Posted by Bill Stockham in Facebook's Pentecostal Theology Group View the Original Post

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1 KJV) [Substance: Hupostasis: that which underlies the apparent; that which is the basis of something, hence, assurance, guarantee and confidence Evidence: Elenchos: is familiar from Greek philosophy and it means a manner of proof, in other words faith is its own proof!] “I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong– that is, that YOU AND I MAY BE MUTUALLY ENCOURAGED BY EACH OTHER’S FAITH.” (Rom. 1:11-12) [Have you ever seen a building being constructed? The foundation, the most important part of the structure, is probably never seen but is extremely important. If the foundation is not properly laid the result could be devastating as witnessed in Haiti, where 1,000’s of homes and buildings collapsed because of improper foundations. The foundation underlies or is the basis of support for the building. Just as our faith is the basis of our relationship with God because:] “…without faith it is impossible to please him…” (Heb. 11:6). [We cannot see God, so how do we get to know Him? Paul said:] “…we walk by faith, not by sight…” (2 Cor. 5:7). [The 23rd and the 139th Psalm are just a few key examples of how our Abba Father constantly cares for us in a very personal and intimate way as we walk by faith. Do we just believe in him and leave it at that?] “…anyone who comes to him must BELIEVE THAT HE EXISTS and that HE REWARDS those who earnestly seek him.” (Heb. 11:6) [How does he reward us? As we see in the Psalms mentioned above: He shepherds, provides for, leads, comforts, protects, covers, holds, constantly thinks thoughts about us, and records our purpose for Him before we are even formed! These are all proofs of our faith. Faith comes by hearing the word of God so; we must continually build up ourselves on our most holy faith by hearing, reading and praying the word. One wonderful way he rewards us is by hearing and answering our prayers. As we learn of the importance of our prayers in God’s sovereign plan, we discover that our prayers have substance. Our prayers are as incense:] “May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.” (Psa. 141:2) [The incense of beaten oil that was offered as a sacrifice produced a sweet fragrance, it had substance. When we come before the Lord with a contrite (broken, crushed) heart and humble spirit and offer our incense (prayers), they also have substance. The Lord says:] “…I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit…” (Isa. 57:15) [Our prayers are not just empty words; we are speaking into the ear of our Abba Father and remember:] “…The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much [to have or exercise much force].” (Jam. 5:16)

Bill Stockham

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