Larry R. Ping II
The phrase “the faith” appears 42 times in the New Testament. Usually, it does not pertain to a man’s personal faith as described in Hebrews 11. Rather, it is making reference to a “system of faith,” in this case the New Testament. Have you considered the various things the Bible has to say about “the faith?”
1) The Faith Must Be Obeyed. Luke records “And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great number of the priests were obedient to the faith” (Acts 6:7). Obedience is knitted together with salvation in Heb. 5:8-9. Yet, we must be aware there are those who are working hard and tirelessly to “turn away” folks from “the faith” (Acts 13:8). Be one who reads, studies and obeys the words of the New Testament.
2) The Faith Must Be Continued In. Paul worked hard in “confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith” (Acts 14:22). Obedience to the faith is not a one-time event. It is a matter of remaining steady and constant in God’s Word. The Revelator commanded “be thou faithful until death, and I will give thee a crown of life” (Rev. 2:10). Be one who stands “fast in the faith” (I Cor. 16:13).
3) The Faith Must Be Preached. It was said of Paul, “That he which persecuted us in the past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed” (Gal. 1:23). The faith, left alone and unpreached, will accomplish nothing, much as the “seed yet in the barn” (Hag. 2:19). In his opening to the Corinthians, Paul said, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish, foolishness; but unto us which are saved, it is the power of God” (I Cor. 1:18). We must be as the Lord, about our “Father’s business” (Lk. 2:49). Are you? Am I?
4) The Faith Brings About Unity. The Ephesians were taught “Till we all come in the unity of the faith” (Eph. 4:13). God’s Word has always had this uniting power. As Ezra read from the “book of the Law of Moses,” the people had gathered together as “one man” (Neh. 8:1). At the tower of Babel, take notice the speaking of one language brought the people together, but speaking differently drove them apart (Gen. 11:1-9). So it is with us. Speaking words from “the faith” will unite; speaking of our own thought and opinions will bring division.
5) The Faith Must Be Contended For. Jude pleaded to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3). To contend, literally, is to “face the foe.” There are many “enemies of the cross of Christ” (Php. 3:18). Paul warned these enemies “mouths must be stopped” (Titus 1:11). Those who intend to warp and twist God’s Word (II Pet. 3:16) must know there are those who stand ready to defend it. Are you? Am I?