Faith Is Taught, Not Caught

Robert E. Vincent

 The other day my family and I were driving around our home town, and we saw a denomination’s billboard which read, “Faith is caught, not taught.” I do not know what they had in mind when they put that saying on their sign, but, in light of the scriptures, the statement is false. The Bible emphasizes numerous times that faith is essential to one’s salvation, and it is something we learn, are taught, and then obey. Consider some of the following verses that teach the importance of faith and how it is obtained.

 In Hebrews 11:1, we read the following definition of faith: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Faith is real; it is based upon evidence and testimony from God. The evidence of God is all around us in the design, beauty, and order in our world, universe, and even our very physical bodies. God “did not leave Himself without witness” (Acts 14:14). The Psalmist wrote, “The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork” (Psalm 19:1). Concerning the evidence of God, Paul wrote, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they (mankind) are without excuse” (Romans 1:20). There is no reason or excuse for anyone not to know that there is a God. Only “the fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God’ ” (Psalm 14:1).

 Not only do we have the evidence of God in creation, but we also have His testimony in His divinely inspired, written Word. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16). There is no reasonable explanation for the existence and indestructibility of the Bible, save for the fact that it is from God Himself. The answers to life’s greatest questions are found in God’s Word. “Where did we come from?” The Bible declares, “God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27). “Why are we here?” The Bible declares, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all” (Ecclesiastes 12:13). “Where are we going?” The Bible declares, “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). “What must I do to be saved?” “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38).

 How does one obtain faith? You do not “catch” faith like you would a cold, a virus, or the flu. According to the Word of God, faith is taught and learned! In quoting the Old Testament prophets, Jesus said, “It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me” (John 6:45). The apostle Paul revealed by the Holy Spirit how that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). The apostle Peter said that through teaching “the word of the gospel” with the mouth, faith is produced (cf. Acts 15:7). Regarding the people of Berea, we learn that they “were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11). The apostle John, by inspiration, summarized the Gospel account with these words: “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name” (John 20:30-31). We must have faith in order to please God (cf. Hebrews 11:6). We are to “contend for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). The faith of Christ that we must have in order to be saved must be taught, learned, believed, and obeyed!

 Through His own obedience to His Father, Jesus “became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (Hebrews 5:9). He has given the commission to His disciples to “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19). 

 Are you, by faith, being obedient to the Son of God? Jesus said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16). He also made the conditional promise, “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life (Revelation 2:10). Are you being faithful to the Lord? -1311 Sanlor Ave.,West Milton, OH 45383.

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