The topic: Defining your Faith as a Christian is a crucial one, for as we journey through life, we often get to that point in time where our minds begin to ask questions. Profound questions about God, Christianity, Religion, Relationships, People, and Life generally.
And as Christians, one question that never fails to appear on the surface of our minds, is the question of our Faith. With all the ideologies, misconceptions, beliefs, religions and doctrines prostituted in this present generation, it is becoming increasingly important for we as Christians to define our Faith.
The Christian Faith can be defined as believing in Jesus Christ, his word, his work, his teachings, his promises, and relying on his faithfulness.
It is the experience(that succeeds salvation) of living a new life in Christ, abiding in the power of his resurrection and the Trinity of the Godhead (i.e., Father, Son, and Holy Ghost).
While many carry a variety of beliefs and ideologies about the Christian Faith, it is expedient for us—true Christians—to know the truth and hold on to it.
As numerous questions boggle our minds and lead us on the quest for answers, we need to find out the real truth about this Faith. And that truth can only be found in the Bible—the living Word of God.
What Does the Bible says about Religion and Faith?
The definition of the Christian Faith has already given us an insight into what the Bible said about it. In Hebrews 12:2, the Bible revealed to us who the anchor of our belief should be hunged on,
” Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. “
The verse highlights Jesus as the object of our Faith. In a dispensation where spiritual leaders are idolized, with Christians always adopting the lifestyles of human beings wearing flesh as a yardstick to measure their faith, it is essential to note that no man carrying flesh and blood is allowed to be the author of our faith.
The Bible points us only to one person, Jesus. He alone is the role model, the perfect example, the light, the guide and the only one we’re expected to follow line, hook and sinker.
The question of the Christian Faith is a tricky one, one that has led many to be swayed by the wind of false doctrines and heresies. And the only way to avoid falling victim to the devil’s lies through the tricky test these questions pose is to cling to the truth in the word of God.
The book of 2 Timothy 3:15-17 educates us on the importance of the Word of Truth in the question of Faith and religion. It says,
“3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.“
Verse 16 and 17 precisely recommended the Bible—a book that revealed the truth about God and also mirrored the life and ministry of Jesus— as a God-given guide for us on the journey of our Christian Faith. That is, our life, beliefs, perception, and faith as Christians should be a reflection of the examples and guidelines stated in the Bible.
Does it still seem unclear? The book of Romans 10:1-13 has all the answers.
The attention we give to the questions pertaining to our Faith cannot be overemphasized, because it is a core part of the foundation on which our relationship with God is built. And so, finding answers to these questions would be our own way of taking heed, so we don’t fall.
Some questions often float on the minds of believers (young believers especially), and we’d be looking to provide answers to some of them; examples are;
1. How do I know I am Growing in my Christian Faith?
2. How do I share my Faith with my Friends?
3. Is my Faith tied to the Church I go to?
4. Is it necessary for Me to go to Church?
1. How do I Know I am Growing in my Christian Faith?
In Romans 8:14,16, Paul said, ” For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: “. These verses show that before we even start questioning to know if we’re growing or not, the Holy Spirit needs to bear witness with our spirits that we’re saved Children of God.
Then afterward, we observe our lives and ourselves generally. We ask ourselves questions like, how often do we communicate with God? Are we sanctified? What spiritual gifts have we gotten since salvation? Is our prayer life improving? What fruits are we bearing? What’s the testimony of others about our experience and faith? Our holiness and righteousness our watchword and song? Finding honest answers to these questions will go a long way in telling if we’re growing in faith or not.
2. How Do I Share My Faith with my Friends?
Jesus commanded in Mark 16:15, “ And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. ” One way to share our Faith with friends is to preach it, by sharing the gospel with them just as our Lord Jesus has commanded.
Other ways of sharing our Faith is by living a Christ-like life, i.e., emulating Jesus, and walking in his footprints through our lifestyle and relationship with others. When we fully acquire all the fruits of the Spirit stated in Galatians 5:22-23, it’d reflect our relationship with people and cause them to see Jesus in us. Therefore, making our lives a message that inspires others to want to know God.
