Living by Faith
Romans 1:15-17; 10:8–21

Introduction:
A. Paul’s Eagerness to Preach the Gospel – Romans 1:15-17
1. Romans 1:1-15 tells us about Paul’s relationship to the Romans and how much he wants to come see them in person.
2. Verse 15 begins with the word, “so,” telling us that it is a conclusion to what has gone before.
a) Paul was an apostle to the Gentiles, and many of the Roman saints were Gentiles.
b) Paul was writing these saints, just as he hoped soon to visit them and minister to them in person.
c) Paul was “eager to preach the gospel” to the church in Rome.
3. Verse 17 gives us a reason for Paul’s eagerness to preach the gospel.
a) The gospel not only saves people but it also reveals God’s righteousness to us all.
b) The gospel reveals God’s power to save us and also His righteousness in saving us.
c) In Romans 1:18–3:20 God is shown to be righteous in His condemnation of all men as sinners.
d) Romans 3:21-26 says that God is also shown to be righteous in the way He has provided a righteousness for men, a righteousness that is obtained not by works but by faith.

B. Faith and Grace
1. Now look at Romans 1:17.
a) Today we are going to look at faith.
b) If you want something from God, you must come with faith.
c) When you pray, you must pray believing.
2. Romans 1:17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.
a) Our message is titled “Living by Faith.”
b) Faith takes possession fo what grace provides.
c) Thank God for His gift of grace, but grace is meaningless to you unless you receive it by faith.
d) God’s grace is awesome, amazing, beyond anything we can ask or think, but we lay hold of grace by faith.
e) Grace is the gift from God of both the desire and the ability to do God’s will and faith is man’s responsibility to receive that gift of grace from God.
f) Those two must go together!

C. Faith and Unbelief
1. Faith is so important because the lack of faith, unbelief, is a supreme evil.
a) You may have heard that idolatry is the greatest evil.
b) Unbelief is also the greatest evil because idolatry and unbelief are two ways of saying the same thing.
2. It was unbelief that led Eve to fall in the Garden of Eden.
a) It was unbelief that kept the children of Israel out of the Promised Land for some forty years.
b) The reason that people are not saved is, if they believe not, they’re not saved.
c) If they trust the Lord, they’re saved.
3. People are not lost because they lie, steal, or commit adultery.
a) Jesus said they’re lost because they do not believe in Him.
b) About His hometown, Nazareth, Matthew 13:58 says “And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.”
c) So you and I are to live day by day and moment by moment by faith.
4. I am a growing Christian.
a) 2 Peter 3:18 “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity”
b) I want my faith to grow. – I’ve got a long way to go, and I’m running out of time.
c) I want to learn more and more about the Lord Jesus Christ.
d) The Bible says, “To those who believe nothing is impossible.”
e) To those who fail to believe, nothing is possible in the spiritual realm.
f) So let’s talk about about living by faith.

I. Real Faith
A. The Object of Faith
1. There is a lot out there in the world that is called faith, but is not faith.
a) True faith is measured by its object.
b) Romans 10 :11 “For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”
c) Underscore there in your Bible, “on him.”
d) The power of true faith lies in the object of that faith.
2. Sometimes a person will tell us when we are facing a problem, meaning to encourage us, “Well, just have faith. Only believe.”
a) The question comes to my mind: Faith in what? Only believe whom?
b) The Bible never teaches us to have faith in faith.
c) There is nothing magical or mystical about faith in itself.
d) It is the object of faith that validates our faith.
3. Sometimes people say, “Faith moves mountains.”
a) That is totally wrong! It is God that moves mountains!
b) In Mark 11 Jesus is talking about faith to move mountains and in Mark 11:22 And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God.”
c) Faith in faith is just positive thinking.
d) And a lot of people put their faith in faith.
e) If you put faith in faith rather than faith in God, you’re headed for a huge fall in your life.
f) Never put faith in faith. Put faith in God.
g) It is not primarily the strength of your faith that matters; it is the object of your faith – put your faith in God.

