THE LAW OF FAITH
"Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law" (Romans 3:27-28, NASB)."
Devotion 5 of 30
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE WORD "FAITH"
The word "faith," as used in our text, is a principle, or key, word in Scripture. It is translated from a word meaning "confidence, trust, or reliance." It is used in the precise form of our text (Greek "pisteos") no less than ninety-four (94) times from Acts 6:5 through 1 Peter 1:9. The following are representatives of those uses.
01. Stephen and Barnabas were men "full of faith" (Acts 6:5).
02. God opened "the door of faith" to the Gentiles (Acts 14:27).
03. True obedience "comes from faith" (Rom 1:5, NIV).
04. The justified person lives "by faith" (Rom 1:17).
05. The righteousness of God comes "through faith" (Rom 3:22).
06. God has presented Christ as the Propitiation for sin through "faith in His blood" (Rom 3:25).
07. We are "justified by faith," thereby experiencing peace with God (Rom 5:1).
08. The saved "walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Cor 5:7).
09. Christ dwells in our hearts "by faith" (Eph 3:17).
10. Jesus is the "Author and Finisher of our faith" (Heb 12:2).
11. Salvation is "through faith which is in Christ Jesus" (2 Tim 3:15).
12. Those possessing faith "obtain a good report" before God. (Heb 11:39)
13. The declared objective of faith is "the salvation of your souls" (1 Pet 1:7).
As you can see, faith is a distinguishing quality that takes hold on Divine provision, resulting in favor with God and a triumphant life.
Concerning frequency of use, and by way of comparison, the word "baptize," in all of its varied forms (baptize, baptized, baptism, baptizing, Baptist, washings, etc. (27 different Greek forms) is used 92 times from Matthew through Revelation. Those uses include reference to being baptized in the Spirit and in suffering, as well as in water. Some uses in the book of Hebrews refer to ceremonial washings accomplished under the law.
I want to emphasize that we are dealing with a single form of the word "faith" ("pisteos"). For your information, there are no less than fifty-nine other forms of this word used from Matthew through Revelation. They include "faithful, faithless, believe, believing, etc. Those fifty-nine other forms of the word are used 380 times in the New Testament Scriptures. When we speak of faith, we are dealing with a pivotal subject. It is not tangential, incidental, or merely academic!
Not Mere Academic Observations
These things are not to be perceived as academic observations! They are declaring the THRUST of God's message! When we speak of "faith," we are at the heart of human involvement! Here is where our emphasis MUST be!
It is not possible to have a proper understanding of God, Christ, salvation, or Scripture without having a working knowledge of the word "faith." It is something that is received and possessed, not achieved! It is what distinguished Abel, Noah, Enoch, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and Moses (Heb 11:4,5,7,8,20,21,22,23). It is pointedly declared that 'faith" is the "victory that overcomes the world" (1 John 5:4-5). It is the cause of justification (Rom 5:1), sanctification (Acts 26:18), spiritual stability (2 Cor 1:24), spiritual life (Gal 3:11), and becoming children of God (Gal 3:26). When, therefore, we read of "the law of faith," we are dealing with something of greatest relevance.
PRAYER POINT: Father, through Jesus Christ, grant me to see faith as You do, and to live in its power and effectiveness.
-- Tomorrow: THE USE OF THE WORD "FAITH" --