Many questions are often asked regarding Faith. Today, I would like to take time to attempt to answer those questions and ask a question myself: What is the foundation of Faith?
What is Faith?
This is the most common question regarding Faith. According to Webster’s dictionary, Faith is defined as, “complete trust or confidence in someone or something.” But, let’s be honest, that definition doesn’t do justice to the founding concept of our Christianity. In the Bible, God’s inspired word (2 Tim. 3:16), Faith is defined in Hebrews 11:1, which says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” In other words, Faith is something you cannot physically touch. You can’t grab Faith, roll it into a ball and hold it in your hands. Its substance is not physical, it’s substance is hope. The foundation of Faith is hope. And, as we know, hope can encompass many aspects of our life. Therefore, Faith encompasses our entire life as well and is specific to each individual. Faith is trust. When you go through deep waters within your life, Faith is the trust that God will accompany you (Isaiah 43:2). Faith is commitment. It is committing your life to God, having trust within that commitment and following Him through that commitment (Psalm 37:5). Faith is refuge. It is the shelter where we seek safety from the pain, which we experience in our daily lives. It is when we trust in Him, to take us under his wings and provide us refuge, that our Faith is vindicated. Remember, the pain we experience now, is nothing in comparison to the joy that is coming (Rom. 8:18). Faith is the foundation of our hope as Christians and evidence, or confirmation, of the things we are told in the Bible. Faith is the key factor that allows us to believe in God (Rom. 10:17), to love God (Luk. 10:27), and to obey His word (John 14:15). Through those avenues, and baptism (Col. 2:12), faith allows us to become His children and inherit eternal life. As Christians, let us strive to develop a Faith strong enough to withstand the storms within our life, while becoming a child of God and spending eternity in the dwelling place he has prepared for us.
What is ‘Dead Faith?’
Others often ask about ‘Dead Faith.’ The most common question: What is ‘Dead Faith?’ Just as life wavers, your Faith in God can waver as well. Sometimes, the faith of Christians can die, or they can develop dead faith. In James 2:17, we read, “Thus also Faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (NKJV)” Dead Faith exists within persons whom possess Faith, but whose faith has no works. The saying goes, “Show me by your actions, not your words.” The same sentiment rings true in our Faith as well. Words carry weight in Christianity, but it is our actions that support our words. Therefore, we are to show others our Faith through our actions, not just our words. Here’s a scenario: Which Faith is more convincing and influential? A person who tells someone about their Faith, but doesn’t demonstrate any qualities of a Christian within their life? Or, a person who shows someone their Faith, through his or her works, and then proceeds to tell that person of their Christianity? As Christians, I hope our choice would be the latter scenario. In our Christianity, we ought to develop Faith that is alive, rather than dead, a Faith which comes through our works. We are to be doers of the World, rather than hearers only (Jam. 1:22). It is through our works that we give glory to God, by shining our Christian light in those works and upholding His word to others through those works (Matt. 5:16). Even our wisdom is shown through our works, along with our meekness (James 3:13). The power of our works is evident in whom we are to be imitators, our savior Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 11:1). Jesus didn’t just talk big talk, he backed His words up with actions that justified His words. The consequences of dead faith are dire to our Christianity and affect many parts of our spiritual life. In fact, by not showing other our Faith through our works, we can deny our knowing of God and become disqualified for any good work, in Christ (Titus 1:16). As Christians, let us strive to keep our Faith alive through our works, while imitating Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, through our works as well.
How can I discern pure Faith?
After answering the first two questions, others can sometimes get confused. If not all Faith is pure Faith, how can I discern pure Faith? As I said before, Faith isn’t a physical element. In other words, you can’t touch Faith, or grab Faith and hold it in your hand. In Hebrews 1:11, we find the definition of Christian Faith, which says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” In other words, it’s substance isn’t physical in nature, it’s substance is hope. But, while Faith might not be a physical element, if you look around, you can see Faith. You can see the works of pure Faith in congregations that remain true to the purest form of God’s inspired Word. You can see pure Faith in the Christian who experiences struggles within their life yet remains faithful to God through those tribulations. You can see the works of pure Faith in the Christian who leads a busy life, but on Sunday’s and Wednesday’s, you know where they will be, Worship. Finally, you can see the works of pure Faith in the life of a Christian who has an active Faith.
One Last Thought:
Faith encompasses many things. Sometimes, Faith is trust. Sometimes, Faith is commitment. And, sometimes, Faith is refuge. However, to all Christians, Faith is the foundation of our hope as Christians and evidence, or confirmation, of the things that are yet to come. It is through Faith that we believe in God (Rom. 10:17). It is through Faith we believe that Jesus is His son (John 14:1). And, it is through Faith, we are baptized into the Body of Christ (Col. 2:12), inheriting the possibility of eternal life, which we must maintain through an active Faith unto death (Rev. 2:10). As Christians, let us strive to build a strong foundation in our Faith, through hope.
- Reader’s Verse of Encouragement: Psalm 62: 1-2
“For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.”