Righteousness without repentance part 2

Faith is the quintessential ingredient for righteousness. This study follows the litany-of-faith chapter, Hebrews 11 to show what faith is and why it is so important for righteousness.

Righteousness without repentance Part 1

Faith is

Hebrews 11:1 KJV.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Thus begins the most important chapter in the bible that explains the essence of faith and the essence of righteousness. I like the King James Version because it uses language more commonly associated with science and law. Substance and evidence are forensic and scientific terms. And yet no where else will you find them describing faith. Because faith is an intangible, it is necessary to give examples of how people used their faith to achieve great things.

Faith is a leap when it is newborn.  You jump out into the void and expect God to rescue you. Mature faith is confidence in God’s promises and less of a leap.

The power of faith

Faith is so powerful that it completely obliterates all competing forces.

Although faith is big in this article, we must remember that it is dwarfed by agape love. The following reference needs to be read in the context of its entire chapter.

1 Corinthians 13:13 New International Version (NIV)

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Faith defeats science

Hebrews 11:3 New International Version (NIV)

3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

The modern secular world is dominated by Satan and tries to ‘prove’ that science is the only possible explanation for cosmology, geology, paleontology, philosophy, medicine, and all other scientific disciplines. Great effort is made to disprove or debunk miracles, healings and other grand works of God. Yet a person of faith is not persuaded to give up his faith no matter what the scientific community declares.

The ancients were commended for their faith

Hebrews 11:2,4-12 New International Version (NIV)

2 This is what the ancients were commended for.

4 By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.

5 By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.” For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

7 By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.

8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11 And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise. 12 And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.

Read for yourself the remaining verses (9-38) of what faith did for the ancients.

Faith is needed to please God

Hebrews 11:5 New International Version (NIV)

5 By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.” For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Faith perfects us and itself becomes perfected

Hebrews 11:39 New International Version (NIV)

39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised,

40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

Hebrews 12:1-2 New International Version (NIV)

12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.

Faith is the driving force behind obedience.

Romans 1:5 New International Version (NIV)

5 Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake.

Faith is required to know God personally

Jeremiah 31:34 New International Version (NIV)

34 No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord. “For I will forgive their wickedness  and will remember their sins no more.”

Faith motivates to good deeds

James 2:18 New International Version (NIV)

18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.

Faith moves mountains

Matthew 17:20 New International Version (NIV)

20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Faith is a gift

1 Corinthians 12:7-9 New International Version (NIV)

7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit,

Faith heals

Matthew 9:22 New International Version (NIV)

22 Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment.

Matthew 15:28 New International Version (NIV)

28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.

Mark 5:34 New International Version (NIV)

34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

Mark 10:52 New International Version (NIV)

52 “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.

Luke 17:19 New International Version (NIV)

19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

Faith leads to salvation

1 Peter 1:8-9 New International Version (NIV)

8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Faith empowers your prayers

James 5:15 New International Version (NIV)

15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.

Faith is fragile on the earth

Luke 18:8 New International Version (NIV)

8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

Righteousness by faith

Only faith can make you righteous.  Regardless of anything else, you must believe in Jesus Christ to become righteous before God. There still is a place for repentance, and I will cover that topic in a later article.

Romans 1:17 New International Version (NIV)

17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

Romans 3:22 New International Version (NIV)

22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile,

Romans 4:5 New International Version (NIV)

5 However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.

Romans 4:9 New International Version (NIV)

9 Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We have been saying that Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness.

Romans 4:11 New International Version (NIV)

11 And he received circumcision as a sign, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them.

Romans 4:13 New International Version (NIV)

13 It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith.

Romans 9:30 New International Version (NIV)

30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith;

Romans 10:6 New International Version (NIV)

6 But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down)

Philippians 3:9 New International Version (NIV)

9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.