5 Questions to Establish Authentic Faith
How do we know when our faith is real? To answer this question, we must know what real faith looks like; what is the source of faith, in what or whom faith is placed, what faith assumes, and what faith is meant to accomplish. These questions help us examine the authenticity of our own faith, and the eleventh chapter of Hebrews gives us the answers.
What does real faith look like?
The writer defines faith with two words: assurance and conviction (v. 1, NASB). The rest of the chapter provides at least seventeen examples of what people did, where people went, and what people believed, in response to what God instructed and promised. Faith can never be passive; it is always active and observable.
What is the source of real faith?
Faith originates with something God has said. Faith is always an individual’s response to the leading of God. It is easy to observe that the faith of these specific individuals was not based on subjective feelings, emotions, or experiences.
What is the object of real faith?
Assurance and conviction are placed in things hoped for and things not seen. Faith always takes God at His word and considers Him faithful (11), whether or not we have a complete understanding. If God gave us all the details, we would not need faith.
What is the assumption of real faith?
Faith assumes the desire to please God (Heb. 11:5-6). Such was the case with Enoch who believed that God is and that He rewards those who seek Him. Active, objective, and observable faith is the means by which every person can please God.
What is the goal of real faith?
Gaining God’s approval is the ultimate objective of every person who seeks to please Him. These examples show how righteousness and salvation proceed from an authentic faith.
Faith should never be ambiguous or confusing. God gives us the yardstick by which we can measure–and know–our faith. Authentic faith always keeps God’s pleasure above our own.
For further reflection: Mt. 14:28-33; Ex. 14:13ff; Jas. 2:14-26; 1 Pet. 1:3-9; Rom. 10:17