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And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32

The Faith

By Louis Rushmore

The phrase "the faith" appears frequently throughout the New Testament and refers to the Gospel. "Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel" (Philippians 1:27). "The faith" stands distinct from the law of Moses (Old Testament) which it superseded (Galatians 3:23-25).

"The faith" is styled as "the word of God" and that to which we must be "obedient" (Acts 6:7; Romans 1:5). "The faith" must be preached (Galatians 1:23) and results in the establishment of both individuals and congregations (Colossians 2:7; Acts 16:5). Not only will some attempt to turn others from "the faith" (Acts 13:8), regrettably even Christians will "depart" (1 Timothy 4:1), deny (1 Timothy 5:8), and err (1 Timothy 6:10, 21) from it. We, though, are encouraged to "continue" (Acts 14:22; Colossians 1:23) and "stand fast" (1 Corinthians 16:13; 1 Peter 5:9) in "the faith."

Scripture admonishes Christians to examine themselves to ascertain if they are indeed in "the faith" (2 Corinthians 13:5). If we are not found in "the faith," we are "reprobates" (2 Corinthians 13:5; 2 Timothy 3:8). Christians are further urged to be "grounded and settled" (Colossians 1:23) and "sound in the faith" (Titus 1:13). Consequently, we are charged to "earnestly contend for the faith" (Jude 3).

According to the inspired apostle Paul, "the faith" is the basis of true unity among the people of God (i.e., "the unity of the faith" Ephesians 4:13). "The faith" is the source of personal faith (Romans 10:17) whereby everyone who derives his faith from the same source, "the faith," is united as God wants unity.

Of special interest is the fact that "the faith" centers on "the Christ." This is evident from Acts 24:24: "And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ." Here, the Greek reads: "the in Christ faith." Probably no greater emphasis could be placed on the correlation between "the faith" and "the Christ." In similar fashion, Revelation 14:12 records: "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." Notice also that "the faith" is synonymous with "the commandments of God."

We are undone without "the faith." May we, therefore, live so that we may be able to say as the apostle Paul said: "I have kept the faith" (2 Timothy 4:7). We earnestly also want to say with the apostle: "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing" (2 Timothy 4:8).

H. A. "Buster" Dobbs, email:
P. O. Box 690192
Houston, Texas 77269-0192
(281) 469-3540

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