Summary of passage: A man is justified by faith, not the law.
6) Faith by definition according to Webster’s Dictionary is “allegiance to duty or a person; belief and trust in and loyalty to God.” Zondervan’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary defines faith as “a true commitment of self to God, an unwavering trust in his promises, and a persistent fidelity and obedience.”
Today a lot of people have loose definitions of faith. They say they have faith until the bad times hit and then God is thrown under the bus. I also think people have half-hearted faith. They lie to themselves or others when asked. They don’t have faith in anything. They wander through their lives, looking for something besides God. If only they realized He is right here. Always and forever.
7a) Faith is believing in the unseen and taking God’s word at face value. Faith is blind obedience. Faith is stepping forward even though you cannot see the ground in front of you. Faith is relinquishing control to God and believing He will keep His promises. It’s believing the Bible as God-breathed. It’s undeniable love. Abel offered God a better sacrifice than his brother, Cain. Noah built an ark and brought 2 of every animal inside. Abraham moved an incredible distance for Ancient Times and became a father. He offered Isaac as a sacrifice. Joseph predicted the Exodus. God’s people followed Moses to the Promised Land (despite hiccups along the way). The prophets spoke God’s words despite dangers. Rahab hid the spies. The walls of Jericho fell.
b) Personal Question. My answer: Quit my banking job. But I’m still not convinced I’m on the right path. I’m restless and when I get restless I know it’s God trying to correct my path.
Conclusions: Study of Hebrews 11 day and faith.
End Notes: We cannot boast of anything we do for saving grace. That is all God. All it takes if faith, not boasting.
Martin Luther said, “Sola Fide”. Latin for Only Faith. That is all that is required.
James did not argue against this fact. He was describing how works prove to others the saving faith of God for Christians are expected by God to do and be more.
Fun Fact: When Martin Luther translated this passage, he added “alone” after “by faith”, which although was not in the original Greek (and has been taken out of modern versions of the Bible) accurately reflects this passage.
Fun Fact: The New Testament draws all of its examples of faith from the lives of Old Testament believers and Paul rests his doctrine of faith on Habbakkah 2:4 in Romans 1:17. Please see my collorary post on Paul’s Doctrine of Faith HERE.