Many times in the Bible the word ‘faith’ is used as a noun. For instance:
Jude 1:3 …contend for the faith that was delivered to the saints once for all… CSB
Jude 1:20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith…
‘The faith’ Jude speaks of involves the convictions and beliefs that we hold concerning God, His Word, and our salvation. As followers of our Savior, we must always hold dear and defend the true Christian faith.
The word ‘faith’ is sometimes us as a noun. But it is also sometimes used as a verb. For instance:
James 2:17 In the same way faith, if it doesn’t have works, is dead by itself. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without works, and I will show you faith from my works. CSB
James is not saying that we are saved as the result of our good works. James is saying that the kind of faith that saves us will also give us the desire to do what is pleasing to our Savior.
Many years ago there lived a great Christian named George Mueller who had great faith in God. It is estimated that during his day Mueller raised millions of dollars in donations for his orphanages. Yet the most amazing thing is not how much Mueller raised, but how he received it. Not once did Muller solicit men for their donations or support. Mueller simply took his needs to God and waited for the Lord to provide.
On one occasion George Mueller said – “Be assured, if you walk with Him and look to Him, and expect help from Him, He will never fail you.”
It is good to have faith that is a noun. It is good to hold dear the pure doctrines of scripture that teach us the way of salvation. But it is also good to have faith that is a verb. It is good to demonstrate our faith in God by the way we live and act.
I close this week’s study with a story from the gospels.
Luke 7:1 When Jesus had finished saying all this to the people who were listening, he entered Capernaum. 2 There a centurion’s servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. 3 The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. 4 When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, “This man deserves to have you do this, 5 because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.” 6 So Jesus went with them.
He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. 7 That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. 8 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
9 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.” 10 Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well. NIV
Oh for the kind of faith that causes God to marvel.