Faith means we have a confidence of what we hope for and a certainty of what we do not see. It is to perceive what is behind the curtain. A belief in things unseen. Christian faith is a spiritual decision. A knowing from within that the thing you are hoping for is firmly established, even before you see any material evidence that it is true or has happened. Faith causes you to know in your heart before you see with your eyes. “For we walk by faith not by sight,” (2 Corinthians 5:7). Faith in God is from the heart, “For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:10).
On the other hand, our Christian faith is not only a personal or private relationship we establish with God, but also ought to be a public confession and profession. Remember Peter—one of Christ’s disciples who proclaimed to have a great love and faith in Christ, and yet on the night before Jesus’ death he denied even knowing Christ three times. Even Peter, a hero of the faith showed a wavering when it came to openly expressing his faith and friendship with Christ. However, later his faith was displayed greatly even to the point of martyrdom.
What is it that keeps us from expressing our faith? Is it not fear? Yet, we are called to be fearless in our profession of faith. Jesus was very clear that our faith is not just a private matter. We are to be salt and light in this world. Our good works ought to be recognized by everyone as a reflection of Christ, ruler of all--so that they might glorify Him in all of His greatness.
How often do we have the opportunity to share our faith, to share the gospel, or to pray with someone? Don’t be afraid of what others might think—rather consider what God might think.
On a similar note, “What good is it if you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone” (James 2:14)? For a man to have faith and a man to “say” he has faith are two different things. It is one thing to say you believe in God and His word—but a whole different thing to act out and live out your life based on this belief. Faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good fruit, it is dead and useless.
As Christians, we are held to a higher behavioral standard. Christ gave us commands which we are to obey. These commands are not a means of salvation—they are instructions of how we ought to live. We are to obey Christ not out of fear of punishment, but simply because He is our Savior, and because we love Him. The greatest commandment is to love God with all our heart, mind, and soul. It is also the greatest motive for obedience. We obey Him because we love Him and we love Him because He first loved us and has graciously adopted us as His children.
You may claim to have faith and believe that God is: omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent—all knowing, all powerful, and everywhere at all times. You may believe that God holds all things together, works all things together for the good of those who love Him, fulfills all of His promises, and puts us through nothing we can’t handle. Knowing that if God is truly for us, than we have no reason to fear—for who could possibly be against us? You may profess to believe all of these biblical truths, but does your state of faith motivate you to action? And what is that action?
Perhaps you’ve come to a fork in the road. Maybe a door has been closed on you and its time to open a new one. Maybe its time to move, or go to a different school, or time to leave a job in order to pursue something else. When we don’t exactly know what’s around the next corner of life, are we really willing to step out of the boat in faith?
Consider Abraham—when God said to him, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering” (Genesis 22:2). By faith Abraham obeyed God, “He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned” (Hebrews11:17). God fulfilled His promise to Abraham by providing a substitute sacrifice for his son, Isaac—just as He fulfilled His promise to us, as believers, of sending a substitute sacrifice, in Christ Jesus.
The defining question is this—if we were put into such a position would we be able to respond with such faith? For faith is only as genuine as it is when it is tested.
"It is good to be a Christian and know it, but even better to be a Christian and show it."