Did people ever live by faith? Do you believe that men like Abraham and Moses lived by faith? The Bible says that Moses, by faith refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. The Bible says that by faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain. The Bible says that “By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a Rewarder of them that diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:5-6). I’ve never met a difficulty that could not be solved. I’ve never found a question that could not find its answer in the Word of God. I believe this, that if people ever lived by faith, we could live by faith now. Hebrews 10:38 tells us, “Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.”
“Now, faith IS.” That’s the greatest statement in the Bible that I know of for the Christian. Faith is right NOW. Not faith was, or shall be, it is right now. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear”. Hebrews 11:1-3 The forty verses in Hebrews chapter 11, which has been the theme chapter of the Enterprises, have been the basis for everything that we’ve ever done in the Roloff Evangelistic Enterprises, which I would prefer to be considered the Faith Enterprises.
Verse 39 and 40, “And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.” Chapter 12:1-3. “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.” Four times in the Bible, God says “The just shall live by faith.” Now then, who’s just? The Bible says in Romans 5:1, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” It will have to be people who are saved. If we’re saved, there is only one way for us to live.
Have you ever heard anybody say, “It’s a sight!” That’s about the way the average person lives. He lives by sight, not by faith. But you cannot live by sight and by faith, neither can you live by fear and by faith. It either has to be by faith or by fear, by faith or by sight. Which way are you living? Faith takes out the anxiety It takes out the fear. Faith leans heavy on the Lord. It knows that the Bible is so and can be trusted and that we can live by it and all of our needs will be supplied.
Some years ago I wrote a little book called Food, Fasting and Faith, and I want to share with you thirty truths listed in the last chapter, “Faith Is The Key To God’s Smokehouse.”
1. Faith is real.
2. Faith is a gift.
3. Faith is the life of Christ.
4. Faith is the rope tied to the bucket of reality, dipping itself into the fullness of God.
5. Faith is stepping when there is no place to step. I don’t think the children of Israel stepped into the Red Sea after it was all dry. I believe when Moses stepped, the water was right there in front of him, but I believe as he picked up his foot and put it down, the water was gone and the ground was dry. It wasn’t taking any faith for him to place his foot down on a piece of dry land if it was already dry all the way across. My prediction is that it might not have even rolled back except as they walked. That’s faith! Faith will never be understood down here. Elijah, Moses, Abraham, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Micah, and many others, especially Jesus, were not understood. They weren’t understood down here and you won’t be.
6. Faith is victory.
7. Faith is living the overcoming life.
8. Faith is more forceful than fire.
9. Faith is the key to the lions’ jaws.
10. Faith is the power that destroyed the walls of Jericho. Can you imagine anyone as foolish as that bunch of Israelites? Do you know what tore down the walls of Jericho? The Word of God. Do you know what living by faith is? Just taking God at His Word. Faith doesn’t always make sense to the world but faith makes sense to me, because God says, “I will supply all your needs.” I’ve believed Him and He has.
11. Faith is the road to the city not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
12. Faith became deliverance for the millions of Israelites without a shot being fired and with only one casualty. That casualty cost Moses a sentence of forty years in the wilderness.
13. Faith is seeing the unseen, the invisible.
14. Faith is endurance.
15. Faith is the opposite of fear.
16. Faith is pleasing God.
17. Faith is Bible living.
18. Faith is salvation.
19. Faith is the Christian’s keeping power.
20. Faith is the hand and arm that is reaching after the garment of God for certain healing.
21. Faith is man’s extremity and God’s opportunity.
22. Faith is life’s extension cord.
23. Faith is the authority of God.
24. Faith is the mixture that makes the Gospel effective.
25. Faith is the storm-stopper.
26. Faith is man resting and God working.
27. Faith is receiving.
28. Faith is giving all.
29. Faith is God in action on the battlefield, winning every battle and making real what Christ made possible.
30. Faith is complete surrender demonstrated by Jesus on the cross, denied by Peter, forsaken by His own, betrayed by Judas, with heaven’s gates closed in His face, with the angels silent, his telephone line to the Father’s house clipped, deserted by the Spirit, but Jesus still had faith? Do you have that kind of faith? Do you have the kind of faith that will give you victory in your daily life every day?
How can a person live by faith? The greatest thing I ever learned in my life was to live by faith. God vindicated His Word and has blessed us, so I know what it is and I’ve learned to live a good deal by faith. I’ve made some mistakes. There are some things I would not do again, but I believe I could say this, the mistakes we’ve made have been of the head and not of the heart, but I believe it still pays to fight and to stand for God. God has wonderfully blessed and given many precious souls.
