A small farming community once found itself in the midst of a severe drought. If rain did not come soon, the crops would surely die. Seeing the despair all around him, the local preacher called upon the power of prayer. Quoting Jesus in Matthew 21:22, the preacher said, “And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” With those words, he encouraged all the townspeople to join him that evening to pray that God might send the rain they so desperately needed.
That night, every man, woman and child for 20 miles showed up at the church building. All were ready to engage themselves in hours of prayer, if that was what was necessary to relieve the drought. When it was time to begin, the preacher stood up and told everyone to go home. “There will be no prayers offered here tonight,” he said.
Shocked at what they had just heard, the crowd asked the preacher why there would be no time of prayer. “The reason,” he replied, “is simple. There is no faith in this room.”
Angered at what seemed to be a rather judgmental answer, the people demanded that the preacher justify such a harsh statement. The preacher calmly responded, “Every one of you came here tonight to ask God to help you by sending rain. Yet, not one of you showed up with enough faith to even bring an umbrella.”
Most everyone who believes in Christianity claims that faith is essential if one wants to be saved, and that is certainly true. But, what is faith? Faith is defined in Hebrews 11:1 as “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” In other words, once we know the facts that God has spelled out for us so plainly in the Bible, we then have a decision to make: Do we believe those facts or not? Obviously, if we choose not to believe God’s word, then our discussion ends there. However, if we choose to believe the scriptures, then we must do so with a biblical faith, being “assured” and “convicted” of the saving truth that has been put before us in God’s holy word.
Is faith really that important? Hebrews 11:6 reads, “And 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.” Faith is the most basic building block for anyone who desires to develop a relationship with the Almighty God. Without it, nothing else works.
Is faith only sufficient? Many people believe that faith alone is enough to be saved. The problem arises when one reads the Bible and finds out that God’s word teaches just the opposite. In the next article, we will discuss what else, in addition to our faith, is necessary to be saved, and while you are waiting, let me give you a hint: James 2:24.
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