by Kristen Fernandes, Gujarat
10 minutes read
Q22. How does one go about believing?
Someone who believes is seeking a personal union with God and is ready to believe God in everything that he reveals about himself. [150–152] At the beginning of faith, there is often an emotional disturbance or uneasiness. The person senses that the visible world and the normal course of things cannot be all there is. He feels touched by a mystery and follows the traces that point to the existence of God and gradually finds the confidence to speak to God and finally to unite himself to him in freedom. In John’s Gospel it says, “No one has ever seen God; the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known” (Jn. 1:18). That is why we must believe Jesus, the Son of God, if we want to know what God wants to communicate to us. Believing, therefore, means accepting Jesus and staking one’s whole life on him.
Q. What is Inherited Faith according to you? Where is inherited faith mentioned in the Bible?
Faith is the belief and trust in God that is passed down from one generation to the next.
There are many instances in the Bible where inherited faith is mentioned, in the Book of II Timothy 1: 5, we see Paul writing his final letter to Timothy to inspire him to remain faithful to Jesus Christ and the ministry of his Word. He begins this letter by reminding Timothy of his great heritage of faith. Just as Paul had become a part of the great heritage of faith, Timothy had joined the order of prophets, and his mentor Paul through his faith and service. Being reminded that he was not the only one has believed in the gospel or has served God would have been incredibly encouraging to a young pastor. No doubt, Timothy felt isolated and alone in his ministry, but Paul reminded him that others had endured similar adversity and yet remained faithful to the end.
Truly, all Christians are a part of a great heritage of faith. When we trust in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins and become his servants, we are adopted into God’s family and receive a heritage that links us with God’s people throughout the centuries.
We may perceive Faith as we grow up in a catholic family, get baptized, go to church, attend Bible classes/catechism classes, and so on. But have you stopped to question yourself on what are you doing to build your faith in Christ and not at the behest of your traditional/ religious norms?
Q. What foundation is your faith built on?
There comes a point when you need to ask yourself if that very faith that you have is yours or someone else’s. Our elders and parents can certainly instill in us good values and faith but we too need to hold ourselves responsible for building our faith in Christ through the Word of God. We have to act on it.
Build your relationship with Jesus. You need to be transformed, that is where the renewal of your mind takes place. You need to believe for yourself that Jesus is real and he longs to have a relationship with you.
Q. How do you grow in Faith?
You need to grow from a baby Christian into a mature Christian where in you experience Christ himself in your life, where you have that deep-rooted connection with the Lord and can be a walking, talking testimony of Christ. Being in communion with Christ.
If you look into the Bible and see the Pharisees, they appeared so holy, they fasted, they followed the laws diligently, and they also showed it publicly. Yet, that was religion that was controlling them.
Jesus saw through them, He saw through their heart and did not hesitate on calling them out. They had not gone through the transformation of heart and mind, they did not have the love of Jesus. The traits that they possessed were selfishness, pride, ego, and self-centeredness which were all, unlike Jesus.
If you only attend Sunday church just because it is an obligation, because it is something that you always do without having any idea of the teachings taught then you need to question yourself on what are you believing. What do you stand for and what does your mission as a true Christian stand for?
Then what is your faith based on?
After Paul states to Timothy that he prays for him constantly, he tells him that he is reminded of his “sincere faith, a faith that first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and now, I am sure dwells in you as well. Where did Timothy learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ? Who taught him the Holy Scriptures and nurtured his faith? Who took him to church and modeled the Christian life for him? His mother and grandmother. Their faith and faithfulness helped establish a faith heritage for Timothy. Their modeling of faith impacted him so much that he put his faith in Jesus Christ and joined Paul’s missionary team when he came through his small mountain hometown.
This one verse speaks volumes about establishing a faith heritage in the people we love the most like our children and grandchildren. Faith cannot be inherited or forced on anyone, but it can be influenced. No one can go to heaven by saying “my parents are Christians” or “my grandparents go to church,” but parents and grandparents can do a lot to influence the faith of their children and grandchildren by modeling the Christian life and instilling in them the characteristics of a true faith-filled believer in Christ.
With the hustle and bustle of our busy life at times we may not be as committed as we should be in our journey of faith. As Paul encouraged Timothy, at times we need someone to come along and inspire us to bring back our spark again. Sometimes we need to be the ones doing the encouraging. When you see someone struggling in their faith or discouraged in their ministry, will you make a move and encourage them? A little bit of encouragement can make all of the difference and is necessary to establish a heritage of faith.
Faith is a great force in the lives of believers, and it is a central theme throughout the Bible It is a God-given gift. This refers to the belief and trust in God that is passed down from one generation to the next.
The Bible teaches that faith is not something that can be earned or achieved through our efforts, but rather it is a gift from God that is given to us through the work of the Holy Spirit. This is seen in passages such as Ephesians 2:8-9, which states, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”