As we consider faith and it's importance in Christian life, as we consider it's importance in our own life, we might start to wonder about the mechanics of faith. We might wonder how faith works. How can we build faith? How can we keep it?

To understand and then gain or build faith is the quest faced by all persons seeking Christian maturity. Understanding faith is simple and very personal: Your faith is what ever you believe it to be. If you have built faith in the truth God revealed to us in the Bible, it will reward you greatly. (2 Corinthians 5:18-19) If you have built faith in what men say Jesus taught, you may be very disappointed. (Matthew 7:21-23 ; John 8:31-32) The Bible defines healthy faith as a belief in things which can be comprehended, but not seen or touched. (Hebrews 11:1-3) The faith the Bible recommends, then: Is reliance on our Creator whom we can neither see nor touch. (Exodus 33:20 ; John 6:46 ; 1 John 4:12) Even though we can't see God, it is easy to perceive his existence. (Heb 3:4 ; Romans 1:20-23) [The balance of Romans Chap. 1 and Chap. 2, verses 1 & 2, demonstrate how individuals who choose to live without faith in the Bible manifest themselves (through greed, jealousy, deceit, fighting, murder, etc.). Sincere lovers of the Bible manifest lovingkindness toward others. (John 13:34-35) Those without faith have no capacity to show real love, because all who manifest love are able to do so only because of their knowledge of God's love for us. (1_John_4:19 ; Romans 1:28-32)] What YOU should (we all should) be concerned with, then, is your own personal faith? (Romans 3:28) As you seek faith, you should realize: No one can define or justify your faith except YOU (and God and Christ of course)! (Romans 2:15) That said, there are things about faith we can all agree on from the Bible. One point needing to be made clear, and that we should all recognize, is the need to be certain we believe in what the Bible teaches, and not what some person or group believes it teaches. (Matthew 7:23 ; Matthew 7:15-20) The two are usually very different, and what some (even well intentioned) men say the Bible teaches presents as a grave danger to Bible students.

Following are some things we believe the Bible teaches about faith. You, of course, must confirm that for yourself (by your comparing our assertions with the Bible). (Acts 17:11) [This website exists to make that comparison an "easy thing." (Proverbs 14:6)] The Bible indicates a direct correlation between our faith and the activity of God's spirit in our lives. (Matthew 8:13) It is our faith which allows God's spirit to act upon us. (Matthew 10:20) (Not that God has need of our faith to use his spirit to help or correct us, but we need faith if we are to be able to make use of his spirit. He has made it so because He  doesn't  won't force our love and obedience.) That is not to imagine our faith is like a spell that comes over us. It is not that Jehovah God takes control of our actions to impel us toward some action. [God might choose to control the actions of certain individuals from time to time, but that is not dependant on their faith. An example is the prophecy about God influencing the kings of the earth (governments) to destroy false religion. (Revelation 17:17) When the nations destroy religion, it won't be because of their faith in God. He will cause them to do it none the less. Jehovah can do what ever he wishes with anyone, and he has done so for brief periods. He doesn't need or want, however, us to act like puppets on a wire. If He needs something done, it is probably easier for him to do it himself than to drive us to do it.] Our faith rather becomes our choice as to who we are. It is not something God forces; It is a gift he offers. We have the opportunity to become free sons and daughters of God who have chosen to worship him because it is right and good - because he is right and good. That choice is based on faith and it gives us the opportunity to be personal friends of the Creator of all. (Isa 41:8) You can't have strong faith, unless you first build faith. That takes time with some knowledge of God's word. We might have faith to draw on God's spirit to accomplish great things, but if our faith is not tried and tested, it could fail us when under stress. (Matthew 14:28-31) For our faith to absolutely dependable, it must be unwavering. Our faith in God should be as real as is our faith in gravity. Again, building strong faith takes time. (James 1:2-4 ; Romans 5:1-5) As our faith develops, it influences our mind and reconstructs who we are. (Hebrews 4:12-13) One translation uses the phrase: we "become new in the force actuating our mind." (Ephesians 4:20-24) We actually become new people: people of faith. (Romans 12:2) We make the choice to make our mind over by means of our faith. We choose to put on the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:14-16 ; Luke 10:21-22 ; John 6:44-47) It is God's word (and the Bible alone) which has the power to enable us to do that. (Hebrews 4:12) We are on this day, what our Faith is on this day. The actions we take today will be based on and driven by that faith. We will do what we believe (have faith) is in our best interest, based on where we truly believe our happiness lies; that is our faith. We will tomorrow be what our faith is tomorrow. If we believe being upright is the most valuable and rewarding way of life, we will do our best to be upright. We will always manifest in our being what our true faith is. There are no rules we can learn to evoke faith. There is no plan to manifest it. We can't learn little tricks to make use of it. Faith must be there, in our mind and heart, when we need it. (Philippians 4:6-7) Our faith is who we are! Every single person is in that exact same circumstance. We are being faithful to our Creator, or we are not! We are all making that same choice. It is up to us alone to decide whether we are (and will be) persons of faith! If a person is not faithful, they can choose to become so, right up until the instant they become wicked. (A person becomes wicked [is defined to be wicked] when judged so by our God. He will not render such judgment, however, until wicked individuals have demonstrated they absolutely will not be helped. [Deuteronomy 32:5 ; Psalm 36:1-4 ; 2 Peter 3:9 ; Matthew 12:31] Satan is an example of one who will never allow himself to be corrected. [John 8:44]) If you have even a smoldering flicker of light in you (which represents an aspiration to righteousness), (Matthew 12:20) there is likely hope. (Matthew 12:20-21) [That decision does, of course, rest with you; and your judgment rests with God (Isaiah 33:22 ; 1 Corinthians 15:24-28) - that action of judgment being handed over to Christ. (Acts 17:31 ; John 5:22 ; 2 Tim 4:1)]

