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NOTES ON THE DOCTRINE OF FAITH
by Doctor Fred Wittman
INTRODUCTION: What is Faith?
Faith is a misunderstood word! Biblical faith is not simply believing or acknowledging a historical fact or even a Scriptural truth. It is a New Testament word! The pat answer usually given is to quote Hebrews 11:1. But further investigation reveals that this is just the beginning of understanding the true meaning of Scriptural faith.
It is evident that not everyone has faith (2 Thessalonians 3:2). Yet according to the New Testament faith is important!
Why is faith so important?
I. THE IMPORTANCE of FAITH.
Why is faith important? Why is faith necessary? Faith is absolutely necessary for three reasons.
1. Faith is absolutely necessary in order to Rejoice God’s Heart (Hebrews 11:6).
2. Faith is absolutely necessary in order to Receive All The Spiritual Blessings of God;
A. Faith is absolutely necessary in order to Receive Salvation (Eph. 2:8; Jn. 3:16);
B. Faith is absolutely necessary in order to Receive other blessings that follow Salvation:
a. Burdens removed -- Centurion - burdened for his dreadfully sick loyal servant (Mt. 8:10-13);
b. Bonds loosed -- Canaanite woman’s daughter - bound (Mt. 15:28)
c. Blindness reversed -- Bartimaeus - blind (Mk. 10:52);
C. Faith is absolutely necessary in order to Receive All Spiritual Blessings (Eph. 1:3; 13).
3. Faith is absolutely necessary in order to Receive all New Testament virtues:
A. In fact faith is the first virtue (2 Pet. 1:5);
B. Faith is the basis of receiving all virtues (promises) (Heb. 6:12);
C. Faith is the basic truth of the New Testament (Col. 1:4,23; 2:5);
n.b. The Faith of The Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 3:22; Gal. 2:16,20; Heb. 12;2; Rev. 2:13).
II. THE INVOLVEMENT OF FAITH
How can faith be exercised?
1. Faith Involves The Whole Personality
A. There are Five Characteristics of a Personality - (the first three relate to the mind and the last two relate to the Heart):
a. Self-consciousness - sensibility (the mind):
b. Intellect - knowledge - discernment (the mind),
c. Will (self will) - self-determination - decision (the mind),
d. Moral nature - conscience (the heart), and
e. Emotion - affections (the heart).
B. All Five Parts of Personality Are Utilized in Biblical Faith
a. Self-consciousness - you must recognize a need (Mt. 8:10; 15:28; Mk. 10:52). All three illustrations above (I.2.B.) recognized a need.
n.b. Faith is motivated by a need!
b. Intellect - knowledge is necessary (Rom. 10:13-17).
(1) One must know the source of help.
(2) One must have evidence.
n.b. Faith rests upon the best evidence: The Word of God.
(A) Its author: The Holy Spirit of God. It is inspired of God.
(B) It is an authentic record of all God intended for man to know.
c. Will - Assent is necessary - (assent: to admit as true, agreement - hence) - decision (John 4:48; 5:40,43; 7:17; 20:25)!
II. The Involvement of Faith (Cont.)
d. Moral nature (conscience - heart) - Truth is necessary (John 8:32; 17:17)!
e. Emotion (affections -of the heart) - Trust is necessary (2 Thes. 2:10; John 14:6; Romans 10:9,10):
(1) Sorrow - contrition - grief (Matthew 21:32; Acts 19:18; 20:21);
(2) Love (1 Thes. 3:6; 2 Thes.2:10;
(3) Gratitude (Colossians 2:7).
CONCLUSION from the standpoint of the involvement of personality:
Biblical Faith is the consent (yielding, compliance) of the will to the assent of the understanding (intellect) in time of need based upon the heart response to recognition of the truth, which results in appropriation of salvation by means of the faith of The Lord Jesus Christ (John 8:30-32 cf. Romans 3:22; Galatians 2:16,20; Colossians 1:23; Hebrews 12:2; Revelation 2:13. Note the definite article is used to identify the faith of The Lord Jesus Christ in the original Greek manuscripts of each of these Scriptures).
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