We use the word faith is two very different ways. First, there is “the Faith,” meaning accepting the doctrines and beliefs of the church. There are a few places in the Bible where faith is used in this way, but not many. Second, there is “faith that trusts,” meaning faith that results in action, putting your trust in God. This is the meaning of faith in most of the Bible.
Let me give you a human example of faith as a verb: May 2012, my wife and I celebrated our 10th anniversary.* It was more than a decade ago, I asked Shirley to marry me. I shared my heart with her, “you are the one I love, and I want us to build a life together.”
She could have responded with the first kind of faith: “I have faith that what he says is true. These are statements that are accurate. I would like to spend time discussing the implications of these statements. I will create a group to gather together once a week and talk about these statements that form the foundation of my faith.” Do you know any Christians who exercise this level of faith only?
I am happy to tell you that this is not the way Shirley responded. She responded with the second kind of faith, faith as a verb. She called a moving van. She sold many of her possessions. She quit her job. She left the city of her family. She sent her furniture to the house we were to occupy once married. She even sold her car and bought an airline ticket. She flew across the country and showed up in the small town where I was living. Why? Why did she do all these things? She had faith. She believed my promise of marriage. Thus, she rearranged her choices, her life, to match her faith.
Apply this to your Christian life. When faith is a verb, faith means staking your life on the promises God has made in Christ. I am certain that God has some interest in helping you clarify your doctrine of “the Faith.” However, I am certain that God has an even greater desire to see your faith put into action. God looks for faith as a verb, when your faith trusts your life to the promises of Christ.
“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ” (2 Corinthians 1:20).
* You may not have heard “Our Miracle Story,” the story of how God brought Shirley and me together. A Christian production company put together short movie of our story. The following audio file is the sound track of the movie. I invite you to take a listen.
Click here to listen: Richard & Shirley Parrott – Our Story – Click HERE to Listen
Copyright © Richard Leslie Parrott, Ph.D.