Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. 3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
4 By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.
5 By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; [a] for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
What does it mean to “Believe” or to have faith? Faith is the believer’s ability to see what cannot be seen with the natural eye, to hear that which cannot be heard with the natural ear, and to taste what cannot be tasted with the tongue. Faith is, in essence, a supernatural sense that is birthed in the human heart when Gods Word is heard, received, believed, and acted on.
It was faith that enabled Elijah to hear the sound of an abundance of rain when no rain had fallen from the sky in over three years.
It was faith that sustained a widow woman through the famine, her meal barrel wasted not and the cruse of oil did not fail until the Lord sent rain according to the word of the Lord by Elijah.
By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by that which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.
It was faith that led the three Hebrew boys to stand and affirm that they knew that their God was able to deliver them from the furnace, and it was faith in action that delivered them from the fire.
Faith is not a generic mental assent to the truthfulness of the word of God,
Anyone can say, “I believe in the strength of that bridge to support the weight of my car,” but it’s not faith until you are driving across it.
Mark 16:15-18 (NKJV)
15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they[b] will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
If Gods Word is true, and we know that it is, why don’t we not see more of God’s power manifested in the lives of those who claim to be believers?
I believe that the answer lies in a misinterpretation of what Jesus meant when he said, “Those who believe.” In other words, the church has a distorted view of what a “Believer” is.
By doing this it is my opinion that we have raised a generation of people who attend church on Sunday who are not truly “Believers,” but are mere mental assenters. They are intellectually in agreement with the Bible, but they do not have the power that comes from a true relationship with Jesus. They have a form of godliness, but deny its power.
But from Jesus perspective believers are more than assenters, they are doers and that is why He said. “17 And these signs will follow those who believe:”
He didn’t say that these signs would accompany some believers and not others. Jesus’ statement was emphatic, “These signs will follow…”
18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my[e] works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?
The Apostle James tells us that devils believe and tremble but they don’t do any righteous works of faith. The plague that has infected and weakened the Church of Jesus Christ is that of calling the agreement of the mind “faith,” and labeling mental assent believing and they are not!
According to the Word of God, faith has corresponding works, and without works it is dead. That means that a true believer is not just someone who listens to the preaching of the Word and agrees that it is good, they are a doer.
To agree that tithing is a biblical principle, that transcends both Old and New Covenants, does not make you a believer, it just makes you an assenter, and you can agree and not be a doer, but the minute you act on what you agree with you have become a biblical believer. The same is true with praying, to agree to the great need of prayer in your life does not make you a praying person.
To agree to Jesus words does not give you power over demons. To agree to liberty of the Spirit to worship the Lord by praising, clapping the hands, shouting, dancing, does not make you a liberated worshipper. To agree to Jesus words concerning self-denial and taking up the cross brings us no closer to resurrection power, we must be doers. Believers are Doers. And Doers are Seers.
The reason so many haven’t seen more of the power and the glory of God in our churches is because we have mistakenly accepted mental assent, an agreement of the mind for believing. Many people say they believe God’s Word, but they are not living according to its principles, then they don’t really believe, they just agree. When we really believe the Word of God, that faith leads us to obedience. And when we begin to live in obedience, we become doers of what we are agreeing with and then we will see the power of God working in our lives.