The Evangelical F-Word
Few words stir more controversy among evangelicals than faith. Churches have split over it, denominations have been formed around it. What is it? How do we measure it? Can one have too little? Not enough? What’s the right amount?
The questions abound. Here’s what we know about faith:
1) It is the essence of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Heb. 11:1)
2) Jesus said “blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” (John. 20:29)
3) We can have too little faith (Matt. 17:20)
4) But faith as small as a mustard seed can do tremendous things (Matt. 17:20)
5) Our faith needs to be in God (Mark 11:22)
6) There can be no doubting when it comes to faith (Mark 11:23)
7) Faith needs to be motivated by love to be effective (1 Cor. 13:2)
Faith is the conduit through which the power of God works in and through Christians. Through it we receive grace which brings salvation. With faith mountains can be moved, miracles can be performed, awesome wonders can take place. We’ve read about it happening once before, the gospels, the book of Acts, and Paul’s epistles are chock full of examples of the power of faith.
So can we really move mountains with only a mustard seed worth of faith? Jesus told the disciples they couldn’t cast a demon out because they didn’t have enough faith but if they only had faith as a msutard seed they could move mountains.
One side of evangelicalism touts that healings and miracles can and do occur if the recipients only have enough faith while the other side argues that it only takes a mustard seed of faith. So who’s right?
Unfortunately, I don’t have the answer. My ponderings only bring more questions. How much is enough? How much is too little? How do we measure faith? How do we know if we’re doubting or not?
Here’s what I do understand. Our faith needs to be in God for it is by Him and through Him that all things happen. The focus can’t and shouldn’t be on ourselves, on OUR faith. We pray, we expect, we hope, we love and God does the rest.
Can wonders still happen today if someone has pure faith, directed toward God, with no doubting? I think so. But really, God only knows.
What do you think? Do you have the answers to any of my questions? Have you figured faith out?