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Visible Faith

“When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven you.’ ” Mark 2:5

If you were to ask a Christian what faith is, very early in the conversation you would hear the definition that the apostle Paul gave in Hebrews 11:1. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” I like this definition, however, there is degree of ambiguity to it that at times I find makes it not as helpful as I would sometimes like.

Several years ago I came up with an metaphor that I’ve used to help teach about faith. In this metaphor I compare faith to a pair of hands. These are hands that God has given to us so that we can receive grace from him. And the more grace we accept the stronger our faith becomes to meet the opportunities and challenges of life.

About a year ago I read a definition of faith that I really like. I wish I’d taken the time to remember it’s source but I didn’t and who knows if I’ll ever find it again. The definition provided by our forgotten author is this: “Faith is knowledge that leads to action.”

Notice the two parts, knowledge and action. One without the other doesn’t equal faith. Sometimes we know something and don’t act. This knowledge without action is not faith because faith requires action. At the same time sometimes people act with knowledge of God. This action isn’t faith because faith also requires knowledge.

In the story our focus text is taken from we find a man and his friends acting on the knowledge they had that if they could just get to Jesus they would find healing. And they were right. Jesus when he saw their faith gave them the healing they sought and more. Not only did he heal the man’s body he healed his heart as well when he said, “Your sins are forgiven.”

Friends, knowledge doesn’t become faith until you act upon it. If you believe Jesus can make you right, faith will cause you to work with him as he changes you. If you know that he’s leading you to service for him faith will cause you to step out and speak, or do the work he’s called you to do.

It’s time God’s people let him see their faith

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