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What is Faith? (Part 2 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
September 28, 2020 4:00 am

What is Faith? (Part 2 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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September 28, 2020 4:00 am

Placing our faith in God doesn’t mean that we resign ourselves to wishful thinking. Hebrews 11 teaches that faith requires trust that begins with acknowledging and accepting God’s truth. Hear more on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.


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The Bible teaches that faith is not something we feel Faith is placing our confidence in what God says is true. Hebrews 11 verse one says faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen today on Truth for Life. Alistair Begg resumes, a study was started Friday.

He continues to answer the important question what is faith believing faith is not a fluctuating notions of a certain kind of subjective and I mentioned within the spirit of a man or woman, but it is that which is. And I engender Dennis as a result of a consideration of what is before us and Sam were examined and I look at this.

I am concluding that it takes more faith to believe in nothing that it takes to believe in a creator God. But you see in our foolishness, and in our rebellion and in our selfishness and in our unwillingness to allow anyone else to take charge of my life. We do not choose to believe in such a God, because such a God will have every right to call me into conformity with his commandments.

And so rather than have to face that I have broken his commands and I must say sorry for that and that I must accept his forgiveness for that I am not coming to say sorry.

I would rather go on my own way and when people ask me about faith, SAS, IFA, I have optimism I have credulity but it's not biblical faith. The best they have found and is not brilliant is to think of faith in this way as a title deed to a piece of property to a title deed to a piece of property. Let's imagine that you and I bought bought an island on the West Coast of Scotland, sight unseen, and that we did the transaction in a lawyer's office somewhere in E. 9th St. and we sat down with the seller and with a lawyer in ourselves and we drew up the contract for sale. We determine how large it was and what it had on it and what it would be and when we could take at ownership of it and so on. And then we signed up and Chicago title Realty L. I would imagine the stretch that far, but some title company said okay and I will put this all done will give it to you with a big stamp on the front and will notarize it and you can carry it around in your pocket when you're going up E. 9th St. and somebody says you hey what's been happening to you recently say I own an island in Scotland. All you you been there no was it like why I succeed while you know you've got all I've got to tell me why. Well here is my title deed says here's my island and here's my thing while you pretty confident yet what are you basing your confidence that there's actually an island there and the guy who sold it to me as trustworthy. We understand that I'm going to go to heaven, you are ever seen.

No title deed in my pocket.

I carry with me on Friday I carry have foolish military men say prolific and caring.

Hopefully my fully but sometimes I carry no secret of it pretty confidently. I was telling the truth.

You know what I'm absolutely certain he was telling the truth is not credulity is not wishful thinking what and what is while the one who signed the title deed is infallible, therefore he can be trusted completely. He's absolutely faithful.

He never quits on his promises. He is all-powerful, so nothing can frustrate the purposes and when we go through Hebrews 11. As we will will discover that in the 11th chapter.

All of these life's lived in faith when like this the hair, the word of God. They hear the story of God, they trusted the promise of God and then they live in the light of the promise they had the story just to the promise and then live their lives.

Here's the story I want to flood the world. Okay, here's the promise is you build an ark. The people run into. It will be safe.

Okay okay build the ark. She some numbers are are have okayed the first two, but we never build the ark. Some of the city. I understand the story actually hear the promise and I think I believe it but we never do. The final step and that's why when we asked the question, are you a man or woman of faith.

The answer has to be no I'm not. I'm sorry I'm not and what I want to say to you this morning is you have to walk out of the building.

This building in the same position today, you can any decisive act makes certain that you are a man or woman of what's involved in that faith.

Let me tell you. First of all knowledge.

Knowledge. Faith is dependent upon what can be known about God and fortified. The New Testament says that faith involves us in coming to know God himself in John chapter 17 Jesus as he is about to pray to his father says in verse three of John 17 now this is eternal life, that they may know you the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. How can you know God well were told how we can know God in the prologue to John's Gospel of John, chapter 118 no one has ever seen God is will people say if you show me God then I might be prepared to listen.

But you can show me God.*God is showing himself how really shown himself in creation. He shown himself in the Bible and he shown himself in Jesus.

Verse 18 no one is ever seen God, but God the one and only, and is the son who is at the father's side, has made him known so that we boys printing.

I use this illustration all the time spending on the floor all the kids are painting on their on their canvas on the floor on the sheet of paper on the floor. The teacher comes rises. What's that Mary says is a house what's that. Oh it's my family at a picnic. What is that she says to little Edward ever says it is a picture of God, now's as a teacher. We do not know what God looks like twitch and replies come back when I finished, you have a better idea of the actual fact of the matter is that Jesus is the exegesis of God is the word that is actually used here when somebody says why when I know God. How would God make himself known so that I could know him.

The answer is in the person of his son the Lord Jesus Christ. That's why it is so important to consider the claims of Jesus made because it is in knowing him that we know God and it is this knowledge of God which gives the basis for our certainty. When you travel as you do now so you do this multiple times a week, so you know the stuff of my heart. Good morning Mr. Vega, do you have a form of identification.

