“Seeing is believing, but sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can’t see.”Zemeckis, Robert, director. The Polar Express. Warner Bros Entertainment Inc., 2005.
This quote from The Polar Express represents the creation’s current state. Physical principalities rule the current world we currently reside in. A world meant to glorify the creator, has become a world that glorifies its own being. God becomes a mere background picture, and the non-lasting items of the world become the things many people place their trust and hope in. Visibility and affirmation of worldly items becomes what is known as having “faith” or “believing”. Similarly, one may unconsciously put their faith in a state of emotion, despite being in a setting meant to glorify Christ, which also yields the same fruit of tangibles: nothing. Because of these influences and occurrences, concepts of having faith are pushed into a mystified perspective, where the world obstructs and corrupts those of faith by diminishing them to a derogatory classification known as “being spiritual”. As a result, genuine faith becomes hidden, and worldly faith arises to wreak havoc among the hopeless lives of those who claim the title “believer”. Genuine faith, however, is needed in order to truly understand the depth of Jesus, and His redeeming work on the cross. A genuine faith is understanding that the “most real things in the world are the things we can’t see”, and namely that being Jesus Christ as King.
And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”Matthew 14:28 – 33 ESV
Breaking down this passage is essential when wanting to analyze what a genuine, sincere faith looks like. Peter, a disciple of Jesus, is on the boat along with the other disciples immediately succeeding the event of feeding the five thousand. Jesus, who had withdrawn to pray, came to the disciples who were already a significant distance out at sea in the midst of a storm. Amidst all of this chaos, Jesus comes to them by walking on the water, and Peter calls out to Him. Jesus, responds with one word to Peter’s call, and that is “come”. Despite the raging sea, the faith Peter had in the Lord defied the water. He was enabled to walk on it until a wind, something invisible, caused him to sink into the depths. Peter called out to the Lord once again, practically begging that Jesus would save him. He did in fact do just that, and Peter was saved from the ravenous sea.
As followers of Christ, it is crucial to do just as Peter did in this passage: to look upon Jesus as Lord, and know that amidst the furious storm, He is all that is needed. Disciples, followers of Jesus, equally share in this same effectual calling to “come”. This means that we are to lose all thoughts of doubt, and know that Christ will suffice. What is doubt, then simply saying that Jesus isn’t enough? The Father has revealed His infinite power and glory through His Son, by His Spirit. Sin, our only reason to doubt, is eradicated at the enthronement of Christ at the cross, and is extinguished in the lives of followers through faith in Jesus.
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”John 16:33 ESV
With knowledge of this, genuine faith can be discovered in the complete loss of self, worldly hope. Receiving Jesus as King of all, would then prompt a regeneration of the person. The complete loss of self, would be found again in Christ as a new creation. So, explicitly believing in Christ as Lord is what constitutes a sincere, genuine faith.
Furthermore, a follower should seek to ratify this faith in actively seeking the righteousness given by Christ. Genuine faith isn’t a mere declaration of Christ as Lord, rather, it is a declaration that Jesus is Lord, but is actively lived out in bearing good fruit for the purpose of His kingdom. Believers, those who have genuine faith in Christ as King, are new creations in Him specifically regenerated for good works (Ephesians 2:10). It is of high importance to clarify that good works do not provide justification. Rather, justification comes through Jesus, and good works are a resulting lifestyle that are attached to the newly created human.
So then, genuine faith is knowing with complete certainty that Christ is King which compels followers of Christ to actively live for His good works for the advancement of God’s kingdom. Brothers and sisters, seek after a genuine faith in Christ! His goodness, and promising hope will be more than adequate for you! Rest knowing that Christ is Lord of all!