Faith is something that has lost a lot of its “spice” over the years and is used, often, as an excuse among Christians. As the overused adage says, “you just have to have faith!”
I’m not saying there is anything wrong with saying that but I believe that is watering down the true meaning of this powerful word.
It is interesting to notice that the word faith is only used in the Old Testament twice and over 220 times in the New Testament. Out of those, 229 times the Gospels record it Jesus Christ told us about faith 29 times. And then it is used 31 times in Hebrews, the book that houses the chapter of the “Hall of Faith” heroes of the Bible.
The word faith, in the Bible strictly means the assurance of truth in itself. In a nutshell faith means that a faithful man or woman would have complete assurance in someone’s honesty and truth.
This assurance would come from knowing what Jesus Christ has said is true. Out of the 29 times the Gospels recorded the word faith, it was always directed toward those who had little faith or those who had much.
Basically, either you have faith in what Jesus Christ has said He has done, is doing and going to do or you don’t put your full trust in Him and have faith in Who He is.
Everything we believe about God, the Bible, Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit, etc. should be based on your faith, or assurance of Their Word. However, we don’t always have to rely on faith alone. You can still have evidence without having to shake your faith or anybody else’s.
If you don’t have complete assurance in the person of Jesus Christ then what do you have?
And He said to the woman, “Thy faith [assurance in Me] hath saved thee; go in peace.”
And the apostles said unto the Lord, “Increase our faith [assurance in You].”
“But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith [assurance in Myself and the Father] fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”
The word repent is used 46 times in the Bible. The Old Testament uses it 21 times and the New Testament claims the word 25 times. Each and every time this word is used its meaning is the exact same!
The word repent in the Webster dictionary states that it is to turn from sin and amend one’s life. The Bible’s definition is very similar.
In the Bible the word repent either means to change one’s mind or motives or to turn from sin and ask for forgiveness. Nearly every time (only thrice does it mean the former), when used in the New Testament, it refers to the latter. And in the Old Testament only five times does it refer to turning from sin.
Repenting (in the turning from sin meaning), in the Old Testament, was not unimportant but it was revolutionized when it reached the New Testament. In the Old Testament repenting was largely classified as being saved from God’s wrath of which He had told was coming if Israel did not turn from their sin.
So, in essence, repentance in the Old Testament was mainly directed at being saved from God’s wrath.
However, when we observe the prevalence of the latter form of repentance in the New Testament we see something entirely new to the mind of the first-century Jews. (All coming mentions of repent are from the meaning of turning from sin)
John the Baptist came and exclaimed, “repent!” Then Jesus Christ said it again. “Repent!” And when Jesus sent out His disciples He taught them to preach “that men should repent.” Then, when talking to the masses, told them that “except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”
In the broad sense we find that the word repent in the Old and New Testament settle on the same ground; that all should turn from their sin and ask for forgiveness, not just to escape God’s wrath but to cleanse them of the old man and to put on Christ! This is why the preaching of repentance is so important when witnessing, just make sure the person you are witnessing to knows what repentance means!
When Jesus Christ came to this earth He entered undefiled by man’s sinful nature (Isaiah 7:14 fulfilled in Matthew 1:18) and completely announced by His Father (Matthew 2, Mark 1, Luke 2 and John 1)!
When Jesus came upon the sick and hurting He healed them and told them about the Salvation drawing near. When those who heard Him didn’t believe Him they whispered among themselves. Jesus rebuked them so they would know that they were in danger of hell fire!
But, He didn’t just rebuke people, heal them and tell them that a Salvation was coming! No, He told them that they needed to be born again in order to receive His salvation, something that had been giving from Almighty God!
One of the most famous and moving conversation in all of history is found in John 3, I encourage you to get your Bible and go read it.
Nicodemus was a rich, wealthy and elevated man in his day and he came to Jesus Christ at night as to avoid suspicion among other of his kind. I wonder if he knew that his whole life would be turned upside down that night?
Well, after receiving credit from Nicodemus of His miracles, Jesus tells the man that the only way to enter the kingdom of God is if you are “born again.” Nicodemus is sort of confused.
“How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asks. “Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”
“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” Jesus answered, “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
“How can these things be?” Nicodemus puzzled.
Jesus looked deeply at Nicodemus. “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.
“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,” Jesus continued, “that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Jesus said. “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
At at that point the conversation ends and we are silent. How could words ring truer?
If you are like the person Jesus described as loving “darkness [sin] rather than light” then might I ask you something?
If you were to die today, in your sin, would you regret it that you never “believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God”? Would you say to God on Judgment Day, “well, Lord, I’m sorry for my sins now. Can get a ticket to heaven?”
This what He will say to your heart that has been taken hold of by the evil of this world. “I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.”
Will you be prepared for that?!
Please, don’t ignore God any longer, repent of your sins, put your faith in Jesus Christ and become a born again Christian!!!! I will be praying fervently for all of you!
Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.