We know faith in Jesus Christ is the essence of the Christian life and walk (Jn. 3:15, 16, 36; 5:24; 11:25; 12:46; 20:31; Acts 8:37; 16:31; Rom. 10:9; 1 Pet. 2:6). God grants to us a saving (Jas. 2:14) and justifying faith (Eph. 2:8-10). God applies Christ’s redeeming benefits to us by working faith in us (see: Jn. 6: 37ff; Eph. 13, 14 and The Westminster Shorter Catechism 30). The Lord also builds up our faith by prayer (Lk. 17:5) and through God’s Word (Rom. 10:17).
Faith for the believer in Jesus Christ is so crucial. The Bible makes that abundantly clear when it tells us that:
- The righteous in Christ live by faith (Hab. 2:4; Heb. 10:38)
- Faith provides assurance of salvation in Christ (Heb. 10:22)
- Without it we cannot please God (Heb. 11:6)
- Living in and by the Holy Spirit is through faith (Gal. 3:2)
- We need faith when asking for wisdom (Jas. 1:5,6)
- Faith is imperative for answered prayer (Matt. 21:32)
- Faith is necessary as an individual and as a covenant community to quench the fiery darts from Satan (Eph. 6:16)
- With faith all things are possible (Mk. 9:23). For example, God’s men and women of faith, through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection. (ESV Bible; Heb. 11:33f)
So, it is abundantly clear that salvation and life for believers in Jesus Christ comes through and is by true saving faith.
This is no less true for pastors. Scripture makes it also quite clear that for those who serve in the capacity of ministerial office, faith is an absolute must! Ministers are required to have genuine faith along with a good conscience (1 Tim. 1:19).
True faith from God is essential to do the works of God (Jn. 6:28:29; Heb. 11:33)! While ministers might do plenty of work, without this supernatural kind of faith his works may not be effective, and certainly will not be accepted (Mk. 4:40; 2 Cor. 5:10; Heb. 3:12; 11:6 and Jas. 2:17ff). This is because the supernatural work of Christ’s kingdom is accomplished through true, spiritual faith (Matt. 17:20; 21:21 cp. Jn. 14:12-14; Rom. 10:11; Col. 1:23). After all, God has called his disciples, especially those with gifts and endowments to serve as shepherding elders to do the greater works of God (Jn. 14:12ff).
So, Pastor, let me ask you some pointed questions:
- Do you have genuine, saving faith in Jesus Christ? How do you know?
- What things in your ministry can you see the obvious hand of God working through faith?
- What obvious things have been or are being accomplished in your ministry through faith?
Without genuine faith, your so-called ministry is a sham. Even worse, your eternal destiny is hopeless. If you’ve not already done so, come to truly trust and believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of your own life. And if you have trusted in Jesus Christ, then, fellow minister, continue to make sure that you live, work and serve in the power of God’s Spirit by faith.