The seventh verse of the sixth chapter of the Epistle to the Galatians: â€œBe not deceived; God is not mocked. For whatsoever a man sows that shall he also reap.â€ This admonition is given by the Apostle in immediate connection with the subject of contributions to the work of the Lord. He has just said to the brethren, â€œLet him that is taught in the Word communicate unto him that teaches in all good things.â€ And he says just below, in the same connection, â€œAs we have opportunity let us work that which is good toward all men, and especially toward them that are of the household of the faith.â€
“But without faith it is impossible to please him; for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he rewards those that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6.) The OT and NT both are full of patterns for building faith.
The first point in the pattern for salvation is belief. We must have faith (those two words are complementary: the first, the word believe, is a verb, the second – faith – a noun, but both express the actions of the same thought and condition). In order to gain faith, you must seek out and hear the Word of God. Once that is accomplished you must study to learn what it is that should be believed and then take it in.
There are a number of things which must be believed, that must be held. A short list includes: we must believe that Jesus is the Son of God and the Lord over all things here and in the church – his body. This is both a pledge of faith and of allegiance. We must believe that he came to this earth that we might be redeemed, bought back to God with the price paid, to be once again in favor and harmony with God. We must believe that in his name is both reconciliation and salvation, and that there is “no other name given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
We must believe therefore that his word is law: “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him – the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day” (John 12:48). As noted earlier: “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
So we must both hear and believe. Not hearing just anything said by anyone, but diligently seeking after the Word of God to build up faith in God Almighty and in the Son of God, our Savior.
Once we are convinced of our need for God and the salvation offered by the Son of God then we will also be convicted of our sins — those things done in which we have violated the law of God, whether we previously knew or recognized such things. “Sin is a violation of the law.” (1 John 3:4) And sin (that transgression, violation or missing the mark) separates us from the covenant relationship that God desires that we should have with him. So then we also must repent.