As Beyond Today often points out, evidence of design in the natural realm, including the human body, ongoing archaeological discoveries and various other discoveries, all help to demonstrate the Bible’s accuracy. However, are facts and information all that’s needed for us to know, honor and love God, or is there another crucial quality that must be included?
Scripture gives the answer in the following important declaration: “Without faith it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6, emphasis added throughout). Therefore, while knowledge and evidence are essential elements in coming to reverence God, people also need to demonstrate genuine faith in Him and His Word, the Bible, to have a deep and fulfilling relationship with Him.
With that in mind, an enormous problem has become obvious in today’s society. Vast numbers of people have no idea what true faith in God really is or why it’s of utmost importance in their lives. As Jesus Christ, during His earthly ministry, poignantly commented about His future second coming, “When the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8).
Christ’s prophecy, which refers to the very period the world is nearing today, specifies that there would be an enormous absence of faith. But why? Could much of the reason be that people have placed their faith in science and technology rather than in the Eternal God and His revealed message to humanity?
A vital question to ask is, just what is genuine faith? Hebrews 11:1 explains that “faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see” (New Living Translation). In other words, divine faith is the proof or verification of what a person does not yet have. Faith precedes the actual receiving of what God promises in the Bible. Moreover, faith confirms that what God says in His Word is true. Indeed, it is about accepting in full assurance that He will act in accordance with what He’s stated in Scripture.
Not a mere emotional feeling or sentiment
Therefore, real faith, which is complete trust and confidence in God, is an indispensable spiritual quality that all people need in order to please Him. In this context, the apostle Paul described the example of faith demonstrated by the ancient patriarch Abraham: “He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform” (Romans 4:20-21).
What more can be ascertained about faith? It’s not what we take in through the physical senses of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. Instead, faith is a spiritual matter. It resides in our minds as part of our thoughts. Yet faith is not an emotional feeling or sentiment but a profound trust in God and His promises as being absolutely dependable (2 Peter 1:4).
Spiritual attributes like faith function on a spiritual level. Relying on faith is not discerned through your physical senses since they simply do not perceive that anything spiritual is happening. Even so, people may say things like, “I have no feeling that I’ll receive an answer to my prayers.” But faith is not dependent on feelings. It’s not about stirring up emotions and sensations. Rather, true godly faith is a matter of deep and abiding trust in God and His words in the Bible, where His promises are revealed.
Since God is all-powerful and not subject to physical constraints (Hebrews 11:3), He has limitless ways to assist you, answer your requests and provide whatever He has pledged to do. You don’t have to know how He will accomplish His promises since He may act in ways you don’t expect (Isaiah 55:8-9).
Your role is to simply ask in humble, believing faith, and God will fulfill His commitments in the manner and the time that is most appropriate. Since God works in mighty and wonderful ways, you can absolutely depend on Him to carry out His obligations (Psalm 78:4). Whatever He has promised, He will fully perform (Psalm 115:3; Isaiah 46:10).
Faith must grow and be nurtured
It’s important to comprehend something else about faith. It cannot be generated from within yourself. Rather, faith is one of God’s precious divine gifts He bestows on you when you repent of sin, are baptized, accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and receive God’s Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:8; Romans 12:3; Acts 2:38). Since faith is God’s exceptional gift, you have no need to strain and struggle to obtain it. God generously gives each repentant, trusting individual a measure of the very faith of Christ (Revelation 14:12; Galatians 3:26).
Touching on another key point, while it is impossible to obtain spiritual salvation by your works, as Scripture clearly explains (Ephesians 2:8-9), you still have an obligation to demonstrate your love and respect for God by obeying His commandments. Consider that Jesus Christ “became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (Hebrews 5:9). And Jesus Himself said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). Likewise, the apostle James stated, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 1:22).
Accordingly, faith means that you not only trust God but do your part in obeying Him (Matthew 12:50; 1 John 2:3-4). As James 2:14 says: “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?” It’s further stated in verse 20 that “faith without works is dead.” As a consequence, faith must be demonstrated by action.
If you yearn to build a strong and flourishing relationship with your Creator, you must continually flee sin and unrighteousness by being actively engaged in fighting “the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:11-12). This means that when you are pressured by temptations, wrong desires or actions, you continue forging ahead in virtuous behavior. It results in you remaining completely faithful to God and His ways under any circumstances (Hebrews 12:4; 1 Timothy 6:11).
When you, by faith, tenaciously resist enticements to yield to sinful conduct, what will be the awesome outcome you can ultimately expect? “Your faith will be like gold that has been tested in a fire. And these trials will prove that your faith is worth much more than gold that can be destroyed. They will show that you will be given praise and honor and glory when Jesus Christ returns” (1 Peter 1:7, Contemporary English Version).
Faith is an indispensable spiritual quality
Furthermore, it is important to grasp that faith can weaken and wither away if it is not cherished and employed continually (1 Timothy 6:10). Faith cannot remain static or motionless. Rather, it must consistently grow and be nurtured (2 Corinthians 10:15). The apostle Paul wrote, “We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly” (2 Thessalonians 1:3).
Moreover, the apostle Jude encouraged Christians to continue “building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit” (Jude 20). It is paramount that you carefully cultivate and strengthen your faith each day. How? By studying the Bible, applying its lessons and diligently praying for God’s guidance and strength (Romans 10:17; 2 Timothy 2:15; 1 Chronicles 16:11). As Hebrews 10:38 explains, “The person who has God’s approval will live by faith” (God’s Word Translation).
Finally, while facts and information about God and the Bible are extremely important, if you deeply desire to know, honor and love the Eternal God, you also need the indispensable spiritual quality of faith. If you employ it fully, Jesus Christ at His second coming will count you among the esteemed, righteous persons who will join Him in God’s glorious Kingdom and family. May you choose to live by faith!
If you would like assistance on your spiritual journey, we welcome you to contact us. We have hundreds of ministers around the world who are available to answer your questions and offer spiritual guidance. We look forward to hearing from you!