Faith Is . . .
"NOW faith is the assurance
of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."
Faith is a spiritual journey towards spiritual maturity, not an achieved
destination. It is companion to the spiritual maturation process of the
individual who commits self to Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:1-3). Though faith is
constantly “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not
seen” each step of the journey, the nature of that assurance or conviction
changes as the person matures in Christ.
May I suggest several maturing steps that frequently occur in the life of a
person in Jesus Christ. In these steps faith grows as the person spiritually
1. The person comes to the conviction that he/she (a) needs to be saved from sin
and (b) God through Jesus Christ can save from the consequence of sin. This
level of faith gladly commits to God and Christ through repentance and baptism
(Acts 2:38). However, this is just the beginning.
2. The saved person grows to the conviction that he/she must show his/her
gratitude for salvation by making self available to God’s purposes. The result:
he/she serves God’s purposes in any way he/she is capable in the full confidence
that God rewards (Hebrews 11:6). However, this is only a step, not a
3. Increasingly, there is the awareness that serving His purposes is rightfully
God’s expectation, not some special gift the saved person gives God (Ephesians
2:10; the examples of Hebrews 11:7-12). God promised, and people of faith
responded by trusting His promise—by building an ark, going to a strange place,
or having a child when conception was impossible. Still, this is but a step, not
a faith destination.
4. Then the person grasps on a deeper level that salvation is the result of what
God did in Jesus’ cross and resurrection, not the result of any personal
sacrifice made or service performed. There is a new insight into the
declaration, “It is about God, not about me” (Hebrews 11:39, 40). He/she marvels
anew at people who trusted God’s promise without receiving the result of the
promise. This, too, is merely a step, not a destination.
5. If all this makes you wonder about the nature of faith in God, ask an
elderly, dying person who spent life living by faith, “How does faith express
itself?” The answers may astound you.
Faith is not the product of human confidence in self or in human confidence in
“our” deeds. It is the expression of confidence in the God of mercy and grace
who saves those who can never make themselves deserving.
Grow in God, and let your faith grow as you spiritually develop!
West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 03 January 2008
Link to other
Writings of David Chadwell