How do you know your faith is real?
Faith in Christ can be determined by what we call the Faith Triangle.
The only true faith is the reality of living “in Christ” and “Christ in us” (Romans 8:9-11).
It is the supernatural working of His Spirit.
Faith does not come by our imagination or our efforts.
We cannot conjure up a life of faith.
We cannot just say, “I believe what Jesus said.”
“For by grace are ye saved through faith;
and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
He said, “If you continue in my word, you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32
As we read and hear His Word, the Holy Spirit reveals the truth of our need for a new life in Christ. His Spirit brings conviction of sin with the power to turn us from our sin in faith and repentance to obedience of faith.
The Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God as we cry, “Abba, Father” ~ the cry of a new, separate life in Christ (Romans 8:15-16)
This is the beginning. Let’s look at the simple plan of God’s work in His children.
There are three facets of being “In Christ” and proof of “new birth”: Faith, repentance, and obedience.
Faith and repentance are God’s dual work in the heart and life of the believer.
“Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks,
repentance toward God,
and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”
“I came … to call … sinners to repentance.” Luke 5:32
Jesus’ “call” upon our lives and our response constitutes the dual work of faith. When we “come” to Him, we turn from our own way. Repentance indicates “turning” in a new direction, forsaking our own will and way for the new life “in Christ.”
“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me;
and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”
“And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.” John 6:44, 65
“To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.” John 10:3
“Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” Romans 2:4
“For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation: ”
2 Corinthians 7:10
“Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,” Hebrews 6:1
Obedience is always connected to faith. It is the continual proving of our faith.
“For we are his workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus unto good works,
which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Jesus confronted those who called Him Lord.”
“And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” Luke 6:46”
“Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.” 1 Peter 1:2
In Paul’s letter to the Romans, Paul explicitly proclaims the purpose of his letter to the Romans in Romans 1:5 and 16:26 ~ “for obedience to the faith” and “for the obedience of faith.” (See The Purpose of Paul’s Letter to the Romans)
He was expressing the result of the “power of the gospel unto salvation” (Romans 1:16)
“By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: Romans 1:5
“But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:” Romans 16:26
“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;1 Peter 1:15
“That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.” 1 Thessalonians 2:12
Faith as prescribed by the Lord before His return to the Father in Acts 1:8 is presented in a nutshell in Acts 26:20
“but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance.” (ESV)
Faithfulness is the state of those who remain faithful through this life until the next. Those who live by “faith in Christ” will overcome and be with Him forever.
“These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.” Revelation 17:14
Dear heavenly Father, you have called us by the Spirit to live a new life of faith in your Son. As you have turned us by His calling, drawn us to Him, and keep us in Him, we pray for the continual power of your Holy Spirit to lead us in obedience of faith. Show us your ways. Teach us your paths. Lead us in your truth and the abundant life that is ours in Christ. In His name, I pray. Amen.