On every hand the foe we find, drawn up in dread array;
Let tents of ease be left behind, and onward to the fray!
Salvation’s helmet on each head, with truth all girt about,
The earth shall tremble ’neath our tread, and echo with our shout.
Faith is the victory! Faith is the victory!
Oh, glorious victory, that overcomes the world.
John H. Yates, 1891
For whatever is born of God overcomes the world;
and this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith.
1 John 4.5
Faith: The very mention of the word seems to exude weakness. The dictionary defines faith as “belief in something for which there is no proof,” which evokes images of Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny! This idea has infected the world, and results in the world viewing Christians as ‘deluded fools who believe ridiculous myths, and have faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, something for which there is no proof.
Those who ridicule faith can even point to charlatans within the umbrella of Christianity, quacks who have ‘fleeced the flock of God’ and lined their pockets with millions of dollars, promising health and wealth to easily-fooled devotees who think they can “name it and claim it,” believing that God will solve all their problems. The saying, “With friends like these, who needs enemies?” comes to mind!
We can’t examine faith under a microscope, or measure it in a test tube, but in the spiritual realm nothing is more real than faith. Jesus often told those He healed, “Your faith has made you well!” Hebrews 11 records feats of men and women in the Old Testament with the introductory words, “By faith…” It’s no wonder that Satan constantly seeks to undermine the value of faith.
Faith – and faith alone – is a central tenet of Grace Theology. In the spiritual realm, the amazing power of faith is nowhere more wondrous than in transforming a sin-enslaved soul from eternal death to eternal life (John 5.24). Faith is so powerful that adding to it actually destroys its power! You add your works to faith, and it does not save; conversely, “to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness” (Romans 4.5)!
This is why at NBBC we assiduously expose and repel any attempts to sully the pristine gospel of grace through faith in Christ. Satan knows if he can get us to put some faith in our works, he can prevent us receiving eternal life. Paul emphasized this: “…knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified” (Galatians 2.16).
The power of faith, however, does not stop there. After we receive new birth and eternal life the moment we first believe, maintaining faith in our daily lives is a wellspring of power that gives us victory over Satan’s attempts to infect us with sin every day. “We walk by faith” (2 Cor. 5.7); we “live by faith” (Rom. 1.16-17; Heb. 10.38). As the Apostle John wrote, “faith is the victory that overcomes the world” (1 John 4.5).
This means, of course, that all Satan needs to do to cause a believer to stumble or fall in their Christian life is to get us to ignore faith: Been there, done that! Once we ‘take for granted’ our faith, we forget it, and ‘move on’ to other things. That’s when we spiritually begin to drift away from the Lord. Every Christian has felt this at one time or another, and sadly, many of us have friends or loved ones who have lost sight of their faith, and without its power, have become easy prey for Satan’s schemes.
The prescription for every believer is to daily refresh your faith. No shortcuts here. First, verbally thank God every day for the gift of eternal life which you received freely through faith in Christ. Second, read Scripture every day. Reading the Bible will remind you of truths that undergird your faith. Third, pray for God to strengthen your faith, and restore those whose faith has grown weak.