Faith is often hard to describe. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, faith is:
- Complete trust or confidence in someone or something
- Strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof
But what does the Bible say about it? Here are some of my favourite Bible verses about faith:
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
Notice the similarities between this definition and the two above. Just as we see things with our eyes that are visible, faith is like seeing the invisible, spiritual side of the world.
By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
None of us saw the world being made – we only know of it by faith. We trust that God spoke the world into being (Psalm 33:9). This verse also confirms that God made the world out of nothing.
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
We must believe in God and that he reveals himself to us, through the faith that we have. If we don’t have faith, we simply cannot please God.
2 Corinthians 5:7
For we live by faith, not by sight.
In line with Hebrews 11:1, the Apostle Paul says faith should be part of our everyday lives. True faith helps us to live for a God we’ve never seen.
As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
If we have genuine faith in Jesus, it will be accompanied by good deeds. It’s not that we’re saved by works, but rather, if there are none, do we have the right kind of faith?
For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
The righteousness that we have only comes through faith in Jesus. This faith, or trust, is the basis for how we live. We are not only saved by faith, but we live by faith.
21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.
Notice that we cannot earn righteousness by doing good things, as it is apart from the law. We do not earn righteousness by having faith, we receive it through faith in Jesus.
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.
Where does faith come from? Hearing the gospel. At the time Paul was writing, most people relied more on hearing rather than reading. While most people now grow up learning to read, it’s still important to speak of the Christian message, so that they might have faith for themselves.
So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.
To be a child of God is truly astounding. It means God loves us and cares for us, just as a father cares for his children. This special relationship isn’t given to us based on merit; it’s only through faith in Jesus. We can trust him now, and forever.
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
Paul makes it clear that we can’t save ourselves. We are only saved by God’s gift of grace, through faith. If we were saved by works, we’d be able to boast about it, but through God’s salvation plan, only he receives the glory.
1 Corinthians 16:13
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.
Paul calls us to stand firm in the faith. We are to be like soldiers, keeping watch and waiting for the return of Jesus.
2 Timothy 4:7-8
7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
Paul often used the image of a race to describe the Christian life. At this point, he knew his race was almost over, but that there was a crown waiting for him in heaven. It’s so important for us to encourage each other to keep the faith, just as Paul did.