We declare faith in a lot of things. “I have faith in my family’s past generations.” Or, “faith in my rearing.” Or, “faith in my education.” Or, “faith in my career.” Or , “faith in my future.” Or, “faith in my potential.”

Religiously we declare faith in many things. “I have faith in our movement.” Or, “my congregation.” Or, “the leaders of my congregation.” Or, “the teachers in my congregation.” Or, “our preacher.” Or, “What I always have been taught.”

To me, one of the simplest statements regarding faith is found in Hebrews 11.

Hebrews 11:1-3, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible. ... (verse 6) And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”

Speaking of the resurrection and all that follows that event, faith is the assurance the resurrection will occur. Faith is the conviction that though I did not see Jesus’ resurrection and have not seen mine, I live in confidence that Jesus was raised from the dead, and so will I be. The Christian sacrificially lives his or her life for the unseen that is not yet a part of his or her experience.

Faith even enables a Christian to understand how the world came to existence.

Faith in what? God the Father! There can be no hope of pleasing God unless I have faith in God. Two things must be believed: (1) I must believe God exists! (2) I must believe God rewards those who seek Him.

Regardless of how much you believe in “our religious movement,” that confidence is not enough. Regardless of how much you believe in “my congregation,” in the “leadership” of “my congregation,” in preachers past or present, in teachers past or present, in obedient acts past or present, or in issues past or present, such confidence is not enough.

One cannot come to God unless he or she has confidence in God’s existence and confidence in God’s ability to reward. There is no substitute for faith in God! Faith in God is not optional! We obey because we believe in God! We serve because we believe in God! We live our chosen lifestyle because we believe in God!

How sad it would be to approach God in judgment and say, “I placed my confidence in the Restoration Movement!” Or, “I believed in my congregation.” Or, “I trusted the men who led or taught me!” And have God respond, “That is true! However, you never placed confidence in Me.” Your faith is not questioned. However, the question is, “In what do you have faith?”

Let Jesus show you the Father and lead you to life! (John 14:6)

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 15 December 2005

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