by Henry Morris III, D.Min.
Believing faith should never be seen as the goal, only the beginning of wonderful growth in the â€œdivine natureâ€ (2 Peter 1:4-9).
Faith both preserves and protects us: Jesus boldly declared, â€œHe that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me hath [present tense] everlasting life, and shall not come [future imperative] into condemnation; but is passed [pluperfect or past perfect tense] from death unto lifeâ€ (John 5:24). â€œFor the Lord preserveth the faithfulâ€ (Psalm 31:23). Thatâ€™s pretty clear. Either those words are accurate or they are untrue. There is no middle ground.
Faith is the â€œshieldâ€ against the enemy: Many of us have read about the great â€œarmour of Godâ€ described inÂ Ephesians 6. Of the seven â€œpiecesâ€ listed in those verses, we are told, â€œAbove all [take] the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.â€ And when we â€œresist the devilâ€ (James 4:7), we are to do so â€œin the faithâ€ (1 Peter 5:9).
Faith gives us power for effective prayer: The â€œfaith as a grain of mustard seedâ€ promise inÂ Matthew 17:20Â refers not toÂ sizeÂ orÂ amount, but to theÂ quality. â€œIf ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed . . . nothing shall be impossible unto you.â€ We might translate that as, â€œIf you have the same kind of faith as a mustard seed, nothing shall be impossible unto you.â€ The â€œask . . . seek . . . findâ€ promise ofÂ Matthew 7:7Â depends on our confidence in our heavenly Father. And finally, â€œthis is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth usâ€ (1 John 5:14). HMM III