What is faith? To me it is the belief in something you can not see or feel. Another definition is complete trust in someone or something. So faith in Jesus is the complete trust in him. For he is the way, the truth and the life. Something that recently hit me was that to have faith in Jesus you have to know him. For how can you trust in someone you have no knowledge of.
In Christian circles there is often this concept that faith in Jesus is all that is needed to be saved. That you just make a decision and say some words and walla you just feel something that means you have faith. To me it started with a seed of desire to know Jesus. This grew as a spent time with God in relationship. My knowledge of who Jesus is and his teachings grew and continues to grow. It is through this knowledge and relationship with him that the small seed of faith has grown and continues to grow. Similarly there are scriptures that say we must be born of water and spirit for our salvation. Baptism is an important step.
I guess I look at salvation/sanctification as a process. For me it started with a willingness to know Jesus. Then I learned who he is. For how can I have a relationship with someone I never spend time with or know nothing about? Through this relationship I received faith. Through this faith I am able to follow Jesus and his teachings.
Faith and knowledge go hand in hand. They cannot be separated. For how do you believe in Jesus if you do not know who he is? That being said you can have all the knowledge but no faith if you fail to apply it and actually follow Jesus’s teachings.
I do believe this is one exception to this that makes things more complicated. Different people have different capacities to understand and have a knowledge of Jesus. So I think God judges people based on their capacity to understand. To me it is those that are intellectually disabled that have taught me what true faith looks like. For Jesus is so near to the least of these and he sometimes give the least of these supernatural understanding to show us smart people how dumb we truely can become.
“He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”
He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.”
Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet:
“I will open my mouth in parables,
I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world”