|What is faith in God?When I was a young christian, I used to hear many christians saying “He has a lot of faith in God” or “She has a lot of faith in God”. I used to honor them with great respect and think “When can I have a faith like that? May be I may not be as good as them?”. And during my christian journey by the grace of our Lord, God’s word revealed the following reviving, renewing truths of faith.What is NOT biblical faith?
Many of us think of faith as a personal ability. But christian faith is not the inherent ability of a person. It is not an individual’s personal achievement by their own ability.What is true biblical faith?
Biblical faith can simply be defined as “dependence on God”. Everyone has different levels of their dependence on God. Let us not go into details of people who do not believe in God. Those who believe in God, depend on God according to their measure of faith (dependence on God). Faith grows when we walk with Jesus, in other words when we know God by His word and obey, God guides us in His paths and reveals Himself to us in a personal way by which our faith in God grows.Example 1:- In Luke 7: 6-7 The centurion sent his messengers to our Lord saying “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed.”
The centurion heard about Jesus. He knew with certainity that Jesus can heal his servant. When we read the context of this scripture portion, scripture says that, many Galileans witnessed the miraculous signs that Jesus performed during the Passover feast in Jerusalem.
Our Lord was amazed at the centurion’s faith (dependence on God) and said in verse 9 “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.”
Example 2:- In Mark 5: 27 The faith of the woman healed of bleeding. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.”
How does faith grow? Let us turn our attention to some scripture portions
In Romans 10:17 God’s word says “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”
The more we read the Word of God, the more we know of God and His son, we will come to know the omnipotence of God, His compassion and love, that He cares for us. This is how the faith of a person grows and depends more on God.
In Luke chapter 8 Jesus explains the same with a parable. Parable of the sower.
“A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. Some fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.” When he said this, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
And the Lord gave to His desciples the meaning of it in verses 11-15.
“This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.
Let us meditate on the above portion and apply it practically.
1)The first type of person was with the Evil one. So the Word of God was taken away by the evil one.
2) The second type of person received the Word of God with Joy. But did not meditate or read and be strengthened by it continuously. Because of that, that person’s faith was tender ( remember faith comes by hearing and obeying the Word of God?).
3) The third type of person is the one who does not accept the Word of God because, the Word of God demands a change in life style, complete obedience to God. Forsaking sinful ways, sinful life styles and life’s worries like fear of losing society, friends and so on.
4) Finally the fourth type of person is the one who hears and accepts the Word of God and continues in obeying and meditating the Word of God. So when trials and tests of life come, this person is strongly rooted in the Word of God, like the house built on strong foundation as Jesus explained in God’s Word. And does not fall away. So gives fruit of fifty and hundred fold.
So let us continue in reading and obeying the Word of God by His grace and with the help of the Holy Spirit everyday, continue to know Him more and more, by which we can be transformed from glory to glory.