Foundations: What Every Christian Ought To Know

March 6-10


Faith and How to Have It

Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. – Romans 10:9 (ESV)

Under the headline, “Car Lover Buried In Corvette,” the newspaper column opened with: “If there is a highway to heaven, George Swanson may get to the Pearly Gates in style. He was buried in his white Corvette.” His wife Carolyn said, “A lot of people say they want to take it with them. Well, he took it with him.” Yes, there’s a highway to heaven, but you can’t travel it in a Corvette after you die. You must get on this highway while you are alive, and you get on it by placing your trust in Jesus Christ. (Our Daily Bread)

Based on Romans 10, faith is the highway to heaven. Romans 10:9 teaches you must “believe in your heart.” The word “believe” means to consider something to be true and therefore worthy of one’s trust. Paul had been teaching the Romans that righteousness before God only came by faith.  John Calvin remarks that “The seat of faith, it deserves to be observed, is not in the brain, but the heart; not that I wish to enter into any dispute concerning the part of the body which is the seat of faith, but since the word heart generally means a serious, sincere, ardent affection, I am desirous to show the confidence of faith to be a firm, efficacious, and operative principle in all the emotions and feelings of the soul, not a mere naked notion of the head.”


Believing is something that happens inwardly and confession is what we do outwardly. Our heart believes and our mouth confesses. When do you think you first believed in Jesus as your Savior and when do you think you first confessed Jesus as your Lord?


Praise God for the gift of salvation that you have received by placing your faith in Jesus. Ask God to give our church family opportunities to confess our faith in Jesus to others as a way of giving praise to God.


Genuine Faith Will Have the Right Object

For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” – Romans 10:11 (ESV)

In his book, “God’s Psychiatry,” Charles L. Allen tells this story: “As World War II was drawing to a close, the Allied armies gathered up many hungry orphans. They were placed in camps where they were well-fed. Despite excellent care, they slept poorly. They seemed nervous and afraid. Finally, a psychologist came up with the solution. Each child was given a piece of bread to hold after he was put to bed. This particular piece of bread was just to be held–not eaten. The piece of bread produced wonderful results. The children went to bed knowing instinctively they would have food to eat the next day. That guarantee gave the children a restful and contented sleep.”

Are you having trouble resting – trouble sleeping? As a child of God, you have God’s Holy Spirit as a guarantee that He has what you need and will supply it. Rest in Him! Trust Him! Have faith in Him. Our faith is not in what we have, but in what He can and will supply! (Charles L. Allen)

Pastor Jim reminded us that placing our faith in Jesus provides us with the guarantee and confidence for our salvation. To believe in Christ means to rely on or trust in Him as the One who died on the cross to pay the penalty for your sin. To believe in Christ implicitly means that you stop believing in yourself and your own good works as your hope for eternal life.


Pastor Jim said, “Weak faith in the right object is better than strong faith in the wrong object.” How did the picture of a blind girl jumping from the fire into her father’s arms help you better understand that the object of your faith matters?


Praise Jesus for some of His attributes that give you confidence in His trustworthiness. Ask God to give you the faith you need in any area of your life where you are having trouble trusting Him and leaping into His arms.


Genuine Faith Will Remove Shame

For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.  – Romans 10:11 (ESV)

A man went to the barber to get a shave. It seems the barber’s wife, Grace, was working in his place. She shaved the man and charged him $100.00. He started to complain about the price but decided against it. The next day he noticed that he did not need to shave again. Then the next day he also did not need a shave. This went on for two weeks. He returned to the barber shop and told the barber the amazing story. The barber said, “Oh, that was Grace who shaved you. Don’t you know that when you’ve been shaved by Grace, it is once shaved always shaved!”

Once we put our faith in Jesus, His grace removes the shame of our sin, once and for all. The good news is that on the cross, Jesus bore all of our guilt and shame so that the one who believes in Him will not be put to shame at the final judgment. The word used for “shame” in Romans 10:11 means not being put to shame with a guilty verdict at the judgment. It means that at the judgment God will vindicate the one who believes in Jesus.


We all have things in our past that we are ashamed of. Can you imagine if every ungodly thought or action you’ve ever committed was broadcast on social media? How confident are you that Jesus has removed all your shame?


Thank God that you don’t have to fear judgment and shame when you get to heaven if you have placed your faith in Jesus’ death in your place. Confess and repent of any shameful behaviors or attitudes you may still be carrying.


Genuine Faith Will Have the Right Origin

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?  – Romans 10:14 (ESV)

A cattle rancher got saved and surrendered to preach. He went to a Bible conference which was all about how to build a crowd. Asked about it later, he said, “It was strange. In all my years as a cattle rancher, I never had to go to a conference to learn how to get the cows to come to the feeding trough. I always just figured that if you put out good feed, the cows will come.” (Jerry Shirley)

The Apostle Paul taught that good preaching would lead to genuine faith. In order to have genuine faith, you must hear from God. Genuine faith comes from the preaching and teaching of the Word of God. People will never believe in Jesus if they never hear about Jesus. And they will never believe the right things about Jesus if no one ever teaches them the truth about Jesus from God’s Word.


Pastor Jim taught that God speaks to us when we spend time with Him in His Word. What is one of the last things you remember God’s Spirit saying to you through your quiet time? Who do you know that you aren’t sure if they have heard the truth about Jesus as Lord and Savior?


Thank God for the people who first told you about Jesus. Pray for an opportunity to tell someone else about Jesus who may have never heard.



Genuine Faith Will Have the Right Outcome

But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. – Romans 10:16-17 (ESV)

Did you know part of the United States was occupied by the enemy during World War II? Some of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands were held by Japanese troops. To supply the war effort, the United States government hastily built the Alaska Highway through the Canadian Rockies. Some years after the war ended, the Alcan Highway opened to the public. Little had changed along its 1,523 miles of dirt, mud, and treacherous snaking curves through the mountains. Shortly after being opened to the public, someone posted the following sign: “Choose your rut carefully. You will be in it for the next 1500 miles.” (Thomas Cash)

Some of us have been stuck in sinful ruts for years. When Paul talks about “strongholds” in 2 Corinthians 10, he has us in mind. The word “strongholds” was used in secular Greek to describe a strong military installation, a bastion, or a fortified place. And God has the power to destroy any stronghold.

Tony Evans explains that Paul says our spiritual weapons can destroy Satan’s fortresses. Weapons such as prayer, reading the Word, obedience, meditation on Scripture, fasting, and service can blow up the devil’s strongholds. And that is what we must do. These fortresses do not need to be remodeled. God does not tell us to capture them, change the locks, and use them for Him. Satan’s fortresses must be torn down. (The Battle is the Lord’s: Waging Victorious Spiritual Warfare)


Do you have any strongholds in your life? Ask God to destroy them. Do you have people in your life with strongholds? Ask God to destroy those strongholds. Ask God to use Second Baptist to destroy strongholds in our community.


Praise God for destroying the strongholds in your past. Praise Him for the promise to destroy any strongholds you may face in the future.