Chapter Ten - Faith
WHAT IS FAITH?
We cannot be saved without faith (Ephesians 2:8,9). Therefore it is important for us to find out what faith means. Faith is personal trust or belief. We use the word in our everyday talk. We say, "I have complete faith in my doctor." We mean that we trust him to make us well. So, in the Bible, faith is personal trust in God. It means that we believe what God says and we trust Him to save us and to keep us.
WHERE DOES FAITH COME FROM?
If we look around us in the world, we will realize that some men do not have faith in God and so they are not saved. This makes us ask, "Where does faith come from?" In one sense faith is a gift of God (John 3:27). God gives us the power to believe on Him.
But how do we receive faith? We find the answer in Romans 10:17. Faith comes by what is heard, and what is heard comes by the preaching of Christ. It is the Bible that tells us about the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, if we do not have faith in God, we should read the Bible. As we read the Bible, we should pray something like this: "God, if this Book is your Word, if Jesus Christ is your Son, and if He died for me, then show me these things as I read the Bible." God has promised that if we want to do His will, we will come to know the truth (John 7:17).
WHAT IS THE OBJECT OF FAITH?
Faith must have an object to trust. This object may be a person, such as a relative or a friend. Or it may be something that is not living, such as a chair or an airplane. It is not enough just to have faith. We must put our faith in a trust-worthy object. We may have faith in a motor car or truck. We may trust it to take us to a certain place. But if the motor is old and badly needs repairs, it may break down. Then we would find that we have put our trust in the wrong object.
The Bible shows us that the Lord Jesus Christ is the true object of faith (Acts 20:21). It is not so important how much faith we have or what kind of faith we have. The important thing is whether our faith is in Christ. If Christ is the object of our faith, then we are saved. You can believe all that the Bible says about Christ and still not have faith in Him. In the same way you can believe that a certain train will leave the station at 11 A.M. and that it will arrive at your town at 5 P.M. You may believe all of the facts about the train. But you do not believe in the train until you get inside of it. It is only then that you are trusting the train to take you to your town.
You may know all of the facts about Christ and still not believe in Him. You may believe that Christ was born in Bethlehem and that He died on Calvary. You may believe that He rose again and that He went back to heaven. But you have not really believed in Him until you trust Him to save you from your sins and take you to heaven.
EXAMPLES OF FAITH
The Bible is full of examples of faith. In the eleventh chapter of Hebrews there is a list of many outstanding men and women who had faith. The Lord Jesus also met two people who had great faith. The centurion believed that Christ could heal his servant if He only spoke the word (Matthew 8:5-10). The woman of Canaan had a faith that was humble and would not be discouraged. She begged that the bread that belonged to the chosen Jews should be given to her (Matthew 15:22-28).
THE REWARD OF FAITH
God will reward true faith. No one has ever trusted God in vain. God has saved every seeking sinner who has repented of his sins and who has put his trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. The Savior said, "The one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out" (John 6:37).
Return to Table of Contents
Go to Chapter Eleven