B. Look to Jesus
1. Charles Haddon Spurgeon said about Mark 9:23-24, that a trembling hand can receive a golden gift.
a) There was a man, a father, whose son was sick, and the father wanted the Lord Jesus Christ to heal him.
b) Mark 9:23-24 “And Jesus said to him, “ ‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”
c) Have you ever been there? I’ve been there many times.
d) I have faith, but it’s not perfect faith.
e) I believe, but I know in the very best of times there’s some unbelief in what I call faith.
f) But the Lord Jesus did exactly what that man asked Him to do.
g) Verse 24 (KJV) “And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”
h) And the Lord Jesus healed that man’s child.
2. Hebrews 12:2 “looking to Jesus, the founder (author) and perfecter (finisher)of our faith”
a) Don’t put faith in faith; put faith in the Lord Jesus.
b) The Greek word looking to means, “looking away from everything else and looking unto Jesus.”
c) Looking away from everything else and looking to Jesus, the author and the finisher of our faith.
d) Don’t look at others. Don’t look at your circumstances. Don’t look at Satan. Don’t look at self. Don’t look at your faith. Look to Jesus.
e) The way to have strong faith is to get to know the Lord. Study the Bible. Let God strengthen you. Look to Jesus. He is the author and the finisher of your faith.
3. Psalm 9:10 “And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.”
a) So when you know the Lord, you’re going to have faith and you will trust Him.
b) Daniel 11:32 “… the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action”.
c) Romans 10:11 “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”
d) Get to know God.
e) In real faith, God is the object of your faith.

II. The Origin of Faith
A. How does true faith come?
1. True faith is not only knowing God, but hearing God.
a) Romans 10:14 “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?”
b) Romans 10:17 “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”
2. In order to have faith, not only must you have the right object, but your faith must have the right origin.
a) You must hear from God. “… faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”
b) Because what is faith? Faith is getting a word from God, believing it, and acting on it.
c) You cannot have faith unless you hear from God.
d) Faith is not just guessing on the will of God.
e) You don’t generate faith. You don’t work it up.
f) Faith is the result of hearing God.

B. Natural Faith
1. You can have natural faith without hearing from God.
a) You can put faith in an automobile, faith in an airplane, faith in a doctor, faith in food.
b) You go to the doctor and sometimes that’s faith.
c) The doctor tells you that you have a disease you have never heard of, writes a prescription that you cannot read, for a medicine whose name you can’t pronounce.
d) You give it to a druggist that you don’t know, who gives you bottle of liquid that tastes like poison.
e) You go home and take it and then you ask for more. That’s faith!
f) That is faith in the natural world.
2. Biblical faith is not like that.
a) For Biblical faith you must hear from God.
b) You don’t make yourself believe; you hear from God and then you believe in Him.
c) When you know God and you hear from God, then faith is a very, very natural thing to do.

C. A gift from God
1. Even the faith itself is a gift of God.
a) Ephesians 2:8-9, “8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
b) What is the gift of God?
(1) The grace? Yes!
(2) The faith? Yes!
(3) They are both the gift of God.
2. Philippians 1:29 “For it has been granted (given) to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake”
a) Believing on Him is granted to us or given to us.
b) Nobody can believe God unless God enables that person to believe by His grace!
3. And the instrument that God gives to enable you to believe is His Word.
a) Romans 10:17 “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
b) Faith is not a leap in the dark.
c) Faith is a step in the light that comes when you hear from God and believe in Him.
d) Without a word from God in any matter, you do not have biblical faith.
e) You don’t name it and claim it. You believe it and receive it.
f) But you can’t claim it until God names it for you.
g) It’s very important to understand this!
h) The only thing that you can believe is what God has said.

D. The Substance of Faith
1. That’s the reason the Bible says in Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
a) Sometimes people translate the word hope in their mind to the word wish, and say, “Faith is the substance of things we wish for.”
b) But that’s not what the word hope here means.
c) “hope” means “bedrock assurance based on the Word of God.”
d) When you have the of assurance of the Word of God, then you have faith.
2. Hebrews 11:1 “… faith is the substance of things hoped for …”
a) The word substance in Greek word, is very much like our English word substance.
b) It means “something solid.”
c) Sub, meaning “beneath us”; stance, “something to stand on.”
d) When you have faith, it’s not based on feelings.
e) It is based on rock-solid hope from the Bible.

