Faith is something you do

Nov 4th 2017

Faith is one of our most important religious words. However, it is startling to discover that the word “faith” does not appear in John’s gospel.  It does appear in other gospels (Matthew and Mark) as well as other books. The verb “believe”, however, occurs very often in John. The first line of John 14:1-13 says “Believe in God, believe also in me”. He uses the word “believe” twice in the first line.  In some Bibles the word “trust” is used instead of ‘believe”.  To believe in someone you must “trust” them and to “trust” someone you must believe in them so the words give the same meaning. We must “trust” and “believe” in God and have the faith to believe in Him.  It seems probable that John used the words “trust” or “believe” instead of “faith” as he was concerned about people who say they have faith, as if faith were a commodity they can keep in the bank. John insists faith is not something you have but something you do.  In Hebrews 11:1 it says “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see”. We can not see faith but we have to believe and have hope in the power of what faith can do in our lives.

Ghandi is quoted as saying “Faith is not something you grasp, it’s something you grow into”. Believing in God is like exercising a muscle. If the muscle is not used, it gets smaller and weaker. We must exercise our “faith” in good times so that when hard times come we will have a “faith” that can sustain us. Faith exercise takes many forms: Prayer, Bible Study, sharing our faith with some who have no faith or who have lost the little faith they had. In Matthew 17:20 it says “If you have faith nothing shall be impossible for you.” Faith also helps those in need. “I tell you the truth, anyone who has trust (faith) in me will do what I have been doing. That person will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the father” John 14:12

Jesus gives a very clear message in this passage in John 14:6 – “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.”  If we want to get to God the only way is through Jesus. We need to trust in what Jesus did on the cross is what will take us to the Father, and all the benefits of being God’s child will be yours.  We must strive to be like Jesus and live out our living faith doing the things that Jesus taught and did.  In that way we will be putting our faith into action and living out our faith in God. “For we walk by faith not by sight” – 2 Corinthians 5:7

 

Matthew R. Marshall