Faith is also tied to our love. (1 Corinthians 16:13 ; Galatians 5:5-6 ; Ephesians 3:14-19) All who come to God are drawn to him by love. (Hebrews 11:6) Our first impetus to seek God is a manifestation of basic faith. That love which first draws us is also our recognition of God's love for us. (1 John 4:19) As we learn who God is, and build love for him based in Bible knowledge, our love for Jehovah manifests itself in obedience to his teachings. (1 John 5:3) Those who have true faith, then, are obedient to God's word. (John 14:10-12) Those with unwavering faith are absolutely obedient! (Hebrews 5:8) It is not that the faithful are controlled by God in some way, or forced to be obedient. They are obedient because they love him; And they know his way of doing things is perfect. (Deuteronomy 32:4) They are obedient because they don't want to cause harm. The faithful understand going against God in any way will cause harm. (Romans 5:12 ; Isaiah 48:17 ; Romans 8:21-22 ; Romans 1:27) That is not to imply those who love God will always do exactly what He would do in dealing with a particular situation, but their choice will be in harmony with his will. An example we might consider is Gabriel the angel. Gabriel was sent to deliver a message to Mary, (the then future mother of Jesus,) and to Zechariah, (the future father of John the Baptist). Zechariah showed a lack of faith and Gabriel struck him dumb (unable to speak) until John was born. (Luke 1:8-12) It is unlikely Jehovah made that decision for Gabriel. If taking that action himself, Jehovah might have used some slightly different approach with Zechariah, but Gabriel's action was in harmony with Jehovah's will and was acceptable. That was so because Gabriel acted in faith based on an intimate knowledge of God. As another example consider be the army officer who came to Jesus to get help for his servant. Jesus told the army officer he would heal the servant when he got to the officer's home. The army officer told Jesus he didn't need to come to his home, that he could just say the word and his servant would be healed. Jesus altered what he was about to do, and rather did what the army officer had faith to have done. (Matthew 8:5-13) Faith is a powerful gift from our Father. Do not imagine the faithful are unthinking or unhappy drones. They are thrilled with life and have a desire to live forever. They simply know God's ways are perfect. They realize perfect standards can never be improved upon. For there to be true peace and happiness among mankind, all must willingly live according to God's perfect standards.

Faith enables us to magnify our God. (Luke 1:46-49) By building an unwavering faith, we can become extensions of Jehovah, extensions of good. He doesn't have to watch over and control us. Faith in what the Bible teaches enables us to act in line with God's will and purposes - to demonstrate we have chosen God as our Father. (John 8:42-47 ; Romans 1:20-2:11) If we build true faith, we will do our best to act as emissaries of our God in everything we do. What an unbelievably wonderful and sobering thought. What better gift could there be? For it to be so, the faith we have built must be based in God's word the Bible. Serving by faith as emissaries is what unites all true Christians, being made part of the group of Jehovah's friends (1 Cor 12:12-26) through their individual faith in Christ, and all under God. (1 Corinthians 15:20-28) That unity is not brought by some group gathered and judged righteous by other men. Once you think about it; Isn't it silly that some men and women imagine it is their judgment over others (providing an approved membership in their sect) that is important, or even has meaning.

