Faith is more than intellectual belief. It embodies the concept of "trust". I liken it to a "muscle". It is meant to be "exercised". It is one thing to say you believe something; it is another to show that you really believe it by putting your trust in it. Saving Faith is what Jesus talked about throughout his ministry. This kind of faith keeps us "safe" from the devil's lies and from spiritual decay. It empowers us and frees us to become all that God initially planned for us as his beloved children! Eventually, in the coming age at the resurrection, we will see that this saving faith in Jesus has also kept us safe from physical decay. We will get new bodies!
Faith is like a muscle; it is meant to be exercised!
Saving Faith embodies a trust in Christ . Trusting in Christ means we trust in his integrity regarding his claims about his identity as the Son of God, our personal Savior and the Lord (director) of our lives. We let him walk with us as our companion, friend and guide through life. The natural outflow of this type of saving faith is that we will seek to listen to His words (in the Bible), follow his principles and teachings, and communicate with Him continually. We will want to.
To develop this kind of relationship with Christ we invest time into getting to know him. We speak to Him, listen to his words, observe his actions and decide for ourselves whether or not we think he has integrity or not. I suggest you begin this process by reading either the gospel of John or the gospel of Luke in the Bible. Keep a journal and ask youself the following question throughout your study:
"What did these people see in Jesus that motivated them to "trust" him?"
The questions you want to ask yourself when you finish reading a particular gospel are the following:
I see what they "believed about him and how that was lived out in their lives. They saw him as the ONE they had been waiting for, the MESSIAH (Savior). But, what do I believe?
Do I believe that Jesus is who He claims to be: my Savior and my Lord?
Will I let him be MY Savior? Do I even think I need a Savior?
Do I believe he is worthy of MY trust?
If so, how will I choose to develop my personal relationship with him?
How will you know if you actually are surrendered to Him and have put your trust in Him:
We tend to live out what we believe. Thus, one way you can know this is by asking yourself if you are committed to investing time in your relationship with him. A simple way to do this is to put aside time every day to communicate with Him (listen and talk). Reading the Bible, specifically the New Testament, is one way we show Him that we desire to listen to Him. Prayer is another. Prayer is also where we speak to Him.
If we have the desire to build our relationship with Christ we will read and pray in order to learn from Jesus and exercise your faith from what you are learning, even if you miss a day here and there, then you probably do have the kind of faith that Jesus called saving faith. If not, then there might be a reason. Try looking at some of the other studies on this website such as"Who is God?". This might help with ways we still see God that have been passed down to us, but are distortions of God's true nature. Some of these distortions of God can affect our ability to be authentic in our relationship with Him and can keep us blind to his warmth and goodness.
Jesus created the church (group of believers) to be a family for us and to inspire us to live out our faith in Him. Thus, I also recommend asking another Christian or pastor for help with removing any roadblocks to your growing faith.