WHY MUST WE GROW IN FAITH?
Once we understand that faith pleases God, it is logical to think that the greater our faith, the more we will please the Lord. We know that all of us at the new birth have already received a portion of faith however; it is incorrect to affirm as some people do, that some people have no faith at all. What these people really need is an increase of faith, not for us to pray with them so that they may have faith, since all Christians already have a portion of faith.
But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ (Matthew 4:4)
When a person eats bread, it enters the body and gives it energy and strength, building its muscles and enabling it to perform the physical activities of daily living. The Lord’s statement shows us that His Word can feed our spirit. The faith that we receive at the new birth, enables us to overcome in the daily battle of our faith.
In Romans, the Scriptures assure us: “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” (Romans 10:17). Therefore, we can perceive that we can increase the faith that God initially gave us since the Scriptures affirm that faith comes by the Word of God. We see then that the Word of God is a source of nourishment to increase our faith. We must understand the need to feed ourselves on His Word.
CONFESSION OF FAITH AND ANSWERED PRAYER
For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. (Mark 11:23)
That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)
In these two verses, we can observe that belief in the heart intimately relates to the words of our mouth. This means that moving in faith and believing in the heart relate to speaking, which is the same thing as confessing. Confession means to say the same thing.
We must confess our faith in God and in his Word. The confession of faith is the spoken testimony of our faith, it is simply agreeing with God, repeating his Word by saying the same thing. Revelation 12:11 says that those who overcame the devil overcame him because of the blood of the lamb and because of the word of their testimony. To confess the Word is to testify or give testimony to what we believe: that God is powerful to do what he promised (Romans 4:21).
Confessing activates faith, but we must not confess just anything or any thought. We must have correct thoughts since whoever thinks correctly believes and acts correctly.
Five biblical truths concerning confession of faith
Our confession of faith must line up with five biblical truths:
- What God has done for us in Christ in the plan of salvation
- What God has done in our inner man by the Word and by the Spirit in the new birth and in the filling with the Holy Spirit
- Who we are in God the Father through Jesus Christ
- What Jesus is doing for us at the right hand of the Father
- What God and his Word can do through us when we confess it
The Old Testament offers various testimonies concerning confession of faith and answers to prayer. We can see a correct confession of faith in David’s victory over Goliath when the giant challenged the armies of Israel.
Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. (1 Samuel 17:45, 46)
What is your confession of faith when you face a conflict? Do you position yourself just as David did, completely believing in God?
Another example is the woman who suffered a hemorrhage for 12 years (Mark 5:24-34). The Lord Jesus healed her when she touched the hem of his garment. She had heard of his fame and said, “If I but touch the hem of His garment, I will be healed”. We truly must believe that if we merely touch the Lord in prayer, believing in our heart, that is, with our spirit, He will hear us and respond immediately from His throne