This is a commonly asked question among Christians because of the various denomination of churches in the present day. But in all truth, our Faith is in no way tied to the churches we attend. Our Faith is connected to our Messiah Jesus Christ, and Him alone.
4. Is It Necessary for Me to go to Church?
We should always understand that even though the church we go to isn’t directly tied to our Faith, it still has a bearing on it. The church is a place where two or more persons are gathered in one accord to worship God, and in so doing, they illuminate themselves as iron sharpens iron.
The Bible emphasized on the necessity of gathering together in Hebrews 10:25 ” Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhortating one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. “
Though there are so many churches in place now, headed by different so-called men of God, it’s difficult to tell which one is true. But one thing we should know is this, any church or movement that preaches anything contrary to what Jesus has taught or what is stated in the Bible then, we must endeavor to flee from such places.
Having seen the Christian Faith and several questions associated with it, this article won’t be complete if we don’t talk about the misconceptions surrounding it.
Some believers and non-believers alike are carriers of wrong perceptions about the Christian Faith, so we’d be addressing some of these misconceptions below.
1. Christianity is a Religion:
Most people are quick to tag Christianity as a religion because it involves the worship of a Supreme Being. But compared to other religions around the world, Christianity is not a religion. The religion practiced in the world is one that is created by man. One that involves man doing a bunch of good things to be right with God. One that affects it’s followers working to earn salvation.
But for the Christian faithfuls, it’s different. The book of 2 Timothy 1:9 says, ” Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, ” Our faith isn’t one that is hinged on our good deeds or works, but on the truth that we’re all sinners, and nothing we do can make us worthy. But the moment we forsake our sins, believe in the person of Jesus and accept the free gift of Love, Mercy and Grace that he offers to us, then through faith, we can have and enjoy a real relationship with God.
2. God is a Tyrant King:
The idea of God that most people store up in their heads is a big, powerful, wicked, and angry spirit living in heaven that never hesitates to zap anyone that disobeys him with thunder and lightning. The act of seeing God as an evil ruler that can’t be spoken to automatically blocks us from the truth of who He is.
God is love. He is a sovereign being that gave his only begotten son to save the world from perishing. He is always open to a relationship. And in the subject of our faith, constant communication with God is essential.
3. Believers are Perfect People, Living a Hitch Free Life:
People often see Christians as angels and tend to forget that they’re human beings wearing flesh. They forget they’re also living in the same world as everyone else and are sometimes guilty of social misbehaviors and vulnerable to pain and temptations.
The Christian race isn’t a smooth one. If Christ himself could be tempted and trialed, who are we not to be? He never promised that there would be no pain, but he assured us that none of them would be in vain. And that’s why we can always find courage in the words of Peter in 1 Peter 1:6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
4. Believers Don’t Relate with Non-believers:
Religion has been responsible for most of the havoc rising in Christiandom. It is evident in the various school of thoughts that are being heralded from different pulpits. When sentiments become the drive of faith, it tends to produce Christians that have forgotten the commandment of love but are full-blown in the business of condemnation and judgment.
They often forget that Jesus and the totality of his life is the object of our faith. And has he did with Zaccheus, we’re to do with our family, friends and neighbors. He commanded us to love the sinners (the non-believers) but not their sins.
And that’s why we can always take a cue from Paul’s testimony in 1Corinthians 9:22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might, by all means, save some. 9:23 And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.
Elisabeth Elliot said, “Faith does not eliminate questions. But faith knows where to take them.” And so, by taking time to treat these questions and find answers to them, we have taken significant steps in strengthening our faith in God. Now we have more knowledge and understanding.
But one truth is, these questions will keep coming. And when they do, we’ll always apply our hearts to wisdom as we have learned and as it was written in the scriptures in Luke 11:9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.