What is Faith?
We as Christians claim we have faith in God. So what does it mean to have faith? What is faith? Is faith a simple belief or an opinion? No. Faith is much more than a whim or wish. Hebrews 11:1 (KJV) states that faith is a substance and is evidence. ‘Substance’ denotes that faith is a reality, that faith has an existence outside of our minds. ‘Evidence’ shows that faith is proof, factual. So, faith in God is knowledge of His existence, knowledge of things to come, and knowledge of our salvation. Besides knowledge, faith also provides confidence of our will, of our purpose. We act on God’s direction to bring others to faith knowing it will be effectual.
What exists within our physical realm, God’s creation, which might help demonstrate the reality of faith? Is there a real, invisible power that controls our actions and gives us confidence in our expectations. Yes. Gravity. Gravity is real, invisible, has rules to control us, and provides confidence in our actions and expectations. We can walk, run, dance, jump, drive, and fly; all while knowing we will be held to this earth. Faith is also real, invisible, has rules to control us, and provides confidence in our actions and expectations. We know that all we do in faith will benefit God’s plan and hold us to Christ.
I spoke of rules within gravity and faith. With gravity we know there is a limit to its controlling reach. At some point in space, earth’s gravity no longer controls us and eventually becomes negligible if not non-existent. There is a point at which we can decide whether to return to earth or continue out into space. That is true of faith also.
Let me further extrapolate gravity as an illustration for faith. Picture our birth as occurring in space, at the point in which we must decide whether to return to earth or continue out into space. If we continue out into space we can go wherever we want; the moon, Mars, around the sun, or leave the solar system. However, at some point as we drift further from Earth, Earth’s gravity no longer reaches us and has dissipated.
I submit to you that our birth occurs, spiritually, at that point in which we must decide whether to respond to God’s calling (faith), or live our lives as we desire. Most of us live our lives at that same point, living as we desire and ignoring God’s calling. Romans 1:19 tells us that God’s existence is plain to all. Yet we allow our own desires to distract us. Unfortunately, our desires are licentious and eventually lead us to a point where God’s calling has been removed. Romans 1:24-25 states that God may eventually give us up to our desires because we have turned from Him.
Yet if we turn to God, the opposite happens. Our faith becomes stronger, much stronger; until we are walking on ‘Earth’, ‘walking’ on Christ’s sacrifice. Hebrew 11:5-6 talks of a man, Enoch, with a faith so strong that he did not see death. God simply took him.
So faith is outside of us, a spiritual power attracting us to God, yet not dominating our will. Faith confirms our knowledge of God and grows stronger within us as we commit to Him. Faith gives us access to God and expectations from God. Faith provides us with recognition of God’s direction and confidence to follow His guidance. Faith gives us love of others and a desire to care for them, as God does. Faith condemns our fleshly desires and brings a realization of our need for a Savior. Faith leads us to repentance of our depraved conduct, an astonishment of Jesus sacrifice for us, justification from God, salvation, and eternal life as siblings of Jesus. Faith defines our purpose.
I pray that you respond to Faith, whether you have not or already consider yourself to be in faith.