When satan created the rebellion in the Garden, (the rebellion that caused all the pain and suffering which is [or can be] so overwhelming from our human perspective) God said he would raise up a seed who would destroy satan. (Genesis 3:15) When satan said all men would prove unfaithful if put to the test, (Job 1:9-12) God said the seed he had chosen would never prove unfaithful. (Matthew 12:18-21 ; Isaiah 42:1-8) In the six thousand years since sin entered the world, that promised seed was born and tested: Tested to the point of sacrificing his very life in the most painful and humiliating way. (Hebrews 10:9) He proved faithful, just as Jehovah God promised (prophesied) he would. How could God know the son whom he had chosen (to become that seed of promise) would have success and prove faithful under so great a test; when even Jesus himself seemed concerned? (Matthew 26:38-39) God knew Jesus would prove faithful because the pre-human Jesus (John 8:57-58) had unwavering faith. Jehovah had come to know his firstborn son so well, He knew he would always be faithful. (Colossians 1:15 ; Proverbs 8:22-31) When satan asserted God is a liar, (Genesis 2:16-17 ; Genesis 3:2-4) Jesus was anxious to clear that reproach from his Father's name. (Psalms 40:7-8 ; John 12:27-28)

Accurate scriptural knowledge is important for us as individuals because God has promised everlasting life to faithful humans. (John 3:16 ; Matthew 19:29) For that everlasting life to exist in conditions of peace and harmony, (Isaiah 11:8-10 ; Psalms 37:10-11 ; Psalm 37:29) it defines that those who would harm others must not receive that gift of life. (1 Corinthians 6:9) It is our faith, then, which identifies (marks) us to receive life. (Ezekiel 9:4) Apparently, it is also our faith which actually grants us that life. (Hebrews 10:38-39 ; Galatians 3:11) As we learn from the Bible what the promises of God are, and then manifest faith in those promises, it will happen for us just as we, in our faith, imagine it to happen. (Matthew 9:29 ; Matthew 15:28) Your faith defines your reality! If you let this world define what you believe, you are doomed. If you let the Bible define your hope and faith, your faith will then provide a wonderful future for you.

Our love for God must become the most important thing in our life! (Matthew 22:34-40) Good must be important because you recognize there is no hope apart from a God who is good. (Hebrews 11:6) It is important to know and understand: You can't have faith for the preservation of your life if it is your life that is the most important thing to you. (Matthew 10:37-39 ; Mark 8:35 ; Luke 17:33 ; John 12:25) Comparatively speaking, you must hate even your own soul (life). (Luke 14:26-27 ; Luke 9:23 ; Galatians 6:14) We must build faith which is based in love of our Father; not love for ourselves. We must be determined to be obedient to God's Bible teachings, even if it costs our very life. (Acts 21:13 ; John 4:34) That selfless obedience is what determines we are worthy of life. It is our imitation of the self sacrificing spirit we see manifest by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 2:5-11 ; Matthew 20:25-28) That is what determines if we are truly followers of Christ. It is such obedient people who are being used to create the paradise conditions where all who are faithful can live in peace and harmony forever. (Isaiah 11:6-9)

Isn't faith a simple thing to understand? Isn't it beautiful? Possessing unwavering faith, however, a faith which empowers us to have God's spirit for the preservation of life, requires more than just understanding what faith is. (Hebrews 10:35-39) You must build a faith which is based in your personal knowledge of the Bible - in your personal knowledge of what Jesus taught. (John 17:15-19 ; John 17:3 ; 1 John 5:20-21) Every single person who will gain life must read (learn from) their Bible. (John 17:3) Start today! Read Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Read those four small Bible books many times. Read them until you can grasp them in mind, beginning to end. Of course, fully understanding what is contained in those four accounts of Jesus life and teachings might take forever! Your faith will continue to increase in concert with your effort to follow Jesus's example. Once you develop a rational understanding of what Jesus taught in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, you will easily understand everything else you read in the Bible. (Proverbs 14:6) Everything before those Gospels taught about the coming Messiah or Christ. Everything after them provides the example of those who, like us, tried to follow Jesus's teachings. (There is also some prophecy mixed in.)

