{2 Corinthians 5:6-10; NLT}

So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. For we live by believing and not by seeing. Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord. So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him. For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.

Faith is essential to salvation. The Bible is very clear about this truth. In the Bible we discover that faith is not entirely about believing certain truths. Faith begins with belief, which moves into trust, and is then expressed through obedience.

I believe this means that faith is concerned with how we live our day-to-day lives. The simple definition of faith I use is: Life influenced by belief. Faith is to impact our worldview and our actions. There should not be an area of our lives that is insulated from our faith.

The apostle Paul tells us in this passage that the reason faith is needed is because we are in the body and away from God. In this life, the life that we live in this world, it is not easy to see or hear God. The encounters we have with God are not always easy to identify as being encounters with God.

We cannot see God and we cannot touch God. Having a relationship with God is not the same as having a relationship with another human being. Paul wants us to know that because we cannot see God it's hard to have a relationship with Him. If we could see God, and if we could touch God, then faith would not be needed. Since we can't see Him we have to rely on our faith, in order to have a relationship with Him.

Sight and touch aren't the only way we believe truth. We believe truth because of evidence. Evidence is facts or truth that have been uncovered that lead us to believe a certain conclusion. We believe truth because of the testimony of trustworthy witnesses. We can even believe truth because of what logically makes sense to us.

I personally believe in God because the lives of faithful Christians who have influenced my life. There is also the evidence for the reliability of the New Testament. Another piece of evidence which influences my belief is history, particularly the reasons for the rise of Christianity and Western Civilization. I also believe because of the ring of truth the Bible has in describing the conditions of our lives. Finally, there is the personal experience of the difference following Jesus has made in my life.

Faith moves us from just believing that God exists to trusting God. We trust God and that trust is seen in our obedience. We obey what God has told us to do and we live our lives in a way that honors Him.

Another thing that begins to happen in our lives is that we develop an ache in our hearts. This ache flows from the reality that we were created to be in a relationship with God. Because of sin, whether it is our own sin or the sin that we find in this world, we can't have the relationship with God that we were created to have. This reality causes us to long for that type of relationship. The longer I have followed Jesus the greater my desire to be part of God's kingdom has become. I want to be part of what God is doing in this world and be called His son.

What do we do in the meantime to try to satisfy this ache in our hearts? We strive to please God.

How do we please the Creator of the universe? The only way I know how to please God is to love Him. We love Him by loving people, by doing His will, and by caring for His creation. Our faith is seen in what we do. Our actions, when done in faith, pleases God.

This is why people are judged by the good and bad that they have done. Our actions reveal our faith. They show whether or not we have really trusted God. And when we live a life of faith we declare to all people, not only that God exists, but also that God loves this world that He created.

Questions to consider:

  • Why is faith essential for salvation?
  • Do you agree that faith is more than belief?
  • What are some reasons you have faith in God?
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