Faith toward God
The second principle is faith toward God. God established a sacrificial law in the Garden of Eden with the death of two innocent animals and their shed blood. God Himself clothed Adam and Eve with the skins of those two innocent animals. God made a promise to Adam and Eve, and the serpent. He declared to the serpent:
And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel. Genesis 3:15 NASB
God established a way for man to receive redemption. He pointed ahead in the annals of time to when the Seed (Jesus) of the woman would crush the head of the serpent (the devil). In other words, Jesus would prevent the devil from stopping God’s redemptive plan for mankind. From that point on, man’s redemption would be by faith!
Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval.
Hebrews 11:1–2 NASB
The writer of Hebrews established the fact that “without faith it is impossible to please Him.” (Hebrews 11:6). In mankind there are a number of different kinds of faith. We will consider three types. Two that are natural and the third, which is God’s view of faith.
The first kind of faith is a natural faith which is simply a mental assent. I have faith that when I return to my car, it will be in the same place where I parked it. I did experience a time when it was not where I parked it. It had been towed away because I had parked it illegally. Natural faith operates within the realm of natural reasoning. It is a reasonable expectation of a particular outcome.
The second kind of faith is a self-motivated faith which falls into the category of metaphysics. Some people call this kind of faith mind over matter. These people believe that if they believe hard enough, their circumstance(s) will change. This kind of faith originates in the souls of those people. It is self-generated and self-imposed on a particular area(s) in which they believe that change(s) will take place.
The third kind of faith is God-breathed faith which is biblical faith. True faith is an operation of the Spirit of God. The writer of Hebrews wrote, “without faith it is impossible to please Him,” (Hebrews 11:6a NKJV). He was not speaking of a manufactured faith. He understood that it is God who gives faith. When a person looks up into the heavens and acknowledges God as the creator, that person has an open heart where faith can operate. The essence of faith is rooted in the cross of Christ. Paul stated, “the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God.” (Galatians 2:20b KJV). It is not only faith in Christ, but Christ’s faith lived out through the believer.
God the Father is raising up a body of believers who will demonstrate Christ’s faith to an unbelieving world. Many people try to generate faith in the things they do for God. However, the Father is looking for people who will open their heart and allow the Holy Spirit to breathe Christ-like faith into their being. In essence, this is what being filled with the Spirit is all about. It is the life of God filling the believer with the presence of the Godhead so that the faith of Christ may be manifested in the life of a believer. “Not I, but Christ!” This kind of faith captures the meaning of sincere faith.