God honors faith. Don’t talk to me about it not being practical. It works. If you live by faith, you’re going to pay your bills too. Somebody said, “Well, I’m just living by faith. I’m having a hard time.” You’re having the best time of anybody if you’re living by faith. “We just do the best we can, because we’re living by faith.” You can’t do any better than that. I’m not ashamed to say that God is faithful. I don’t want to live any other way. I had rather die right now than not to live by faith. I’d lose all the thrill of living if I didn’t live by faith. I don’t want to know what tomorrow holds. I just want to trust Who holds tomorrow and go on by faith.
I’m going to do my best to explode your silly notion that faith won’t work right now. I get so disgusted with this bunch of Tom Thumbs that run around and act like God’s dead. No wonder the world says He’s dead. When we worry and fret and murmur and complain and have jealousy and envy and are ugly, they don’t see anything in us. You don’t have any problem God couldn’t solve if you’d give your life to Him and put your faith in Him. “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and He shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:6 “Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” Psalm 37:5. “Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.” Psalm 127:1.
I wish people would trust Jesus. It just grieves me to see the way people live today. I don’t see how Jesus puts up with us, when He tells us what He will do for us and we don’t believe Him. I remember I was praying one day in my study and was kneeling at a little divan and when I got through praying, there were four one-hundred dollar bills laying right there on the divan where I was praying. Do you think they just fell down? No, I think somebody came in and dropped them down, but nevertheless they came. The Lord is real. I’ve gone in the pulpit and opened this Bible and I’ve found hundred dollar bills in my Bible. I was checking out of my motel in Big Spring and looked in the drawer and found a thousand dollar bill that somebody had given me.
God is concerned about you, but the trouble with most of us is that we’re not willing to trust Him. We’re not willing to put all our faith in Him. God never makes a mistake. He said, “…God will supply ALL your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 How precious and wonderful the Lord has been.
I believe that God’s people ought to live by faith. He said, “Now the just shall live by faith.” I believe in salvation by grace, through faith, plus nothing. I believe in eternal security. I just believe that God wants me to live by faith. Christians, we need to have the authority of the Scripture. You and I need to know that God is going to back up His Word. He is going to stand by His wonderful Word. I’ve learned from people I could learn from and God has blessed me. I’ve learned some of my most valuable lessons from people that you’d not put much emphasis on at all. Faith is always searching for the truth. If you’re not hungry for the truth, forget about trying to live by faith. You’ll never make it. All of this started when I started reading through the Bible and believing the Bible and memorizing the Bible, and when I began to throw other junk aside and just stay right with the Book. That’s the secret. I know that in me there dwells no good thing, but I praise the Lord that faith is just exactly like it was in the long ago. Moses led the children of Israel across the Red Sea dry shod. Daniel went in the lions’ den and came out without a scratch. Shadrach, Mesheck and Abednego went in the fiery furnace and there was not one smell of smoke on them when they came out. Now, the question is Do you believe that the same God that protected them is our God today? Are you willing just to step out by faith? I realize it’s going to throw you out of kelter with everything around you, but that doesn’t make a lot of difference. They are not going to love you for it, but they will respect you for it. The only thing God honors is faith and the only thing that will honor God is just faith. I’m so glad I learned to trust Him.
Have you ever learned to live by faith? You may ask, “Would faith include every need?” It would. Your husband, your home, your provisions. You would not have to want for anything. “Now the just shall live by faith.”
Let me tell you how to live by faith.
1. Quit running with unbelievers. Get away from a bunch of modernists. If you are going to a church where the preacher doesn’t believe in living by faith, I’d get out of it.
2. I’d stay with this Book and memorize much of it. If you’d memorize one chapter every thirty days, it would set you in good shape to live by faith. Don’t tell me you don’t have time. You may have to throw your newspaper aside and cut off the television set, but they haven’t been a blessing to you anyhow.
3. Associate with God’s people who believe.
4. Spend some time in prayer.
5. Last of all, look to Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith. Keep your eye on Him, looking unto Jesus, “who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. The way to live by faith is to look at Him who lived by faith.
The greatest example of faith that ever was was the Lord Jesus. Can you imagine Jesus leaving Heaven and leaving His royal robes and Heaven, with all of its glory, and coming down to be born and laid in the arms of a peasant mother? That’s faith. Can you imagine walking into the jaws of death, having nails driven through His hands and having His side pierced, a crown of thorns on His brow and He was rejected by the world. He came unto His own and His own received Him not. Simon Pester denied Him, Judas betrayed Him, many went back and walked with Him no more, and yet when He hung on the cross to die for me, the gates of heaven had closed on Him. He had been cut off from the father. He didn’t say, “My Father,” He said, “My God.” Why? He didn’t have a father because He was dying as a sinner. Then He said, “Father, into Thy hands I commend my Spirit.” “Even though I’m cut off from you and I can’t hear from you, I know I’m coming.” That’s faith. What about your faith?