Building On Faith


In the introductory lesson, we noted that growing in the knowledge of Jesus Christ…

  1. Involves the development of eight Christ-like graces
  2. Developed in conjunction with each other
  3. Requiring all diligence 
– Thereby creating an octave of spiritual harmony best exemplified in the person of Jesus Christ

We observed five reasons why we ought to grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ…

  1. Grace and peace are multiplied
  2. All things pertaining to spiritual life and godliness are provided
  3. Spiritual myopia and amnesia are avoided
  4. We will never stumble
  5. An abundant entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord
  6. These are certainly sufficient reasons to spur development of a Christ-like character in ourselves!

In this study, we shall take a closer look at the first of these eight graces: “faith”

  1. Faith is the foundation of our spiritual development
  2. Upon which all other graces are to be “added”
  3. Developing a Christ-like character is therefore built upon faith.
  4. But one might ask: “What is faith?”



  1. The Greek Word Is Pistis
  2. “a firm persuasion, a conviction based upon hearing” (Vine)
  3. “conviction of the truth of anything, belief” (Thayer) ©
  4. Used Primarily In Two Ways In The New Testament:

Subjectively (the faith we have)

  1. Such as our faith in God
    1.  “the conviction that God exists and is the creator and ruler of all things, the provider and bestower of eternal salvation through Christ” (Thayer)
    2. Used this way in Hebrews 11:6
  2. Such as our faith in Christ
    1. “the conviction that Jesus is the Messiah, through whom we obtain eternal 
salvation in the kingdom of God” (Thayer)
    2. Used this way in Galatians 2:16

Objectively (the object of our faith)

  1. “the substance of Christian faith or what is believed by Christians” (Thayer)
  2. Used this way in Jude 3
  3. We are focusing on subjective faith (the faith we have) in this study

Faith Described In The Book Of Hebrews

  1. Faith is “the assurance of things hoped for” (Heb. 11:1a)
  2. Faith is “the conviction of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1b)
  3. Faith is having trust or confidence in things unseen by the human eye – again cf. Abraham’s faith – Hebrews 11:9-10

Faith is therefore that confidence or trust in God and Christ, regarding things promised or things not seen

Faith Is Not Gullibility

Gullibility in the sense of “blind faith”, trusting for no good reason

With this understanding of faith, one might also ask: “Is faith really that important?” Yes! Consider how faith is demanded of us…


It Is The Foundation For A Relationship With God

  1. Without faith, it is impossible to please God
  2. 1) We must believe that He is – Hebrews 11:6
  3. 2) God has no pleasure in those lacking in faith – Hebrews 10:35-39

Faith is the underlying element in our salvation and service to God

  1. The key that unlocks the way to salvation – John 1:12
  2. The motivating force behind our life of service – Galatians 2:20
  3. Without faith, we can’t even get started in our relationship with God!

It Is The Catalyst For Power From God

  1. There is power available to those who believeEphesians 1:18-20
  2. It is power beyond our imagination – Ephesians 3:20-21
  3. Power that enables us to overcome – 1 John 5:4-5
  4. Power that we should be careful about limiting – 2 Timothy 3:1-5

Growth requires power from God, and faith is required for such power!

  1. Can we not appreciate why Peter starts with “faith” in defining what it means to grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ?
  2. It is the very foundation upon which to build a close relationship with God and Christ!
  3. But here is another question: “How can we have faith?”…


Developing Our Faith

Remember, faith is not gullibility (blind faith with no evidence)

  1. Instead, faith is based upon the Word of God – Romans 10:17
  2. The Word of God provides evidence to produce faith – cf. John 20:30-31
  3. Besides the testimony regarding the miracles of Jesus, other evidences include:
    1. Fulfilled prophecy concerning nations and the Messiah
    2. The scientific foreknowledge of the Bible
    3. The high moral standard it contains
    4. The continuity of the Bible despite it various sources

While we may “walk by faith, and not by sight” (2 Co 5:7), it is not truly a “blind faith”

  1. Since faith (i.e., trust, confidence) comes through the Word of God…
  2. We must be diligent in reading the Bible
  3. Only then will our faith become stronger
  4. Do we appreciate the value of the Word of God in producing the faith that pleases Him?

Maintaining Our Faith

We must guard against the sin of unbelief – cf. Hebrews 3:12-14

  1.  Many people lose their faith, especially when young
  2. Faith is maintained through constant reading or hearing of the Word 
- and encouraging one another

We can also maintain faith through Paul’s threefold directive1 Timothy 6:9-12

  1. Flee materialism – undue concern for things of this world undermine our faith
  2. Pursue faith – this we can do by feeding on God’s word
  3. Fight the good fight of faith – the best defense is a good offense; be active in propagating the faith – cf. Jude 3
  4. The nation of Israel lost it’s faith in the wilderness, are we in danger of losing our faith during our sojourn?
  5. Finally, a thought or two about how faith in God manifests itself today…


Through Obedience To The Gospel

The gospel of Christ requires obedience

  1. Jesus is the author of eternal salvation to those who obey Him – Hebrews 5:9
  2. The gospel Paul preached leads to obedience – Romans 1:5; 16:25-26
  3. Fearful consequences come to those who do not obey it – 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9

How does one obey the gospel? By obeying the commands of the gospel:

  1. The command to believe in Jesus – Mark 16:15-16
  2. The command to repent of sins – Acts 2:38; 17:30
  3. The command to confess Jesus – Matthew 10:32; Romans 10:9-10
  4. The command to be baptized for the remission of sins – Acts 2:38; 22:16

Have you displayed faith by “obeying from the heart” the doctrine presented in the gospel of Christ? – cf. Romans 6:17 ©

  1. Through Living For Jesus
  2. Trusting in His words
    1. Seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness – Matthew 6:33
    2. Doing what He says – Luke 6:46
    3. Observing all that He commanded – Matthew 28:20
  3. Trusting in His promises
    1. That He is preparing a place for us – John 14:1-2
    2. That He will return one day for us – John 14:3
  4. Are you setting an example of one who walks by faith in Jesus, and not just by what they can see with their eyes, or accomplish on their own strength?


Faith is a simple concept, but a crucial one…

  1. It is simply trusting in God and Jesus
  2. Regarding things not seen yet hoped for

Without faith, it is impossible to…

  1. Please God, for we must believe He exists, rewarding those who diligently seek Him
  2. Grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, for it is the basis upon which growth is built

May we allow the evidences of God’s Word to produce a faith that trusts and obeys a wonderful Savior, who in turn provides “exceedingly great and precious promises” as we grow in our knowledge of Him!

About from the Preachers PC

Gospel Preacher for the Park Heights church of Christ in Hamilton, TX. I stand for and defend the truth of God's word. All other degrees and diplomas mean very little in comparison.
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