Yes, faith in our Lord Jesus Christ does matter. Why? Because without such faith our own ego becomes our boss. Our ego as boss is never satisfied. Whereas Jesus says in John 6:35, “I am the bread of life; he/she who comes to me shall not hunger, and he/she who believes in me shall never thirst.” When our ego is the leader of our life, we look to others to pay attention to us. But our ego is never satisfied. It always wants more.
Faith matters, according to the book of James. In the second chapter James speaks of having faith, but if we do not tend to the needs of our neighbor, what good is our faith? “If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.” (James 2:15-17.)
Faith matters, because faith is not a one time thing. As Presbyterians we are in a Reformed Church that is always in a state of being reformed by God. The past is not the determining power that moves us forward in life. As Allan Watts says in his book, The Wisdom of Insecurity, “Belief has become an attempt to hang on to life, to grasp and keep it for one’s own. But you cannot understand life and its mysteries as long as you try to grasp it.” (p.14)
Jesus’ words to his disciples were, “Follow me.” As Christians, we are called by Jesus to be doing what Jesus was doing. Jesus says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will you do, because I go to the Father.” (John 14:12)
Everyone has faith, so the question is: faith in whom or what? It does matter.
Rev. Russ Brandt, Author