If there is a single theological concept, a single Christian principle that the majority of Christians think they understand, it would be faith. Ask any Christian, “Do you know what faith is?” Rarely will you find a Christian who says, “No.” We might not know the answers to many questions about faith, but we are confident that we understand faith.
Yet, we have many questions about what FAITH is and what FAITH does and how we grow in FAITH. When life gets tough FAITH should help us survive, and more than survive, FAITH should help us feel confident in the midst of our struggles.
The question is, how do I develop a FAITH that works?
17* So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. (Nas95)
17* Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. (NIV)
17* Faith, you see, can only come from hearing the message, and the message is the word of Christ. (Phillips)
Here we have the verse in three versions, the NAS95, the NIV, and the Phillips. All say the same thing, FAITH COMES FROM HEARING THE WORD OF CHRIST.
This verse is so simple, yet so complex. If we want FAITH that works, we must have a relationship to the word of Christ that grows. And we must realize that a growing FAITH is essential in Christianity.
Faith is an essential in Christianity.
Literally, Christianity cannot exist without faith, and, literally, a person cannot be a Christian without faith. Look at Hebrews 11:6:
To me, the clearest statement of this truth is declared with simplicity and clarity in Hebrews 11:6.
“Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”