Church of God, Carmichael, CA
D. O. Teasley, 1909
[Original Page Numbers]
Faith in the New Testament, has at least three distinct meanings. First, the act of the soul in appropriating the benefits of the promises of God to its individual needs. Of this faith Jesus spoke to the woman mentioned in Luke 7:50, and said, "Thy faith hath saved thee." "Have faith in God." Peter also mentioned this faith to the unbelieving multitude that had gathered in Solomon's porch, greatly wondering at the manifestation of the power of God through faith. "And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all." Acts 3:16. By this faith we are justified (Rom. 5:1), sanctified (Acts 26:18), kept (1 Pet. 1:5), and healed (James 5:14, 15).
Secondly, faith means the doctrine of the gospel. Paul in writing to the Philippians exhorts them to strive together for the faith of the gospel. Jude also speaks of the faith once delivered to the saints and exhorts the children of God to earnestly contend for that faith. The New Testament is the Christian's creed and articles of faith. The New Testament is spoken of as faith because it is a written expression of what the first Christians believed. They did not believe it because it was written, for they believed it before it had been written. It was written because they believed it. "These are written that we in turn might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing, we might have life through his name." The New Testament is an expression of those principles of the Christian religion first taught by Jesus Christ and believed by His disciples and afterwards taught by the disciples and believed by all who accepted Christ, therefore  called "the faith once delivered to the saints." For this simple faith alone did the early Christians contend and in striving for the faith of the gospel they were exhorted to, and did, strive together.
Thirdly, there is a kind of faith sometimes called historical faith. This kind have all who believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, whether they have accepted Him as their personal Saviour or not. The vilest of men often possess this faith, and even the devils themselves believe and tremble. James 2:19. This kind of faith is a dead faith, for "faith without works is dead." It is not enough to believe that Jesus tasted death for every man. In order to receive the benefits of His glorious atonement, you must believe that He died for you. Things that are dead do not move themselves or anything else. So a dead faith is inactive and does not move those who possess it to righteous acts, but living faith inspires and animates those who possess it to live in strict harmony with every principle of faith laid down in the New Testament.
As dead faith is of little value and is uninspiring to contemplate, I shall now call your attention to the inspiring subject of living faith in God. This faith every Christian must have, for "without faith it is impossible to please God." Hebrews 11:6.
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Heb. 11:1. "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the proving of things not seen. For therein the elders had witness borne to them." Heb. 11:1, 2. Revised Version. "But faith is, of things hoped for, a confidence, of facts a conviction, when they are not seen. For thereby well attested were the elders." Rotherham. "Now faith is the persuasion of the things that are in hope, as if they were in act; and it is the manifestness of the things not seen. And for it the ancients are well testified of."Syriac. "But faith is a basis of things hoped for, a conviction of things unseen. For by this the ancients were attested." Emphatic Diaglott.
From the foregoing texts we learn that faith is the persuasion, a confidence, the assurance, a basis, of things for which we hope; the manifestness, a conviction, or proving, of things unseen. We do not have faith for those  things which we see, yet the conviction that the unseen things for which we believe are ours makes them as real as if they were seen. "Now faith is the persuasion of things that are in hope, as if they were in act." A commentator on this subject says: "The word which we translate 'substance' signifies subsistencethat which becomes the foundation for another thing to stand onand the word which we translate 'evidence' signifies such a conviction as is produced in the mind by the demonstration of a problem; after which demonstration no doubt can remain, because we see from it that the thing is; that it cannot but be; and that it cannot be otherwise than it is and is proved to be." Without faith we have no ground work, no substructure, no foundation, for things hoped for; without it we have no evidence of things unseen. Seeing, then, that faith is the foundation of our hopes, let us inquire what is
The foundation of our faith is composed of three stonesthe character, the ability, and the will, of the one in whom we believe. There are only three just reasons to doubt any one. First, if a person is or has been unfaithful or untruthful, our knowledge of his perfidy or untruthfulness is a hindrance to our faith in him, for faith is a dependence on the veracity of another, and one is said to keep his promise inviolate when he performs the promise upon which another relied. Secondly, if a person is unable to perform what he promises, we cannot depend upon him for the things we need. Thirdly though a man has always been faithful and is able to perform his every promise, still we cannot believe that he will favor us unless we have his promisethe expression of his willfor a man's power is exercised only in accordance with his will.
Now, first of all, let us ask who should be the object of our faith. "And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God." Mark 11:22. Next, let us ask ourselves three questions: First, is God's character such that we can rely upon it? Second, is his ability such that we have no reason to doubt it? Third. has he promised to  supply all our needs? If we can answer these three questions in the affirmative, then no man has any reasons to doubt God.
First, let us examine His character. "God is faithful, by whom ye were called to the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord." 1 Cor. 1:9. God made a promise to Judah that the scepter should not depart from his tribe nor a law giver from between his feet until Shiloh should come. (Gen. 49:10.) In exact fulfillment of this promise Shiloh, the Rest giver, Jesus of Nazareth, came just about the time when the scepter departed from Judah and the first foreign princeHerod the Greatruled over Judea. God promised Abraham that in his seed all nations of the earth should be blessed. In the fulness of the times God sent forth His Son to bless every one of us in turning us away from our sins, and in himthe seed of Abrahamall nations are blessed. God promised Noah that the world should no more be destroyed by floods and as a token of His promise placed His bow in the clouds. Ages have passed, men have been unfaithful, and many times the wickedness of men has come up as a stench in the nostrils of God, yet God has been faithful to His promise, and the fountains of the great deep have never again been broken up nor the windows of heaven been opened to overwhelm unfaithful man in a deluge. Who could doubt the faithfulness of one who has kept His promise inviolate from generation to generation and has proved Himself faithful even to all His enemies? "If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself." 2 Tim. 2:13.
"Since the morn when time began,
Hath His Word ceased to prevail ?
Is the God of heaven weak as man,
Or can His promise fail ?
"Hath a mortal yet been found
Who hath trusted Him in vain?
Search the whole broad space of earth around.
And search it once again."
Secondly, let us inquire of the ability of God. Should He make us a promise, is He able to fulfill it? "And Jesus  came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth." Matt. 28:18. "Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him." 1 Pet. 3:22. "I am he that liveth and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death." Rev. 1:18. To Jesus Christ is given all power on earth, and power over death, hell, and the grave. Yea, and all power in heaven is given Him, for angels and powers and principalities are made subject unto Him. He "is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords." Who, then can doubt the power of Him before whom angels prostrate fall. Unnumbered worlds are at His command. He measures the ocean in His hands and metes out the heavens with a span. Look, doubting one, to the power of His might! Look and live and doubt no more.
If you have considered what I have set before you, you surely cannot doubt His faithfulness and His ability to supply the needs of your soul or to care for your body. So to lay the last stone of this imperishable foundation and complete the triune rock of our faith, let us answer the question, Is it His will to save us and to raise us above every discouragement and oppression of the devil ? A man's will is known only by the expression of his promise; so if God promised victory, we know it is His will to give victory.
1. His promise to save. "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins." Matt. 1:21. "Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them." Heb. 7:25. "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost." Luke 19:10.
2. His promise to sanctify. "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.... And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth." John 17:17, 19. "Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate." Heb. 13:12. "For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from 
The Church of God