Do you understand faith? What is faith? Stephen March walks uses scripture passages and illustrations to help explain the concept.
Saved Through Faith
Ephesians 2:8 tells us that it is by grace we are saved, through faith. And this is not of our own doing, it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Now, grace can be fairly easy to define and understand. An act of goodness or kindness to us that we don’t deserve, unmerited favor, I have even heard it as an acronym God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. All of these help us to understand the idea of grace. But what about faith? Salvation is available because of the grace of God, through faith, so how do we define faith?
Biblical Explanation of Faith
I’ll start the discussion today by going to Hebrews chapter 11, for the Biblical explanation of faith, we read there, in verse 1, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Taking a closer look at these two statements, we begin to see that faith goes beyond the idea of simple belief. The first statement, that faith is the assurance of things hoped for, speaks of confidence in the things hoped for, which in the Biblical sense is referring to salvation through Jesus Christ. It is that confidence that moves faith beyond belief and into something more real, something that provides the evidence of things unseen and creates the reality of them to us.
Stepping Out in Faith
Think of a bridge over a deep ravine. Now, imagine you have to cross that bridge, your guide and travel companions assure you that it is safe, that it will support your weight. You respond to them and say you agree, you believe the bridge is sturdy enough to support you while you cross. That isn’t faith. Faith occurs when you put your confidence in that bridge’s ability to support your weight, by stepping onto it and walking across. The farther you walk across, the more evidence you have that the bridge is sturdy, and therefore the more confidence you have in the bridge.
Faith is Confidence in Christ
Merely believing in the reality of Jesus is not faith, James 2:19 reveals to us that even the demons believe. The faith spoken of in Ephesians 2:8 occurs when we put our confidence in Jesus Christ for salvation, when we consider who the Bible tells us He is, what He has done for us, and make the decision that we are going to rely on Jesus, and only Jesus to make us right before God.
Having Faith is Hard
Now, all of this sounds really simple, perhaps even too easy. But the fact is that faith is hard, particularly saving faith. In order to put our full confidence in Jesus to save us, we have to give up control; we have to acknowledge that it is out of our hands. At this point the bridge illustration becomes less applicable and I’ll move to the idea of an airplane. Once that plane takes off with you on board, you have zero control, influence or power to ensure that you reach your destination.
Even the Disciples Struggled with Faith
Is it any wonder so many have a fear of flying? God promises us that if we put our faith in His son Jesus, He will give us an eternal home in heaven, and in a very real sense, we have no power or ability within ourselves to ensure we get there, it is complete trust in who God is, and that He will keep His promise. Given the invisible nature of both God and heaven, faith in Him and His Son becomes a really big thing, because we are sensory beings, that is, we judge our reality based on what we can see, touch, hear taste and smell. So if this idea of faith is hard for you, I get it, even the disciples who followed Jesus and saw His miracles had times when they struggled with believing in Him. But getting back to the bridge analogy, the first step is the most difficult, and while along the journey across there will be times where we wobble, shake, stumble, maybe even want to turn back. God simply says “Trust Me”, and if we continue to do that, and see how He pulls us through, then faith gets a little bit easier.
If you want to know more about faith, or the promise God has given to us through Jesus, please contact our office by email to [email protected]tional.com or you can reach us by phone in Canada at 1-800-567-1218.
Stephen March is the President of FBH International and HopeStreamRadio. He graduated from the Broadcasting Program at Niagara College in 2001, and has previously worked in television production and post-production. Stephen lives in St. Catharines, Ontario, with his wife Corinne and their four children. He serves as an elder at Scottlea Gospel Chapel.
Read and hear more from Stephen March on his contributor’s page.
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Images courtesy of:
Young Man with Cap – StockSnap
Rope Bridge – gorkhe1980
Plane – Holgi