In the New Testament, the word unbelief is translated from two Greek words—apistia and apeitheta. While the first offers an almost identical definition of its English counterpart, the second presents a more convicting interpretation for the child of God—disobedience. To harbor unbelief, then, is to be a disobedient Christian. To lack faith is to disobey.
Neither does a lack of faith please God. In Hebrews 11:6, we read: “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
Moreover, unbelief limits God, not in a manner that diminishes His omnipotence or omniscience; yet it draws a perimeter around what He can accomplish in and through our lives. “And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” (Matthew 13:58) “Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief…” (Matthew 17:19-20)
Unbelief, in short, is the antithesis of faith.
For four decades, Dr. Lee Roberson pastored the great Highland Park Baptist Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He also founded Tennessee Temple University. In his twilight years, he was asked what he would change if he could retrace his steps. His reply came without hesitation: “More faith.”
What is faith? Faith is the unwavering conviction that God can accomplish all that He has promised. It is the foundation of the Christian life and crucial to its stability and success. It takes man out of the equation and magnifies the name of God. It is the “substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).
The faith of God’s people here at North Valley Baptist Church and around the world has been strengthened by past victories, yet let us increase our faith daily and trust Him for even greater blessings. Let us not be found disobedient or displeasing to God because of our lack of faith. Let us not limit what He can accomplish as a result of our unbelief. May we truly be a people of faith.
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Pastor Trieber has served as the pastor of the North Valley Baptist Church since March of 1976. He is also the President of Golden State Baptist College.