Faith? What is it? It is complete trust or confidence in someone or something. It is, according to the writers of Hebrews, “Confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” We believe this faith is in the real God who cares for our world even though tragedy, adversity and suffering exist. This God sent His Son to our world.
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, offers more than religious practices or virtuous morality. Jesus Christ personally supported people with physical, emotional and spiritual needs. Jesus was interested in personal relationships with the people he encountered and spent time with. He allowed Himself to be vulnerable to people and to share their grief.
Jesus indicated that he was “The Way, the Truth, and the Life.” To know God means to know and cherish His Son, Jesus Christ. Faith is a confident trusting in Jesus Christ. What sort of trust does that entail? Do you acknowledge that you along with all of humanity lives in a spiritually lacking and destitute position? Can you accept that your own ability and efforts will not save your own soul from the consequences and effects of the universal human condition. How we think, feel and respond those inquiries will determine our eternal future. We believe ancient Scriptures, the Word of God, explains it clearly.
The Human Situation
All people are bent toward sin. People say, do and even think things that are wrong, behaviors, motives and actions that don’t meet God’s standard of holiness and virtue. We all exist with a nature that is prone to sin. The book of Romans, chapter 3, verse 23 records, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Because of sin, each person is destined for separation from God. "For the wages of sin is death." (Romans 6:23)
A Divine and Gracious Answer
God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to save the sinful human race, to forgive our trespasses and condition. We all need to be forgiven. We can’t earn God’s forgiveness – it must be given. Jesus gave His life as a sacrifice so that we could be forgiven. Here is what Paul and John say respectively, "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8) Also, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
The Hope of the World
Jesus Christ can be the very subject and object of your faith. He came to bring hope to all people. He came to rescue you and me. "Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’ ”(John 14:6) "But the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23)
The Choice of a Lifetime
Every person who acknowledges their sinful condition, their need for Jesus Christ, and chooses to personally trust that Jesus Christ died and then rose on their behalf can be saved. "That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved."
If you wanted, you could take your first steps of faith today by uttering some genuine response or prayer, it might just be the reflection and intent of your mind and heart, something like this: "Jesus, I confess I am a sinner. I need You and your forgiveness. Jesus, you died on the cross and paid the penalty for my sins. I believe you rose from the grave for me. Lord, please forgive my sin, guide my life, and be my Savior. Thank you caring for and loving me."
This way of seeing God, yourself and life, this attitude and intent is a magnificent and gigantic first step in faith.
Baptism, that spiritual act of following Jesus by entering into water, is a spiritual symbol of new life. It shows others that you have committed your life to Christ, that you have been made new. It represents your old sinful life being washed clean because of your faith in Jesus. If you’ve made the decision to follow Christ, baptism is one of the most meaningful next steps you can take. Baptism is a public celebration of your decision to follow Christ.
Our following Jesus and growing in faith doesn't occur on accident or by osmosis. We all need to open our hearts and hands, our minds and will. God wants to have a relationship with us and He’s given us ways to know Him better. We can know Him by reading and reflecting on the Bible, the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living, written specifically to guide us through life.