Firm Foundation Bible Study
Lesson 31 – What is Faith?
Mark 1:15 and Acts 16:31
The gospel is the good news that Jesus Christ died for our sins, He was buried and the third day He rose from the dead.
However, just because of what Jesus did for us does not mean that everyone will automatically go to Heaven.
The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ. As with any gift, it does not become ours until we receive it. So, there is a response that God expects of us. What is that response?
Mark 1:15 – “And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”
In our last lesson, we studied the response of repentance. In this lesson, we are going study the response of faith.
Acts 16:31 – “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”
According to this verse, what must a man do to be saved? He must “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ”. In order to be saved, you need to respond to the gospel by faith in Jesus Christ.
Since we are saved by faith, it is very important we understand what faith means. Faith does not mean knowing facts in your head. This is called head-knowledge. It is an intellectual faith.
You may believe there is a God and believe Jesus died on the cross and rose again, but these are facts that you believe in your head. This is not true faith that will save you from Hell.
You can know about God and still not know God
Faith according to the Bible is trusting in what Jesus did for you in your heart. This is called heart-knowledge. That is real faith that will save you from Hell.
There is a difference between believing in your head (head-knowledge) and believing in your heart (faith). One will take you to Heaven and the other will take you to Hell.
We can explain the difference this way: A man examines a chair and believes (in his head) that it will support his weight. That is only a head-knowledge, an intellectual faith. It is not true faith.
True faith believes in your heart. This man’s belief becomes faith the moment he trusts the chair to support him when he sits and rests his entire body weight on the chair.
Another example that explains the difference between “believing in your head” and “believing in your heart” is that of Charles Blondin.
He was a world-renowned acrobat, who walked a tightrope across the Niagara Falls in 1859. Niagara Falls is a large waterfall between U.S.A. and Canada.
He did many tricks across the tightrope, and many people were amazed by his skill.
A man standing nearby expressed his amazement to Blondin. Blondin then asked the man, “Do you think I could carry a man across the waterfall on a tightrope?”
The man was sure that he could, and wanted to see him do it. Charles Blondin then asked him, “Will YOU let me carry you across?” The man was unwilling to trust Blondin and refused.
That man “believed in his head” that Charles Blondin could carry a person across the waterfall on a tightrope. He only had an intellectual faith.
But he did not have true faith or “believe in his heart”. He did not trust that Blondin could do it.
Faith would have been trusting Blondin in his heart and getting on his back. Blondon’s last stunt at Niagara Falls was carrying his manager across on the tightrope. His manager had true faith.
Acts 16:31 says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.”
According to this verse, how are you saved from hell? You are saved by believing on Jesus Christ.
Just as Blondin’s manager had real faith (heart-knowledge) by getting on his back, so you must have real faith in Jesus Christ and trust Him with all your heart.
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Questions Lesson 31
1. According to Mark 1:15, man’s response to the gospel is first repentance and then _______.
2. According to Acts 16:31, what must a man do to be saved? _______________
3. According to the Bible, believing on Jesus or faith in Jesus means knowing about Jesus, a head-knowledge about Jesus Christ. It is an intellectual faith only.
4. According to the Bible, believing on Jesus or faith in Jesus means trusting Jesus in your heart. a. True
5. According to the Bible, you can know about God and still not know God.
6. According to the Bible, there is a difference between believing about Jesus, an intellectual faith only, and believing on Jesus in your heart.
7. According to the story in the lesson, the man standing by Charles Blondin believed he could carry a man across the waterfall. However, his belief was an intellectual faith only. He had seen Blondin do many tricks and believed in his head, a head-knowledge that he could do it.
8. However, he did not trust Blondin in his heart that he could carry him across the waterfall. He did not believe in his heart that Blondin could do it.
9. According to the story in the lesson, Blondin’s manager had real faith when he got on his back.
10. According to the Bible, just as Blondin’s manager had real faith, so in order for you to be saved and go to heaven, you must have real faith and trust in Jesus Christ with all your heart.