Definition of Faith
- “Belief and trust in God; firm belief in something for which there is no proof”
- “Allegiance to duty of a person” —— Merriam-Webster Dictionary—-
Christian faith is a belief in the One and Only God the Creator of the universe through the work of Jesus Christ and the provisions of the Holy Spirit. Christianity is not a religion but a life. Jesus came to show us this truth. Jesus didn’t buy our religion but our life, on the cross. He didn’t die to establish His own religious segregation on earth. Jesus came for all human, regardless of their confession, race, and religion. Therefore, Christians must accept inclusive God and Jesus, and God’s all people Jesus died for. Christian faith is catholic and beyond religions.
Faith comes from God alone. No work makes us known to God. God is known to all even before their conception. Faith is a belief in God with us [Emmanuel]. We are part of God. Without us, God has no meaning to exist. In other words, God is God because we exist. This is the message of God through Jesus. God has never left us. Faith is given to all, but only a few move forward with the faith.
Christian faith is not a point but process of confession that produces spiritual fruits for common good. A confession is not only a pledge to the faith in God with us but also a surrender to the will of God in us. Faith completes in the act of both surrender and pledge, and the action takes a process. This is a major struggle among Christians including the Apostle Paul. We want to live as we pledged in faith, but we often fail. A pledge is good. A surrender is also good, but only a few surrender all to God and work towards the spiritual fruits. Only a few work on the process of faith that works and yearn for common good.
According to Friedrich Schleiermacher, the liberal theologian during Enlightenment period, faith is heavily relied on personal awareness of God. Anyone can know about God and do fantastic work, but not everyone can experience God. The faith in the process desires for the attributes of God, and ultimately reaches the love of God. Without the process of faith, many believers fail here as the passage says in John 5:42:
“You don’t have the love of God in yourself.”
Love is the center of Christian faith. Indeed, love is the most powerful and miraculous gift from God. Love makes everything possible. Love prevails darkness. Love delivers hope. Love is a form of peace. Love is the highest spirituality, and drives believers to serve for common good. Therefore, experiencing the love of God is the ultimate goal of Christian faith. Without the feeling of love, all the work and knowledge are nothing but rubbish.
|If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).|
The Process of Christian Faith
The process of Christian faith consists of knowledge, work, and awareness of God. These three components interact each other and are inseparable from each other. A person who knows God never forsakes the community in need, nor personal walk with God. A spiritual person who walks in the presence of God never can be hidden from the community in needs.
Death of Christian Church
In this century, same as Enlightenment period, Christian faith is at stake mainly due to missing a component of faith. Church is dying because of no process of faith but only the programs of religious parrots. Church will be vanished soon unless they strive for the process of living faith. Church must stop boasting about knowing ABOUT God. Church must exile from comfort zone of religious segregation, and devote themselves to the process of living faith. Church must walk in the presence of God, and be active in making differences instead of waiting for signs. Many hills but no lights up there. The death of church is imminent. Many able CEOs but Shepherds. Millions or billions of annual church budgets but penniless compassion for the despair. Many entertaining parrots but truth seekers. Home of immorality but a living faith, in the name of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Church is dead without the evidence of the Holy Spirit.
The chart below shows how dead faith sabotages the life of church. Less than a 5% of registered church members strives for the living faith, searching for truth, serving the needy, and seeking peace of the world. The absence of the life of Jesus Christ and of the spiritual fruits is evident in the church.