Faith Basics

When we begin living the Life of Christ and are taught the foundations of faith, we are taught that standing on God’s promise of salvation means taking God at His Word.

Romans 10:9-10 NLT

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.

So based upon this promise, if I confess Jesus is Lord and believe in my heart that God raised him from the dead, I will be saved. We can know we are being saved and have assurance of salvation because we have done what God has required of us and therefore God saves us.

This is both simple and profound: Simple because most people understand this idea. Profound because believing in your heart is not the same as believing with your head.

Head belief does nothing. It is soulish and powerless to save you. The devil knows that Jesus is Lord and that God raised Him from the dead (James 2:19). The Scripture boldly declares that “every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” (Rom 14:11, Php 2:10-11). Just as this kind of faith won’t save the devil from hell and the lake of fire, it is powerless to save you too.

Heart belief results in trust, reliance and obedience. True faith grants the believer the power to become a son of God (Jn 1:12). He becomes a new creature in Christ Jesus. Old things pass away and everything becomes new (2 Co 5:17).

For example, if I believe I will stand before God at the Judgment Seat and give an account for every idle word I speak (Mt 12:36), it will change the way I speak. Heart faith always produces a corresponding action (James 2:17).

In the same way, we believe every other promise of God (2 Co 1:20, Mk 9:23).

Living by faith isn’t easy. The hardest part is persevering—waiting patiently for Him while suffering. When you are struggling with sin, you want victory now. When you are sick, you want to feel better now. When you are broke, you want the money to arrive with the morning mail.

Faith is simple but getting into faith can be a challenge. How many times were the apostles rebuked for having so little faith? We begin faith with the Word of God.

Romans 10:17 NKJV

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Faith begins with the radical proposition (to some) that God means what He says. That when the Word of God says, “Beloved, I wish above all things that you would prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers” (3 Jn 2) that this expresses not just the will of John towards those he was writing to but is a promise of the goodness of God and His desire for us (Mt 6:10).

We are taught that faith begins with the known will of God (1 Jn 5:14-15). So we start by finding scripture that promises what we need. If healing, then for example “I am the Lord your Healer” (Ex 15:26). God doesn’t change (Num 23:19, James 1:17). “Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever” (Heb 13:8) therefore the same Jesus who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed of the devil (Acts 10:38) is still doing good and healing all who are oppressed of the devil (Heb 7:24-25).

Now, I can agree with these things but that doesn’t mean I am in faith yet. Yes, the Bible is God’s Word but it is a word written (logos). Faith in the logos is one thing—it is a soulish faith and lacks spiritual power. The person in need must align themselves with God until the Spirit of God breathes life into that promise and speaks it to the petitioner. This is rhema—the Word spoken to me.

Once the rhema is spoken, something changes in the heart of the believer. He can no longer pray for it, but instead thanks God for it because while he cannot see it yet (2 Co 5:7, Heb 11:1, 2 Co 4:18), he knows that God has heard him and answered his prayer (1 Jn 5:14-15).

We confess the Word to get into faith and then we confess the Word once we are in faith and until the promise is manifest. There was a time I quoted Romans 10:9-10 constantly to myself but less so now. Why? I now see the work of God in my life. I am still walking in faith but this area is settled for me because I’ve seen the evidence that God is aligning me with His Word (Col 1:29).

The aligning process is the least taught part of standing in faith (John 15:7). Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments” (Jn 14:15, 21, 23). If Jesus Christ is your Lord, then you either obey Him (Luke 6:46) or deny Him by your actions (Titus 1:16).

Aligning yourself with God is necessary to receive any promise (Amos 3:3). Second Chronicles 7:13-14 tells us that if we are not receiving the blessings of His promises but instead find ourselves under the curse, we should humble ourselves—that is admit that we are the problem and not God; pray—petition the Lord (I like to outline my prayer like a petition to a Judge complete with arguments); seek His face—how are we not acting like sons of our Father (what part of His Word are we ignorant of that has led to this); and turn from our wicked ways—that is change anything that isn’t who God is; then He will hear from heaven and forgive our sins and heal our land (our prayers will be answered and we will receive the promise).

Alignment is all about being transformed by the Word of God (1 Pet 2:2-3, Rom 12:2) so that we become increasingly like Christ over time (2 Co 3:18, 1 Jn 2:6). This struggle to enter into faith turns every test and trial into an opportunity to change and grow into the image of Christ (James 1:3-4, 1 Pet 1:7) and it produces an upward spiral that leads to life and godliness (Prov 4:18, 15:24, Jdg 3:8-11).