Foundations are important to just about everything — not just buildings and other structures, but also people and life in general.
What kind of foundation is needed? A lot goes into answering this question. One of the most important considerations involves just what the foundation is supporting, and the quality of the foundation itself. When we think about our relationship with the God of holy Scripture, the one and only true and living God (see Jeremiah 10:10), the basis of that association is faith.
The letter of the apostle Paul to the Roman church states the importance of faith to spiritual life in the first chapter. He understood that he was obligated to teach the good news, or “gospel,” to others and wanted to deliver it to them (1:14-15). Then, in what may be seen as the theme of his message to these Christians, he confidently proclaims, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek." For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith,[e] as it is written, "The righteous shall live by faith," (1:16-17), a quotation from Habakkuk 2:4.
The unknown writer of the New Testament letter of Hebrews gives us a wonderful study of living by faith, beginning with a brief definition, followed by several instances of obedient faith from Old Testament history.
Faith is one of three abiding virtues of Christianity emphasized in 1 Corinthians 13, the others being hope and (“the greatest”) love. God has revealed himself to men, first in his works, such as Creation. “...his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made” (Romans 1:20). In spite of this clear evidence of God’s existence and power, some of whom Paul wrote were “without excuse” because they “became fools” (Romans 1:22) and rejected the worship of God. The rest of this disturbing chapter of scripture demonstrates the eternal importance of faith, seen in the truth that “...without faith it is impossible to please God....” (Hebrews 11:6 NIV).
The most important way God is revealed to us is the gift of his son, Jesus of Nazareth, demonstrating his love for “the world,” so that “those who believe” (have faith) can avoid the eternal punishment of dying spiritually (John 3:16-17). The testimony from God in scripture provides for us the content and nature of his will and, consequently, the content and nature of our faith.
Please understand that without faith it is impossible:
• To know God and do his will;
• To know that we can and will be saved now and eternally from sin;
• To come to the knowledge of the means of our salvation;
• To be the people of God – individually and as a local and world-wide church;
• To live humbly and righteously before God and others through his grace in Jesus.
But with faith in God, we can enjoy all these blessings, and more! Obedient faith will allow us to build the houses of our lives on solid rock (Matthew 7:24-25).