You now know what faith is and where it comes from. But the most important thing about faith is that you have it in the right object.
Everybody has faith in something. Followers of various religions have faith in gods and rituals. Atheists have faith that there is no god. Agnostics claim it is impossible to know if there is a god, but even they have to believe that they can’t know.
But suppose a person does have faith in God. Is that enough? Is that what a person needs to be saved?
Why, or why not?
You already know that faith means “belief” or “conviction.” But is faith in God sufficient? Satan has faith in God.
Wait a minute. Satan has faith in God? Would you agree? Why, or why not?
Satan certainly doesn’t have his faith in the right object. He knows who God is and believes that God exists. But that doesn’t save him.
People are sinners and many of them realize this fact. But even so, many of them misdirect their faith. They have faith that if they are good enough, or well-liked enough, they will make it to heaven. They have faith that going to church, or praying, or doing good works is sufficient. They have faith in religious rituals. They may even believe in God. But that isn’t enough.
What should be the object of our faith?
Yes, that was an obvious question. But your answer is so important that you need to constantly be thinking about it. As you consider becoming a missionary, you have to be ready for all sorts of challenges to your faith. You have to be prepared.
Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God, right? So here’s what the Word has to say about it.
Romans 5:1-2 — Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Romans 10:9 — 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.
1 Corinthians 15:1-4 — Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you — unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.
And if a person puts his or her faith in something other than the gospel …
John 3:36 — He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.
Jesus Christ is God. You must believe that. But you must also believe that He has the ability to pay the penalty for your sins. You must believe that He did pay that penalty by His death. And you must believe that He was resurrected from the dead and now lives.
He is the only object of faith that will save you. He is the only object of faith that has any importance.
Not only is it important that you are persuaded and convicted of the importance of Jesus Christ and His work on the cross, but it is important that you understand this is all you need.
You don’t need other people to agree with you. You don’t need approval. You don’t need to be good. (In later lessons, you’ll discover why you will be good anyway.) You don’t need rituals. The object of your faith just needs to be Jesus Christ.
Are you persuaded that Christ is all you need?