As Mark Twain wrote, some people think faith is believing what you know isn’t so. Others think of faith as a tentative statement about what you hope, but aren’t sure is true.
For Jesus, faith is something else altogether. As he offers his final prayer to the Father, it includes his firm assertion about his disciples: “They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me.” Jesus exults in their faith because he knows that now he can leave them. They will never be on their own. By faith they will have access to the resources of eternity.
Faith in the Christian sense is not merely an assertion that Christianity is true. Faith is a living, vital force that creates a confident knowledge. It is an inner conviction that points us beyond outward appearances to grasp the spiritual significance. Faith creates a present personal connection with our Creator that opens us up to the fullness of God dwelling within our hearts. It is the channel by which the Spirit of God speaks the Lord’s truth. It is the fuel of divine love that warms our hearts. By faith the righteousness of the Creator is imputed to our sinful nature. Through faith we may now enter in the heavenlies with personal access to our Lord.
I detect in Jesus’ words a tone of pleasure and satisfaction. The goal of his ministry was not merely to work miracles or to preach the kingdom of God. He wanted people to believe in him. And now as he finishes his earthly ministry, those to whom he was closest did believe. A job well done.
A creed, like the Apostle’s Creed, for instance, is a statement of faith. It’s an expression of what the church believes. As you come to God, affirm with all the feeling you can muster your faith in God the Father, Son and Spirit. Perhaps you could write a creed in your own words and tell it to Jesus. He would be delighted to hear it.
Stephen D. Eyre and Jacalyn Eyre