By: Josh Howland | Every Believer a Witness

What comes to mind when you hear the word “faith?”

As someone who grew up in church, this is a word that I have heard my entire life. It becomes a normal part of our “church vocabulary” but many have a shallow understanding of just how important this word really is.

I have heard so many definitions of faith, and many revolve around one phrase, “Believing without seeing.” While this is accurate, it is incomplete when we consider biblical faith.

Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.”

Biblical faith is more than just blindly believing an idea. Real faith is all about evidence. We believe because of what we know to be true. Does this mean we have all the answers? Absolutely not. But what we know drives us to believe in what we do not know.

What does that look like in our daily walk with God? For example, we know that God fulfilled every prophecy concerning the birth, life, and crucifixion of Jesus. There is both biblical and secular evidence for all of these. Knowing these things to be true, we can have faith that God also raised Jesus from the dead just as He said He would.

Another example is the times we have experienced God’s abiding presence with us in extremely difficult circumstances. This gives us the evidence we need to believe He will be with us in the next trial. I can’t see God, but I know He is here because I feel His presence. He has always been with me. Therefore, I believe He will never leave me or forsake me.

The other defining characteristic of faith is that it does not exist only in the mind. Biblical faith always flows into action.

James 2:14-26 Says,

14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! 20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless?21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

If what you believe does not cause you to act, then you do not truly believe. We cannot do enough good to get into heaven. Faith in Jesus Christ and what He did on the cross is the only way we can have salvation. But that faith is made evident by how you live your life.

If you look like the world, act like the world, and sound like the world, then your faith is most likely in the world. But when your faith is in Jesus, you will begin to look, act, and sound like Christ.

An old pastor used to say, “You only believe as much as you obey.”