In a world that is growing more and more secular, it seems that the battle lines are drawn between “people of faith” and “people without.” What does that mean? Which faith are we talking about? Does the content of faith matter in this day and age, or is it enough to simply possess faith? People speak of faith in God, faith in Jesus, faith in heaven or hell as if we all agree and we all understand precisely what we mean. But I fear that we spend more time speaking past one another than making direct contact. Only the Bible can define these terms. What does the Bible say about faith? And why does it matter?
Do you believe in God? That’s far from extraordinary. The Bible says that the demons also believe in God and they have the sense to shudder (James 2:19).
Do you believe in Jesus? What do you believe about Jesus? That he was a man? That he was a good man? That he died on a Roman cross? What does the Bible say about Jesus?
What do you believe about you? That you’re a good person? That you slip from time to time, but God will overlook it? What does the Bible say about you?
The Bible says that God is the creator and owner of absolutely everything (Genesis 1:1; Psalm 24:1). The Bible also says that God is good, perfect, and holy, without any hint of sin (Exodus 34:6; James 1:17). This is actually bad news for us because the Bible says that all of humanity is wicked, sinful, rebellious, and deserving of death (Romans 1:18-32; 3:23; 6:23). But the Bible has good news for wretched sinners. The Bible says that at the fullness of time, God sent his son Jesus to pay death’s price (Galatians 4:4-7; 1 Timothy 1:15). Jesus, God of very God (Colossians 1:15-20), took our sin upon himself so that we might be able to stand before God wearing Jesus’ righteousness (Romans 3:21-25; 5:1-11; Ephesians 2:1-10). Salvation from God’s wrath upon sin has been made possible for those who repent of their sin, confess Jesus as Lord and master of all, and place faith in his atoning death and victorious resurrection (Romans 10:9-11). The Bible doesn’t speak of a God who is not the rightful owner of his creation. The Bible has no room for a Jesus whose death and resurrection did not accomplish redemption. The Bible doesn’t recognize man as basically good. And the Bible does not allow for any way to God other than through Jesus Christ (John 14:6).
My point is this: What you believe matters. Having faith is irrelevant if what you believe is factually incorrect. The question is not, “are you a person of faith?” But, “what is your faith in?” It is the object of faith, not simply the possession of faith that matters.