Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile…If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable” (1 Corinthians 15:17,19). If our faith does not have a glorious goal in the end, it is completely useless, even devastating. A faith that leads to destruction is a terrible deception, and yet countless people cling to such a faith. Even worse, many such deceived people relate to a “Christian” faith! For example, if I believe that all Christians are and remain sinners here on earth, my faith will result in a sinful life. If I believe that God’s Word requires me to live a holy life in order to be saved, that faith will lead me down the narrow path of holiness. The fact is that our faith will determine our attitude, our walk, and our whole life.
Faith determines our daily walk
Satan is always very eager to cover up or downplay the consequences of sin. Man should simply not look at the consequences of his decisions. Especially in times of temptation, the devil has a lot of success with this. However, most people’s decisions in general life are based on the principles of their view of life or their faith. They act according to what they feel is right.
If I believe that I can determine my own destiny, I will dare to do some things. If I believe that my actions will have few negative consequences, I will give free rein to my lusts. However, if I am convinced that I must give an account for all my words, thoughts, and deeds before a thrice holy God, I will decide to live according to the Word of God. In every decision, in everything I do, what I believe will govern my actions.
A sincere faith is of utmost importance
Every path leads somewhere and ends at a certain destination. Solomon already said in Proverbs 16:25: “There is a way that seems right to a man. But its end is the way of death.” In general, people look for a faith that impresses them. It should be easy, comfortable, undisputed. However, when their life principles are constantly shaped and determined by the latest politically-correct trends, they remain without substance and soon become erratic. Every belief is evaluated and eventually determined by the majority.
Unfortunately, this trend often extends into Christianity. Congregations and individuals strive to keep up with and adopt the latest trends. Under the guise of changing times, Christian faith transforms and loses form, purpose, and power. Often, the faith is adapted to the current morality. What kind of end will such an unsteady faith bring forth?
Jude writes in his letter: “Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). The true biblical faith, the only faith that will ultimately stand before God, is unchangeable! It cannot change because it comes from an unchanging God and is directed to Him.
The goal of faith shapes our faith
Why do I believe? What benefits does my faith offer me? Where do I want my faith to take me? These questions about the goal of my faith will have a strong influence on my life principles.
If the goal of my faith is to please people, may it be parents, family, friends, or a pastor, then my faith will only take me so far until I have satisfied the perceived demands of others. If my faith has the sole purpose of finding a Christian spouse, my zeal in faith will dwindle soon after the wedding. If the goal of my faith is to appease my conscience or to calm my fears of being eternally lost, then I will do only as much as necessary to assuage those fears.
But if the goal of my faith is to love the Lord my God with all my heart and to serve Him out of love and gratitude, then my faith will lead me to consecrate and place my life and existence completely in His will. If I believe that there is a holy Creator, Sustainer, and just Judge, my code of conduct will be to live according to His commandments. If my ultimate goal is to stand before God and be saved at any cost, as Peter portrays in our title passage (“receiving the end of your faith – the salvation of your souls”), then this faith must have a living and life-giving influence on my whole existence.
And indeed, such faith is worthwhile! A living faith in the Almighty God, in Jesus Christ as the only Savior, a faith that proves itself in a holy life and is based on the unchanging foundation of the Word of God, will surely result in the longed-for goal: our soul’s salvation! Dear reader, what difference does your faith make in your daily life? True faith will subordinate everything else to the ultimate goal: to be with Jesus in glory one day!