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Sunday, April 21, 2024

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Dear Minister: What is Faith?

Aaron Burden via Unsplash

By Dr. Steve Rahter, Pastor of Praise Tabernacle in Egg Harbor Township

Dear Minister is a column that seeks to answer common questions that people have when it comes to religion. If you’re “Confused in Cape May,” try reading this column.

Confused in Cape May Answer: The Bible gives us a very specific definition of faith in Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the certainty of things hoped for, a proof of things not seen.”

You might read those words and agree with their truth, but when you ask what faith is “exactly”, I imagine that you want to know what it looks like in action. The rest of Hebrews chapter 11 answers this by recounting the stories of biblical heroes who achieved great things “by faith”.

But in more down-to-earth terms, we could say that faith is believing that somehow this month’s bills will get paid, even though there doesn’t seem to be enough money in the bank, because God has always made a way in the past. Or that our wayward teenagers will be protected from harm as they walk out on their journeys of rebellion because we know that God has a heart of compassion for prodigals. Or that the lost loved one that we are grieving for is waiting for us in heaven until the day that we rejoin them, because Jesus has conquered death and made a way for us to share in eternal life. That’s the wonderful faith message that we celebrate on Easter Sunday.

Ultimately, faith comes down to knowing that there is a God who is much greater than we are, and that He is limitless in both His power and His love. As it says in 2 Timothy 2:13 – “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.” God is faithful, and according to Ephesians 2:8 we have been saved by our faith, but even this faith is not ours, it is simply the gift of God.

And what a wonderful gift it is! I hope this helps to clear up your confusion. Have a blessed Easter, my friend!

Sincerely,

Dr. Steve Rahter – Pastor of Praise Tabernacle in Egg Harbor Township

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