Yes, I do have your bags been in your possession at all time is the name Ashley to carry anything for them though they flat out did not know if he had ever said no because I don't want to carry my own bags and so on and goes by, the issue is. Did anybody that you don't know get access to your stuff because you don't one on trustworthy people getting all things. You're not simply going to entrust into the care of another that which is precious and important to you absolutely right. You're not so you're not about to entrust your life into the care of someone who is untrustworthy right so you have to use your mind as you read God's word to ask the question is what God has made known of himself, father, son and Holy Spirit, such that I made with confidence on the knowledge that I have moved forward from here you see all of us trust people all the time every day you get on the bus it says on the front that is going to do whatever it's going and you get on in confidence than fellows driving it exactly planning on taking where it says on the site but there is of course a possibility that he been out on a bender the night before IN a clue where he was when he pulled the bus up to your stop here know what the sign said he was heading for anywhere south of Mansfield, and all you wanted to do was go up Euclid Avenue to be a problem. Why would you could sit on the bus and say I feel very strongly that I'm going up Euclid Avenue. Why do I have confidence that I'm going up Euclid Avenue is the guy drives you is far from Euclid Avenue as is humanly possible.

What good was your faith, your faith is absolutely useless because it wasn't grounded in the knowledge and the certainty and the conviction of the rightness of what wise you sit down on the hairdressers chair. You had the magazine and you looked at it you into the magazine you love yourself, you will begin the magazine you look to the hairdressers at now giving you can make me look like that yes I can do that you been there. Then when it's all finished in the they finally spin you around.

I'm sure they try make you dizzy and that point is when you all around you look back in the thing you look at her. You look at that as you go. Okay, nice try.

Let's go you and the bank to give the money the sale, put it in here about your account to get your county assume that obedient account of snotty account why not as a person is trustworthy, but most of the time they are and John says in first John five. If we are prepared to accept human testimony, God's own testimony concerning his own son is surely infinitely more valuable. In other words, if we are prepared to trust relatively on trustworthy people at significant points in our life at the bank on the boss crossing a bridge undergoing heart surgery.

When we trust God kind of proud. Arrogance is this that I would trust my bank manager. I wouldn't trust God who has revealed himself in the person of his son, that I would trust the bus driver on Euclid Avenue, but I would refuse to trust in Jesus Christ like that to medical students who dissected a dead body looking for life and found that it wasn't there. We silly now.

The second aspect, and I moved to this very quickly is that knowledge has to be followed by a sense that is a noun, ESS ENT, I want some schoolboy writing down in get faith or assent. Stranger things have happened. Once we recognize that certain things are true and are to be believed, then it involves our giving mental assent to the biblical faith is more than simply giving assent, but it is never less than giving assent. You see we talk about individuals who inspire or command confidence. Someone who is so trustworthy that we be compelled to trust them, even against our will. You sometimes listen to people. My grandfather used to tell me stories about the first world war and used to talk about being the front line of the trenches and friends and used to talk about all kinds of stories till he wouldn't talk anymore until he began to weep and couldn't see anymore but I would ask him grandpa. Why would you why would you run over there like that say well we had a Capt. Capt. Tristan anywhere said were going were going everything inside me said I'm not going but he compelled my belief, he compelled confidence in men and women this morning.

If you will read the Bible and consider the claims of Jesus Christ, you will discover in Christ someone who come hello's belief even against your will.

Everything inside he is and I don't want to believe this stuff my life taken over.

I don't want somebody in charge of me.

I understand that but when you come and lay your life open for Christ. And when you see them on the cross and you understand that then he bore your sin in all your rebellion and all of your emptiness and lawlessness and brokenness. He will compel belief in you and knowledge will be followed by assent to see true faith takes its character and its quality from its object and not from itself. The last thing I want you to know is that genuine faith, the faith that assured of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see involves not only knowledge and not only assent but it involves trust. Trust C simply intellectual assent cannot be equated with genuine faith.

James makes that clear in James 219 and he lets us know that the devil and the demons are not atheists. They have an Orthodox view of God. So if an Orthodox view of who God is and who Jesus is, is equal to saving faith to biblical faith, then we must logically conclude that the devil and the demons have saving faith.

We know that isn't true. Why is it not because the simple intellectual awareness of fact does not equate with faith. There has to be the transfer from the knowledge to the assent to the trust. You see the summons to trust Christ is there and all of his invitations. He says come to me all you are heavy laden, and I will give you rest your life so messed up you're carrying around shopping bags full of disgruntlement and disenchantment in all kinds of things in your life. He says come to me and I'll to go shopping bags for you. I'll take all that rubbish. He says if you would take my yoke upon you and other words if you would bow down underneath my commands and you would let me run your life if you would take my yoke upon you and you and learn from me all the things I've told you in here that you would find rest for your souls and you would discover that I'm lonely and I'm gentle I'm humble in heart, and I'll take care of your life, what is that sound like sadly action does not sound like action, take learn rest. They are all verbs there action words, we know that from English in school. You see, faith is not some passive resignation is not some little compartment in my life or by a sick or yes I have faith I keep it in a jar on my dresser and bring it out when I needed no no no no New Testament faith is knowledge assent to the knowledge and trust on the basis of the knowledge to which I have given assent, let me finish with her with an illustration I use all the time. Getting married, getting married, there are a number of stages in getting married.

