When I first began training to be a preacher, I wrote an article talking about not losing faith. In this article, multiple examples were given to teach and show that the world has a way of testing you to see what your faith is made of. Because the world acts in this way, it can be very easy to just give it all up — but we simply cannot do that. What we did not talk about, however, is the need to continue in your faith towards God. In other words, our faith needs to be maturing as we continue our daily walk of life. Therefore, it seems fitting that as I draw near the end of my training, I need to encourage my readers to continue in faith.
First and foremost, we need to make sure that it is indeed THE faith. Whether we realize it or not, we put our faith in numerous things throughout the day: faith in our family, faith in our friends, faith in our employers, etc. However, there is only one faith that saves, and that is faith in God. Paul, when writing to the Ephesians, says, “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (4:4). Furthermore, Paul talks about this one faith in Romans 1:16-17: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes … For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith.’” Paul is not talking about two different faiths, but about the same faith in how it is given and received. Either way, Paul specifically tells us that the righteous live by this one faith, pinpointing that anyone outside of this one faith is lost.
Second, we need to be acting on our faith. Otherwise, it does us no benefit. The writer of Hebrews 11:6 addresses this, explicitly saying, “For without faith, it is impossible to please Him.” That should be more than enough to show how important faith is, but if that’s not enough, there are other examples. James is a great letter for how the Christian should live, and when it comes to matters of faith and works, James says, “Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? … For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (2:22, 26). Faith and works work in tandem with each othe. Any other way is not pleasing nor beneficial.
Finally, our faith has to continue moving forward. Faith that stands still and stagnates is a faith that is beginning to die. Second Peter 1:5-8 is a perfect example as it lists all attributes that we should strive to incorporate. At the end of this list, Peter says that if we are adding this list then we cannot fall, and that is incredible. Paul talks about continuing in faith in Colossians 1:21-23: “And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight — if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.” Take note that continuing in our faith is how we continue to be holy, blameless, and above reproach.
Faith is so critical to our spiritual life. Twist it into something other than what God did and we fall short. Put faith in things of the world, and we no longer have a treasure waiting for us in heaven. Let go of faith, and we only disappoint our Father. But the flip side is also true. Have the correct faith, and we will not fall short. Put faith in God, and we have a great inheritance in heaven. Continue in faith, and we can rest knowing that God is proud of us. Where is your faith?