E. Faith and God’s Evidence
1. Hebrews 11:1“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, [and it is] the evidence of things not seen.”
a) If you are trying to solve a mystery or a crime, you would look for evidence.
b) And, when you find conclusive evidence, you know what it is and who did it.
2. Faith is evidence that God puts in your heart that He’s going to do something.
a) You haven’t seen it yet, but you find God’s fingerprints on your heart.
b) God is speaking to you. And you have the substance of God’s Word, and you have the evidence of what God is showing you.
c) You have heard from God – faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.
3. Romans 10:14 (NAS) “How shall they believe him whom they have not heard …”
a) It doesn’t say in Him, but Him.
b) So hearing Bro. Dan will not give you faith.
c) You can understand everything I say today and your faith would be no better.
d) You have got to hear God speaking to you.
e) I’m only the messenger and I am delivering His word, but you’ve got to hear God speaking to your heart.
4. When you come to church, you ought to ask, “What did God say to me today?”
a) You want to hear God speaking to you through His Word and once you hear God, He takes the word and makes it come alive in your heart.
b) There are two words for word in the Bible – logos and rhema.
c) Logos means the entire revelation, the Word of God, starting with Genesis and going on through Revelation – it is the written Word, and Jesus is the logos, the living Word – the Word made flesh.
d) But then the word rhema that’s used here in verse 17 means a spoken truth, an insight, a conviction that comes out of that word spoken directly into your heart.
e) It is the word that comes alive to you and God speaks to you.
f) If God takes His Word and puts that word in your heart, then you’re going to find faith to begin to grow in your life, because faith comes from hearing.

III. The Result of Faith
A. God’s Will Gets Done
1. Remember! Faith is not given to get man’s will done in heaven, but to get God’s will done on earth.
a) Romans 10:15 “… how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”
b) I should never come to you and preach unless God has sent me, unless I have a message from God.
c) That is the most important part of my sermon preparation – hearing what it is that God wants me to bring to you.
2. Why would God send a messenger?
a) Because God Himself has something that He wants done.
b) The result of faith from the knowledge of the will of God is the fulfillment of that will.
c) You cannot have faith unless you hear from God.
d) If God has something He wants done, then God will speak to your heart. It may be through a preacher.
3. Faith does not make God man’s servant – Faith makes man God’s servant.
a) It’s not getting man’s will done in heaven, but getting God’s will done on earth.
b) Praying in the will of God, believing for the will of God, does not mean fewer blessings for you; it means more blessings for you.
c) God doesn’t need anything. He’s Almighty God. He has everything.
d) God loves you and God wants to bless you!
e) If God doesn’t want it done, He’s not going to give you faith.
f) Only if God wants it done can you get faith.
4. Do you want faith?
a) Have you come to the place where you want, more than anything else, for God’s will to be done in your life through you and by you?
b) Then you’re going to discover faith growing in your heart.
c) 1 John 5:14 “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us”
d) You have to hear God in order to ask according to His will and when you ask according to His will, you know that He is going to hear you.

IV. Faith and Obedience
A. It is not faith until you obey God!
1. How do you release this faith into your life?
a) You must know God.
b) You must hear God.
c) You must honor God.
2. How do you do honor God? You must obey Him!
a) It is not faith until you begin to obey God’s will.
b) True faith does more than believe.
c) Hebrews 11:6 “Without faith it is impossible to please God.”
d) “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” (John Sammis)
3. What is the difference between belief and faith?
a) Faith is belief that acts based on that belief.
b) Read Hebrews 11 – it tells about all that these people did by faith.
c) If you believe, it is because God has given you the grace that enables you to believe.
d) But if you do not believe, it is your fault if you fail to believe because you did not receive His gift of grace.
4. Watch how this works:
16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?”
17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
18 But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have, for “Their voice has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.”
19 But I ask, did Israel not understand? First Moses says, “I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation; with a foolish nation I will make you angry.”
20 Then Isaiah is so bold as to say, “I have been found by those who did not seek me; I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me.”
21 But of Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people.”

5. The Word of God is not on trial.
a) To believe is to obey, and to obey is real faith, and to obey means blessings from the Lord God Almighty!
b) I hope that you’ll take these verses and that you will study them.
c) Paul here in Romans 10 is talking about salvation and how to be saved by faith.
d) How are you saved by faith? You believe in God. You hear Him speaking to your heart.
e) Your desire is to honor God, and so you obey God.
f) So Paul calls believing obeying the gospel.