Sunday, July 29, 2012

Life Of Faith - 1 - How Great Is Faith


In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit One God. Amen.

CHAPTER 1

HOW GREAT IS FAITH

The importance of faith is clearly seen in the apostle's words about the Lord, "But without faith it is impossible to please Him" (Heb. 11:6).

The importance of faith also shows in the apostle's description as one of the three great virtues "faith, hope and love" (1 Cor. 13:13) and the life of righteousness "Now the just shall live by faith" (Heb. 10:38).

Faith is the beginning of the road which leads to God, for how can you be united with God and God in you, to walk with Him and keep His commandments, if first, you do not believe in His existence, His divinity or in His book the Bible and all that it contains?

Thus, faith is the beginning of the road to God and an elementary necessity for salvation according to the Lord Himself "He who believes and is baptised will be saved" (Mark 16:16). "That whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already" (John 3:18). He also reprimanded the Jews by saying, "You will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He" (John 8:24).

Salvation is available to every one through the blood of our Lord Jesus, but it can not save without faith. As St. Paul and Silas said to the Jail keeper "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household" (Acts 16:31).

Through this faith, the gospels were written and preached by the apostles.

John, the evangelist inspired by the Holy Spirit, wrote "But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name" (John 20:31).

Faith is the beginning of a life with God. Faith is also our companion throughout our lives, and the importance of faith in its relationship with righteousness.

Thus spoke the apostle about righteousness that was credited to faith "By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith" (Heb. 11:7). And about faith that was credited to righteousness, "And it was credited to him as righteousness" (James 2:23). The Bible also speaks of
justification by faith, "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Rom.5:1).

Faith is a necessity to miracles and their acceptance. How great is our Lord's saying to the blind man of Jericho when He said, "Your faith has healed you" (Luke 18:42, Mark 10:52). And His saying to the man with leprosy, "Your faith has made you well" (Luke 17:19). To the sick woman He said, "Take heart daughter, your faith has healed you" (Matt. 9:22). When He heard the two blind men shouting "Have mercy on us, Son of David" (Matt. 9:29), He said to them, "According to your faith
will it be done to you" and their sight was restored.

On the other hand, we see the Lord in His home town that "He did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith" (Matt. 13:58).

The power of God can do miracles for you, but it awaits your faith. He will grant you according to your faith. For this reason, miracles happen to some and not to others although the power of God is the same.

What about he, who is weak in faith? He has to pray as did the boy's father who said, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!" (Mark 9:24). Here we see that God performs miracles in general according to faith, but on other occasions, He performs miracle that we may believe. In both cases faith is coupled with the miracle, either it comes before or is caused of it.

Faith, regardless of type, is a source of power.

It is sufficient that a person believes in an idea, so you see him working with Christ's power to carry it through. Faith gives him perseverance, might and courage which he would not have otherwise.

Thus, where there is faith there is power. A prayer in faith is a strong prayer. He who believes in prayer and its effect prays with warmth, assurance and power. A sermon preached by a person who believes in every word, makes a strong sermon, and through it, his faith is transmitted to the hearts of his listeners.

The importance of faith lies in its association with many virtues.

The fruits of faith are strength, peace, courage, tranquillity and restfulness. Its fruits are a life of purity and righteousness, a life of submission and devotion to God, a life of prayer and many other virtues.

A few questions then come into mind:

- What is faith?
- What is faith, the basis of salvation and redemption?
- What is faith, the basis of all these virtues?
- What is faith, the basis of miracles and God's words who said,

"Everything is possible for him who believes" (Mark 9:23)?


Pope Shenouda III

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Title: Life of Faith

Author: H. H. Pope Shenouda Ill.

Press: Dar El Tebaa El Kawmia.

Edition: August 1989 - First edition.

Legal Deposit No.: 5606/1989

Revised: COEPA 1997


Also See:
Life Of Faith - Introduction
http://coptorthodox.blogspot.com/2012/07/life-of-faith-introduction.html


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