The Bible often speaks of the importance of faith in knowing God. For example, Ephesians 2:8 teaches, "For by grace you have been saved through faith." First Corinthians 13:13 adds, "So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love." But why does God require faith?
Why does God require faith?
One way to answer why God requires faith is because He is our Heavenly Father. Our relationship to Him is similar to other relationships in the sense that it includes trust in the other person, time together, love, and respect. Because we cannot fully know another person, let alone an infinite God, all relationships require some degree of faith (trust). God is our Father and it takes faith to believe that He loves us and that He provides for our needs.
Faith is also important because God is not visible to humanity. Hebrews 11:1 teaches, "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." We cannot see God (John 1:18). However, we have faith in Him that provides assurance.
Faith is necessary to please God. Hebrews 11:6 notes, "And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him." Not only does faith please God, it leads to reward—eternal life, heavenly rewards, and experience of fullness of life on earth (John 10:10).
Faith is important in order for believers to obey the Lord. For example, Adam and Eve had been given a command—to not eat from a particular fruit (Genesis 2:15-17). Because their faith wavered regarding this command, they ate the forbidden fruit and sinned. Contrastingly, James 2:23 shares, "Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness."
God requires faith because it allows humans the ability to choose or reject Him. Without the ability to make choices, humanity would cease to be human as we know it. Because people can choose to have faith or not to have faith, there is a way for God to know those who have believed in Him and those who have not.
Faith in God is not "blind faith" as some argue. Instead, it is a choice based on the available information. The Bible, the created world, the changed lives of believers, Jesus Christ, and other ways God operates in our world provide sufficient evidence for people to choose faith in God. As Jesus taught in Luke 16:31, "If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead."
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Truth about God