Bible Study for House Church – August 28, 2022
Question: What is faith?
Is faith believing in who God is? Or, is faith trusting in what God can do for us? Is it a combination of both, or perhaps one the fruit of the other?
Question: Is faith the cornerstone of our relationship with God, or is it Jesus?
This sounds like the chicken and the egg argument.
Scripture tells us that Jesus is the cornerstone.
Read: Isaiah 28:16a
So, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation;
Read: Ephesians 2:19-21
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.
So, faith begins with Christ Jesus, a precious cornerstone, carefully placed by the Sovereign Lord.
This is why the order of Ephesians 2:8-9 is important;
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.
Question: What role does faith play in salvation, if we are saved by grace?
If ‘faith’ is viewed as the key to salvation, then we set ourselves on a dangerous path where the things of God are accessed through our own efforts.
It may feel like splitting hairs, but we are saved by grace, and grace alone. Salvation has been provided by the will of the Father, fulfilled in the work of Christ on the cross. It is a well of living water that has been established for any and all who would come to drink of its waters.
Faith, then, is simply the ‘cup’ that we draw that water from.
Question: Is the size of our faith a factor in salvation?
I do not need to have a ‘great faith’ (a big cup) to be saved. In fact, the majority of those who begin a relationship with Christ start with a belief as small as a mustard seed. For some, it is as simple as daring to believe, or even just hope, that what they have been told is true. Over time, that seed sprouts and grows into something strong and wonderful.
Hebrews 11:1 says (in the KJV);
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Question: Does this not mean that faith plays a factor in obtaining ‘things’?
It still matters what the ‘object’ of faith is;
Is it faith in obtaining the thing, or faith in the One who can grant the thing?
If we have a substance, or evidence of faith in us, it is to be ROOTED in WHO God is.
Read: John 3:16;
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Question: Do you believe that the order of this verse is significant?
Even before He does anything for us, God loves the world;
WHO God is, determines the actions that He takes towards us.
If we get this backwards, our interpretation of His actions towards us may cause us to question who He is.
In the beginning of the Bible, God declares that He,
“Created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female (Genesis 1:27).”
Question: What does this verse tell us about the purpose God created us?
We are created to bear (carry) His image in this world.
Question: What does that mean to you?
Jesus exemplified this ‘image bearing’, evidenced by His own words,
Read: John 14:9
Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.
We bear His image. We resemble and reflect Him. We are our Father’s children.
Read: 2 Corinthians 6:18
I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.
Read: 1 John 3:1
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
These are relational terms. From the beginning, we were designed to be family with God.
Faith in who God is, His love for us, and the relationship He desires with us, sprouts and grows into an unshakeable faith. It can withstand the fiercest of storms. It protects from the deceptions of the enemy.
Father, help me to put my faith in You. Who You are. Your love, Your grace, Your Word that tells me I am Yours. Obviously, I will look to you in time of need for ‘things’, but even if what I hope for does not come to pass, my faith will not waver. God, protect me from the enemy who would want me to get that mixed up. Amen.