There are 3 living forces that help to form the foundation of the Christian experience. “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13, NIV). More than just emotions, these 3 things are spiritual substances that empower, guide, and equip Believers for kingdom service. While each of these forces are important, love is presented as the most critical component in the life of a Christian. However, this fact should not cause Christians to neglect the importance of the other 2. Hope is indeed important; it propels us forward when our circumstances seem grim. And faith is one of the primary keys to kingdom living. But how important is faith? Faith is critically important in the life of the Believer. We are saved through faith, we live by faith, faith helps to activate God’s word, and faith is a key to effective prayer. The saving grace of God is received by faith.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9, NIV). It is God’s prevenient grace that gives a person the ability to receive the faith needed to received salvation. God’s saving grace is given to us through faith. Without this faith, salvation would not be possible. Our new life in Christ begins by faith. And our life is lived by faith.
“For we live by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7, NIV). Christians should live their lives guided by the truth of God’s word. Many times, what our natural senses perceive does not reflect the spiritual reality of a situation. To live by faith is to live with the understanding that what is true in the spiritual is the true reality. What our natural minds observe can be a lie or a temporary and subordinate situation compared to what is true in the spiritual realm. Christians must live in total reliance upon the word of God. God’s word is powerful, and it is creative, but a lack of faith can minimize its power in the life of a Christian.
“For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard” (Hebrews 4:2, NASB). A lack of faith will hinder God’s power from working in a Christian’s life. Believers must believe that God’s word is true. To not believe God’s word is to reject God’s word, and to have a lack of faith is to call God a liar. Faith is a key to effective and powerful prayer.
“And Jesus answered saying to them, “Have faith in God. Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him. Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you” (Mark 11:22-24, NASB). This passage tells us that our faith in God should be to the point where we believe that we have received our request from God even as we pray. When we speak in faith, we believe that we have our answer even before it manifests in the natural realm. A note of caution, we only do this when the Holy Spirit confirms the spiritual reality of our desire. But our level of power in prayer is in direct proportion to our level of faith.
Christians must never allow intellectualism to minimize their desire to learn about faith. We are saved through faith, we live by faith, and we exercise spiritual power and authority by faith. It is an understatement to say that faith is important. Faith, hope, and love are as important to our spiritual wellbeing as food, water, and oxygen are crucial to our physical existence.
“Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not drive it out?” And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you” (Matthew 17:19-21, NASB).