What is faith? You would think I could answer this very easily since I happen to be “in the faith business.” However, it is not as simple as it seems. Thankfully, the Bible gives me (and you) a great definition:
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. -Hebrews 11:1
Why does faith matter? Paul wrote to Timothy and said, “The goal of our commandment is love that comes from a pure heart, a clean conscience and a sincere faith.” Why is sincere faith so important?
Some people imagine faith is a feeling. However, once faith is a feeling then it begins to matter how much of it we have. We feel faithless when we do not perceive enough of the ‘feeling of faith’ inside of ourselves. We feel we are full of faith when we are excited about spiritual or religious things.
Faith isn’t, in fact, a feeling at all. It is the conviction of the truth of something.
As it relates to God, faith is the conviction God is real and He is the Creator and the Ruler of all things. Faith in God trusts Him to provide for our salvation. Faith isn’t just a feeling, it is a conviction. It is something I have thought about, investigated and am convinced of the truth of it. Even though I lack certain proof, I am convinced I know the truth because of the evidence.
Currently, people use faith as the opposite of knowledge. I am amazed we think this way. This is not a logical nor a biblical position. The opposite of faith is doubt. The opposite of knowledge is ignorance. People talk as if faith is somehow a lack.
Faith is not a lack of something. Faith is the possession of assurance and conviction. People say, “I want to know God exists.” God said, “Without faith it is impossible to please Me.” Faith is not a lack of something we will gain later. Faith is a virtue.
This is an excerpt from the sermon “Sincere Faith.” To hear the rest, please click here.