Q30: What is faith in Jesus Christ?
A: Faith in Jesus Christ is acknowledging the truth of everything that God has revealed in His Word, trusting in Him, and also receiving and resting on Him alone for salvation as He is offered to us in the Gospel (Crossway, 2017, p. 129).
Galatians 2:20 (ESV)
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
The Vertical Truth in Faith – What does this truth mean in my relationship with God?
The demonstration of this truth in our relationship with God can be examined in three points. First, to acknowledge this truth means that we believe it. The basis of what we believe drives our worldview, and our worldview is a framework of fundamental beliefs which shapes one’s operations in society and drives culture (Van Brummelen, 2002, pg. 49). These beliefs shape our values, which drives our actions (Schultz, 1998, pg. 47). Therefore, when we read that faith without works is dead in James 2:17 (ESV), it should be understood that faith in Christ is believing with such intent that our actions reflect our belief. Secondly, trusting in Christ for salvation is not only expressing our faith in Christ, but it is also turning away from other things in our lives which jockey for our trust. It is fighting the urge to misplace our trust in various mediums which fall short of the saving grace of Christ. There is nothing in which we can place our faith that can save us – Christ is the only exception. Lastly, we should always be reminded that we may have faith in Christ because it is freely available. There is nothing we could do to earn salvation and our works are simply evidence of our faith, not the substitute for it.
- James 2:17 “So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”
- John 14:6 “Jesus said, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’”
- Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.’”
The Horizontal Truth in Love – What does this truth mean in my relationship with humanity?
When we have faith in Christ, our actions should be driven by our faith or our belief in Christ. It is noteworthy to acknowledge that this not only positions believers to extoll Christ as Savior, but it also should motivate us to love others as ourselves. Furthermore, as recipients of the free gift of salvation, we – since we are called to love others as ourselves – should be excited to share this gift with others by expressing the Gospel to them. The Bible is clear in several circumstances, including the Great Commission and Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch, that we should declare the incredible gift of salvation through Christ. Consider how accepting the vertical truth of faith in Christ drives the horizontal truth in love for others.
- Matthew 22:37-39 “And He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”
- Acts 8:34-35 “And the eunuch said to Philip, ‘About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?’ Then Philip opened his mouth and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus.”
Practical Truth in Action – How can I put this truth into action?
First, we must examine our faith by looking at our actions. Of course, none of us is perfect, but we should be in the cycle of dying to self daily and living for Christ. That is what belief or faith in Him should produce. Secondly, this faith should be pushing us outward, to be a demonstration of the love of Christ as He died freely for us. It makes sense then to reason that the stronger our faith in Christ, the more we seek to follow Him with our actions resembling the actions of Christ and our love resembling selflessness and a burden for our fellow man.
- 2 Corinthians 5:15“and He died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for Him who for their sake died and was raised.”
Schultz, G. (1998). Kingdom education. Nashville, TN: LifeWay Press.
Van Brummelen, H. (2002). Stepping stones to curriculum: A biblical path(2nd ed.). Colorado Springs, CO: Purposeful Designs Publications.