I believed.

    I believed because God gave me faith to believe.

    Since then I have sought to test my beliefs and found them steadfast- but not when I was first saved.

    Yet, though I could not prove that Jesus was God who saved me- I would have died for that fact.


    Listen- it is either logic, emotional and therefore TOTALLY unreliable- or it is God who gives faith.
     
    #13 Luke2427, Jun 9, 2011
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  14. Luke2427

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    I am so thrilled to hear you say that.

    Now, why did he NOT give it to others?

    Answer that correctly and you will have made the best move of your theological life.
     
  15. quantumfaith

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    :thumbs::thumbs::thumbs:
     
  16. psalms109:31

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    Man

    If I did listen to what men had to say about the truth and their interjection and how they see it. I wouldn't have faith today. I praise God I trusted in Jesus and let His word guide me to the truth that is found in others not the other way around. If I thought for a second that God lied and does not love the world I wouldn't of came, because that means He didn't love me. I was apart of the world, I wasn't any more special than anyone else that I should of been chosen over others. Trusting in Jesus and His word is the only hope for salvation, not that I have been chosen over others.

    It is a shame that men continue to try to bring doubt in us, don't listen to the schemes of the devil.
     
    #16 psalms109:31, Jun 9, 2011
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  17. Luke2427

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    That doesn't make sense.

    "I praise God I did something."

    If YOU did it then praise yourself.

    If God did it then praise God.

    If you AND God did it then you two share the praise.

    But it makes no sense to say, "I praise God I..."

    Consider the irrationality of such a remark:

    I, John, praise Jack that I, John, went to work today.

    Did John or Jack go to work?

    If John went to work then it is foolish for John to praise Jack that John went to work.

    Now if Jack carried John to work John should say it this way:

    I, John, praise Jack that he carried me to work today. But therein John is not doing anything- he is having something done to him. ONLY when something is being done TO you or FOR you or WITH you can you rightly praise someone besides yourself in such a remark.

    If you ever say, "I praise somebody for something I did" it makes no sense whatsoever.

    You can say, "I praise God that I AM saved." That's fine.

    The AM just states a state of being. Once again you are not the one DOING something. We can then assume that God is the one who saved you.

    But if the subject, "I", is doing the action then it is silly to interject praise for someone else in the scenario- unless you are going to change the "I" to a "we".

    But it makes no rational sense to say, "I praise God that I believed."
     
    #17 Luke2427, Jun 9, 2011
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  18. JesusFan

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    was raised in a family that did not practice going to Church, God anything... Were not anti God, but were secular....

    started to liston to others concerning jesus and the Cross in teenager years at a local Youth Group, but nothing "clicked" at that time...

    Went on to College, and while there the Lord sent 2 Baptists into my life They wer willing to listen to me and answer my questions for a period of about 3 weeks...

    Finally, while back in my dorm room, it all came together and "clicked" felt as though I needed to accept Jesus as my lord and Savious, so knelt on my loft and prayed my version of the "sinners prayer" and that is how/when came to Christ!

    Looking back, really seemed that God himself intervened to grant me the faith needed to get saved, as I was not able to 'croass that bridge" by myself, jusy was not able to put "all pieces together"
     
  19. psalms109:31

    psalms109:31
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    We all need to take responsibity for our actions and praise God for the work of God to bring us to that. To believe to trust is an action from us not God
     
  20. Luke2427

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    Then praise yourself for trusting.

    But it does not make sense to claim you did the trusting and then praise somebody else for something you did.

    It would make better sense for you to say, "I praise myself that I trusted God."

    Or you could say, "I praise God that he gave me faith."

    But to say, "I praise God that I did my part," is silly.
     
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