If you do it properly. This stage I involves putting together knowledge.

Knowledge of the individual you out for dinner on the part listen to them talk you observe them with their children. You will live with her there hopefully know their children, but with their with their brothers and their sisters and so on over there will be something fences which that would the case and in the gaining of knowledge you're asking yourself the question, is this an individual with whom I could spend my life could I make a commitment to this individual with a commit to me as stage I stage to calm somewhere in a nice evening somewhere where in the year at the Cleveland Indians game and all of a sudden flashes up on the scoreboard. Karen will you marry me Fred you see yourself who is it I'm with tonight all Fred and out of his pocket, he produces a ring and he says you know what, on the basis of the knowledge that I've gained of you. I am prepared to make a commitment on the strength of that knowledge I have.

I have made in assent to it. I concur with everything I know, and so much so that on such and such a day in such and such a place at such and such a time in the afternoon I want to move beyond mere knowledge and assent to trust. I want to trust you. I wanted trust my life to you. I want to give myself to you.

I want to know you had the most deep level possible. How you come to faith in Jesus Christ. Stage I knowledge, who is this Jesus what he do when did he come. How did he live.

Is he a life seen involves your mind involves thinking someone was having come to faith because we don't think we want and experience to reach down and grab us and we cares off our feet and take her somewhere.

That's why these people are wandering on all these crazy meetings that you see on another just TV there waiting for something to happen to them. When will it happen it's not like that Saul of Tarsus. Remember, hated Christians didn't believe that Jesus was alive had a conversation with Jesus that created knowledge.

Knowledge created assent send gave way to trust a was changed, but let me ask you a question with which I began. Are you a man or woman of faith is a difference between mathematical knowledge have base times height is what area of a triangle, experimental knowledge, dropping apples from the tree long enough today that looks to me like the law of gravity) and experiential knowledge. The New Testament biblical faith has every dimension to in a communist textbook under the word kiss. They defined it as follows the approach of two pairs of lips with reciprocal transmission of microbes and carbon dioxide sounds like it was written by a communist dozen sounds like it was written by someone and never kissed never kissed the Lord Jesus in a common laid hold of him said, Lord Jesus, I love you. I know you are mine for you all the follies of sin I reason my gracious Redeemer, my Savior, if ever I loved you my Jesus. It's now that is the faith which allowed Moses to get his butt kicked every which way from Sunday and stay true, not foolish optimism, not credulity, not pumping himself on he saw Jesus be in the regard affliction with the people of God. A more significant option than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. That's biblical faith.

Are you a man, a woman of faith with that question lingering in our minds.

Please keep listening.

There's more from Alastair big coming in just a minute Alastair is titled today's message what is faith and this is Truth for Life or series fix our eyes on Jesus ends Wednesday if you'd like to purchase the complete three volume study in Hebrews on CD or USB or if you'd like to Dumbo the audio files for free. Visit Truth for you can also listen to the series by searching the title on the Truth for Life mobile app on today's program you heard Alastair teach about the progression of faith.

Faith begins with knowledge minute moves to personal assent. Finally, it requires trusting in the one who saves us from our sin.

These steps all lead to an intimate relationship with Jesus kind of relationship he longs for us to have with him. Pastor Ed Welch has written a book that ties in naturally with this study on Hebrews. The book is called created to draw near. This is a book we carefully chose because it explains how God planned to have a close relationship with us from the very beginning of creation, request your copy of created to draw near it comes to you with our thanks when you give a one time donation today the Truth for or you can call 888-588-7884. This book offer will and Wednesday, so get in touch with us right away again. Call 888-588-7884 or go to Truth for as we wrap up today's program. Alastair big is asking every listener to consider. Are you a man or woman of faith.

I believe there is some this morning who are hearing church and your Orthodox and what you believe you have a knowledge of God, you do not deny his existence, and you have a knowledge of Jesus at Christmas time. You acknowledge that he came to be the Savior, but you don't have an assurance of what you hope for your not certain of what you don't see I want to tell you why not, because although your knowledge has given way to assent your assent has never given way to personal trust in what Christ has done upon the cross in your own words and from your own heart. Speaking is aware to God in the silence of your own being.

You can tell him that you do know that you are a sinner. You do understand Christ to be the Savior that you just acknowledge, you need that you do recognize that faith is action is life-changing.

Never be the same again. But you do want to be laid hold off by his embrace gathered up card into him, as it were, so that you might be not simply an observer in the hall of faith, but that I will however small, your portrait however short the years on the nameplate that your name might appear there. But remember this faith is both a decisive act and a sustained teacher. God grant us faith may grace and mercy and peace from father, son and Holy Spirit, the triune God rest upon and remain with each one who believes today and forever more.

Today's remaining in our series called fix our eyes on Jesus, we invite you to join us again Tuesday and Wednesday for an important study about the perseverance of the saints. I'm Bob Lapine, the Bible teaching of Alastair big is furnished by Truth for Life for the Learning is for Living

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