What Is True Faith?

This week we will be sharing from an Alistair Begg sermon series “An Illustration of Faith”.


To one degree or another, everyone has faith. Anyone who has sat down in a barber’s chair has exercised faith in the barber’s skill. Anyone who has used an app to send money has trusted that it will get to the right person. But when it comes to the realm of religious experience, all kinds of spurious notions about faith abound. Indeed, one of the great barriers to an experience of true faith in God is confusion about what that faith actually is.

People often say, “As long as you have faith, that’s all that matters, isn’t it?” To that we can say both yes and no. Yes, faith does matter, and yes, faith alone is the means by which we take hold of God’s salvation. But true faith is not in and of itself. A large man may step out onto a sheet of ice one inch thick with great faith that he will not fall through—and he’ll soon be swimming! No amount of faith will make the ice hold him up. But a foot of ice and a mustard seed’s weight of faith (Matt. 17:20; Luke 17:6) will mean a dry (if slippery) walk. It is not the amount of faith but the object of the faith that matters. Faith is genuine and lasting when it is placed in the most trustworthy object of all: Jesus Christ, the divine Word made flesh (John 1:14).

The Gospel of John offers us an illustration of this kind of faith in the account of a royal official who came to Jesus seeking a miracle for his sick son. He directed his faith to the only one who has the power to do something—and Jesus indeed proved himself faithful. This short account reminds us that when we have true, saving faith, we will, like the royal official, seek the Lord’s help, persist in seeking Him, walk with trust in Him, and share the good He has done.

This article was adapted from the sermon “An Illustration of Faith” by Alistair Begg.

Copyright © 2023 , Truth For Life. All rights reserved.

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