What are some of the principles of operating by faith? I do know that faith without works is dead. What are some others and where can I find them in the scriptures?
JB from Chicago, Illinois
The Essentials (Part 1)
There are so many scriptures on faith it would be impossible to name them all in this small space. Faith operates on nearly every page of the Bible in some way or another. Faith is so important that the writer of Hebrews says: “without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6) If you want a good start on faith, Chapter 11 of Hebrews is in fact a good place to begin.
Faith is essential for each of us from the very beginning of our relationship with God. It is the gate of salvation. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Perhaps that sounds in contrast to the passage you referred to in your question. “Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.” (James 2:17) It’s not a contradiction however because the very “works” cited by James to prove his point is Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son. This was an act (or work) of faith and God considered him justified because of it.
Faith is used by the Church to carry on the work of Christ since his ascension into heaven. Jesus often told the recipient of one of his healing miracles that it was their faith which made them well. Down through the centuries untold numbers of people have stood on faith and received similar results.
Faith is powerful. Jesus said: “’I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, “move from here to there,” and it shall move; and nothing shall be impossible to you.’” (Matthew 17:20)
Everyday, faith operates in the lives of disciples of Jesus Christ. We have faith that our sins are forgiven when we repent; we have faith that God is working all things in our life together for our good (see Romans 8:28); we have faith that our daily needs will be provided. When we need the supernatural hand of God, faith is our action plan to obtain what we need.
Finally, faith will see us through to the end. “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6) Therefore, dear reader, continue to grow in faith day by day!
Note: For more information on Faith and all the other supernatural gifts read Holy Spirit Gifts - Building Blocks of the Church.