I’ve written quite a lot about faith over the last few months. There is a reason for this. When I talk to young people that professed faith in Jesus, went through some form of Christian education, and were baptized, they seem to have a defective understanding of Christianity.
Is Saving Faith Missing?
These Christians consider the Bible as having been written by ordinary men with the intent to maintain domination over women, the poor, people that don’t conform to artificial standards, and people of other beliefs.
It seems that all that is wrong in this world can be condensed down to Christianity. Their disbelief is not in Christian ethics or even Jesus (from the little they know), but in a lack of faith in the Bible.
Perhaps you haven’t encountered this mindset, but I have on several recent occasions. It seems that somehow saving faith is missing.
As Christians, we know that we are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). Faith is, in general, an act of convincing the mind that a particular statement is true (Philippians 1:27; 2 Thessalonians 2:13).
Saving faith can be acquired. Romans 10:14-15 (ESV), “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent?…” (This is a foundational passage affirming the role of missionaries.)
Knowledge is an essential element in all types of faith and is sometimes spoken of as an equivalent to faith (John 10:38; 1 John 2:3). Yet faith is different from knowledge because faith includes an act of the will besides that of understanding.
There are Different Kinds of Faith
Here’s the rub: there are different kinds of faith. There’s historical faith, the trust in facts of history. There’s temporary faith which rises in a person from the Holy Spirit or when they see a miracle of God, but then quickly fades. And there is saving faith, so called because it has eternal life inseparably connected with it. (Acts 16:31-32)
This Problem is our Opportunity
We live during a time when many people are confused and deceived. When a person acquires saving faith and receives Jesus, they are reborn, and the Holy Spirit lives within them. It is our opportunity to help and guide these brothers and sisters. As the Scripture says in 1 Thessalonians 5:11, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
(This devotional includes content from Easton’s Bible Dictionary)