The Bible teaches God is selecting a group of people as a new earth society. They are the people who will make up the new world order: The people who will live forever on earth. (John 11:26) They survive the great tribulation: Survive the wearing out (Isaiah 51:6) of this old wicked system of things. Each member of this group is chosen for eternal life in paradise (Isaiah 11:6-9) based on their individual response to the teachings of Christ Jesus. (John 12:47-48) It is not that they have been made perfect. They don't need to be; Because God's arrangement to help them become acceptable to him is perfect. (Romans 3:28) By that arrangement, they are able to behave worthily to become citizens of the new earth, based on their faith in the perfect principles our Father is teaching us through the words of his Messiah. This Christian arrangement is very different from the old law code given the Jewish nation. The Law Code identified sin, (Romans 7:7 ; Galatians 3:24) while the principled law of Christianity (law of love) overcomes sin. (James 2:8) It is not that the faithful are without sin, but they are able to act with loving kindness toward others, while they also grow to physical perfection [during the new system (paradise) being ushered (being brought back, actually) in by God]. Much of this happens unseen by those without faith: It happens while Jesus is subduing in the midst of his enemies. (Psalms 110:1-2) The faith of righteously inclined individuals will preserve them alive, while this old system and those who love it continue to die all around them. (Psalms 91:7) Those with faith will join Christ, living under his thousand year reign,* growing to perfection and youth before the final judgment at the end of that thousand years. (Revelation 20:4 ; Revelation 20:7-9) To be members of this new society, we must become new in the force actuating our mind - we must build faith. (Ephesians 4:23) Those alive when Christ established his kingdom, (that is apparently our day) and who build faith for the preservation of life, (Hebrews 10:38) will never die at all. (John 11:26)

Not to be overlooked in seeking to build faith: It is appropriate to pray to gain faith. (Mark 9:20-24) Little children are brought up being told fairy tales with "happily ever after" endings. Well meaning parents likely teach such things to keep their little ones from noticing the bad in the world, and that we are all born dying. We have a few (70 or 80) years, but we are all born headed to the grave. Everyone who builds faith in the truth of the Bible has something much better than fairy tales to teach their children. The truth is better to those who build faith than any fairy tale ever dreamt by men. There will, of course, be skeptics! To some, your faith will be foolishness. (1 Corinthians 1:18) Others will assert that even if it is true, it is for some far off time. (2 Peter 3:3-4) That seems a dangerous attitude. (Matthew 24:36-39) It is possible the last group is right. Salvation might be for a future day. Even if we have to die and receive a resurrection, (John 11:25) however, living in hope of the day of salvation is the best way of life. (Romans 8:24-25) Follow this link to consider more about what faith can do for you, just as you put forth effort to build faith!

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*The idea of the thousand year reign by Christ is not new. Hitler apparently had some twisted and misguided view of the scriptures supporting that millennial hope when he asserted his kingdom would rule for a thousand years. He even tried to build (breed) his own new earth society. (He wanted to choose who would breed with who.) His rule lasted about 12 years. The new world order the Bible speaks of is not established by men, but by God. It will be exactly what God promises in his word! You must build faith in those promises.

Many recognize some form of a millennium hope from the Bible. A quote from Wikipedia Encyclopedia:
"Millennialism (from millennium, Latin for "thousand years"), or chiliasm in Greek, is a belief held by some Christian denominations that there will be a Golden Age or Paradise on Earth in which "Christ will reign" for 1000 years prior to the final judgment and future eternal state (the "World to Come" of the New Heavens and New Earth). This belief is derived primarily from the Book of Revelation 20:1–6. Millennialism as such is a specific form of Millenarianism. Among Christians who hold this belief, this is not the "end of the world", but rather the penultimate age, the age just prior to the end of Satan's worldwide system in anticipation of a New Heavens and a New Earth under Jehovah's (i.e., God's) kingdom reign (Rev. 21:1). Some believe that between the millennium proper and the end of the world there will be a brief period in which a final battle with Satan will take place. After this follows the Last Judgment."

Don't worry too much about defining the prophetic details of what is to happen in our future. It will be what God wills it to be. Worry, rather, about building faith to survive; And be part of what ever details God works out for our salvation. Your own faith is the thing YOU have control over!