What About Faith?
Faith Is All You Need
In my dealings with people who are questioning religion, one of the biggest setbacks is the question of how we can know what truth is. The idea that is typically presented is that since there are so many different beliefs, it is virtually impossible to know which one is right. This includes questions regarding the origins of the Bible, as well as who has the correct interpretation. During a recent conversation my friend came to the conclusion that, “You guys are just living on faith.”
“You guys” of course is referring to those of us who choose to believe in the message of the Bible. Well, this is a difficult topic to address if one of the people involved does not fully believe in the Bible to begin with. Understanding a little about the origins of the Bible would be valuable in understanding a little about faith. What other book could we possibly turn to? A dictionary? Google?
I apologize in advance to my friends who are not yet convinced about the reliability of the Bible, but in order to discuss “Faith” I have no choice but to reference the only book which I feel has any value in regards to this subject matter. I trust that you understand my reasoning.
That being said, two things come to mind in response to the comment made by my friend.
First of all, it is a basic Bible teaching that the only way to Heaven is through faith in Jesus Christ, period. There is nothing I can do, in of myself - no amount of good deeds, or good character or even money paid – that would get me into Heaven.
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:”
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”
"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
“Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:”
“ For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faithwhich worketh by love.”
“For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”
So then according to these verses, even if all I have is faith, I am still in a safer position compared to those with little or no faith at all. However, there is something that’s rather ominous concerning those with no faith...
“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.”
Rest assured friends, just as it is impossible to be fully human without love, it is impossible to be what we are intended to be without faith.
Take a close look again at the above verse. It does not say that without faith it is ‘difficult’ to please God, or that it would take a ‘longer time’ to appease Him. Quite the opposite, it tells us that it is impossible. In other words, nothing else could take the place of faith. It is by faith that God’s people lived in the past, and it is by faith that His people must live today.
“Then he touched their eyes and said, "According to your faith will it be done to you";”
When we read the Bible stories it is important to note that the healings which Christ performed were not the result of some ‘magic’ per-sae. It is critical to note that the people that were healed were challenged to exercise their faith. This again should provide some insight as to the importance of having faith.
The second thing that came to mind right away concerning my friends’ comment is just as, if not more important than the first thought. While it may be said that “all we have is faith,” the truth is that it is not a “blind” faith, as some would seem to imply. Rather, it is an “experimental” faith, that is to say, a faith based on personal experiences as well as a recognition of the things God has already done in our lives. In short, we have seen what God has done in our lives and the lives of others and therefore base our faith on the promise that He will continue to take care of His children. In a sense, we have seen God, though not in the traditional definition of a “physical” presence that we could describe.
Another thing comes to mind. When my friend made the statement that we are “just living on faith,” it immediately raised the question then, “Well where is yours?” Why is it that I have a faith and others do not? (Or vice-versa) After all, the Bible tells us that it is a free gift from God.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:”
It does not take much to realize that the word “faith” implies a knowledge of some form. We do not just “have faith,” but rather we have faith “in something.” So the question then is, “How can we have faith in something we know nothing, or very little, about?” That is the key.
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
It is implied in the above verse that vital to the strengthening of our faith is the nurturing of it through a consistent relationship between ourselves and Spiritual things, such as reading the Bible every day and consistent prayer and meditation on the wonders of God. Obviously, we must have a sincere interest.
I don’t want to make it sound “that easy,” even though I believe it is. I am quite aware that even very devoted people sometimes struggle with their faith and I myself am not immune. So by no means am I trying to imply that all you need to do is read your Bible. All I am saying is that reading your Bible and having a sincere interest is the first step, as well as the most important. Once you are there, and have established somewhat of a faith, if you ‘then’ find yourself backsliding or losing faith so to speak, God has provided the answer for that situation as well.
“And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”
Once again, PRAYER. I can never stress this enough. It is the most powerful weapon a believer has, in ANY given situation. And please don’t get me wrong – it is also the best thing a non-believer could do as well, because a praying unbeliever is a contradiction in terms.
In closing, friends we have seen that faith in Jesus Christ alone is the power that gives us the victory that can overcome the world (Cf. 1 John 5:4, 5). It goes without saying, then, what could be the results of having no faith…
“Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:”
“So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.”
2 Thessalonians 2:10, 11
“And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: “
The first two verses above relate to how serious it is to not have faith. Without it we are “broken off” from the rest and not allowed to “enter in.” If that is not enough to make a person stop and think, consider the sobering message given in 2 Thessalonians which tells us that if we insist on rejecting the word of God, then He will “allow” us to “believe a lie.”
Selah… and God-bless