I researched intensively on the word “faith” from the Hebrew and Greek languages, using the Internet. But all the explanations make my head spin, so I have to go back to my Bible and just let the Word of God speak for itself.
In the Old Testament the word “faith” is only mentioned once while in the New Testament, “faith” is mentioned 243 times. My question again is, “How Come?” Let us find out why. In the Old Testament, which are the Scriptures from Genesis to Malachi, individual persons of whom God had chosen were hoping and looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God, (Hebrews 11:8-10). In Hebrews 11:1 to 2 it says “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.” If you read the whole chapter eleven of the book of Hebrews, you will find out that the patriarch whom God had chosen put into action what they were hoping for. What are they hoping for? They were hoping for the Savior to come and they were hoping for the heavenly city. They put into action what they are hoping for, until death. “All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.” (Hebrews 11:13)
Only in the New Testament were they were called men of faith, because in their time God the Savior has not come to earth in human form. When the Lord was crucified on the cross, true “biblical faith” was born; now the work of God has finished. Our faith in the Lord Jesus is the biblical faith. (Hebrews 12:2) “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Since the word “faith” is mentioned in the book of Habakkuk, let us examine and study this book. The shortest way to understand this narrative is to read commentaries, so here; I’ll present a summary of the story for my readers to quickly understand.
Among the prophetic writings, Habakkuk is somewhat unique. It contains a dialogue between the prophet and God. In the first two chapters, Habakkuk argues with God over His ways that appears to Him unfathomable, if not unjust. Having received replies, he responds with a beautiful confession of faith (chapter 3).
Habakkuk was perplexed that wickedness, strife and oppression were rampant in Judah but God seemingly did nothing. When told that the Lord was preparing to do something about it through the “fierce” Babylonians (1:6), his perplexity only intensified: How could God, who is “too pure to approve evil” (1:13)?
God makes it clear, however, that eventually the corrupt destroyer will itself be destroyed. In the end, Habakkuk learns to rest in God’s appointments and await his working in a spirit of worship.
God allowed the fierce Babylonians who were more wicked than God’s people to punish the corrupt leaders. “Like leaders, like people” as the saying goes. If the leaders are corrupt so are the people who follow their leaders. But before the destruction of Jerusalem, there were prophets who boldly exposed their wickedness, but instead of repenting, they persecuted God’s prophets that warned them.
In our time or in this generation the word “FAITH” has been abused by greedy preachers. They used the word “seed faith” to allure people to give money, so ministries become big business. Not all, but most preachers become corrupt and people have been deceived by their alluring sweet talk and with big smiles. What happened in Habakkuk’s time will happen to Christianity in this generation if Christians do not repent and put into action God’s Word in their lives to get rid of idolatry which is greediness. Because the dollar is the god of most big time church leaders, destruction to Christians or to churches is inevitable or unavoidable. It will come sooner or later. It is not a matter of if but when it happens, Habakkuk’s confession of faith in chapter three verses seventeen to nineteen will be the confession of Christians who really have true biblical faith in Jesus: “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord. I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.”
This context on this day and age is not talking about farming or agriculture or the failure of animal husbandry, but of the collapse of the economy. Because the US dollar is the god of the people, God will allow the US dollar to lose its value and when it happens the whole world will be affected. No one is to be spared from worldwide economic calamity. The Lord Jesus predicted a famine and it is for sure worldwide famine! Do we think just because we are Christians we will be spared? Habakkuk himself was not spared. Because most of professing Christians especially church leaders are greedy, God’s judgment through economic calamity of the whole world is unavoidable.
Faith on wealth is not faith at all. Faith on a person who assumed to have power to perform supposedly miracles is not faith at all. Faith on idols images or on any other gods is not faith at all. Faith on your ability to believe or faith upon faith itself is not faith at all. Faith on your own good works is not faith at all. But true biblical faith is on the Lord Jesus Christ alone and what the Bible says He is. He is the object of our faith.
Hebrews 12:2: “Looking unto Jesus the author and the finisher of our faith.” “JESUS IS THE AUTHOR AND THE FINISHER OF OUR FAITH PERIOD!”
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Sermon by: Pastor Bobby Cabonce