How to Have Genuine Faith
Many people know that they must have faith yet they do not know how to acquire it; they do not know what they need to do in order to have genuine faith. Others ask if reading the Bible could help them gain faith.
Reading the Bible can lead us to the genuine faith, however, not all people are destined to understand the Bible. Of course, anybody may read the Bible but not all people may understand the Bible because understanding of what you are reading is a gift from God. Acts 8:29-35 says,
The eunuch, who happened to be the caretaker of all the wealth of the queen of the Ethiopians, went to Jerusalem to worship. On his way back to Ethiopia, the Holy Spirit urged Philip to join the eunuch in his chariot. And when he ran to be with him, he heard him reading the book of the prophet Isaiah. Obviously, he was reading aloud; he was not doing a silent reading. We may perceive that the eunuch had the intention of letting the other people in the chariot hear what he was reading from the book of the prophet Isaiah. When Philip came close to the eunuch he asked him, “Do you understand what you read?” The eunuch replied, “How can I, except some man should guide me?”
What the eunuch said was right. He was just reading but he didn’t understand what he was reading, not until Philip, the evangelist, came and explained to him that the sheep being referred to was Jesus.
Yes, the Bible can guide one to the true faith IF the one reading it understands what he reads. Unfortunately, not all who read the Bible understand what they read. Mark 4:11-12 says,
Therefore, not everybody that will read the Bible would understand it; and not everyone that will hear the word of God would understand it either. Acts 16:14 says,
Lydia, who was listening to the words of God being preached by the Apostle Paul, needed the divine intervention of the Lord to open her heart for her to understand what the Apostle Paul was saying. If in listening personally to Apostle Paul you need divine intervention to understand what he was saying (like what happened to Lydia), the more that you will need divine intervention when you are simply reading his gospel all by yourself. In other words, understanding the words of God written in the Bible is possible if there is a divine intervention.
The ability to understand the Scriptures is a gift from God. We must realize that the depth of God’s thinking and intelligence is something that cannot be readily fathomed by men. Isaiah 55:8-9 says,
God’s thinking is something beyond measure. It is compared to the distance between the heavens and the earth. No human mind and understanding can penetrate deep into the understanding of God.
The Bible is the embodiment of God’s thoughts, which cannot be fathomed by human mind. To understand the Bible, we need divine intervention, or the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Actually, even a person of authority has to admit that he does not know everything when it comes to religious belief.
What I am trying to point out is, genuine and true faith is revealed by God; it is taught by God; it is given by God. Jude 1:3 says,
True faith or genuine faith is delivered by God unto the saints. What is the reason why it should be given? Because it cannot be obtained by reading alone; and neither can it be obtained through human efforts. It is given by God; it is a gift from God. And to have faith you need to have understanding first. You will not have faith without the necessary understanding of the word of God in the Bible. Understanding comes first. When you understand, then you can have faith. Faith is developed through understanding. Ephesians 1:13 says,
So belief, or faith, comes after hearing and understanding the word of truth. Without understanding or comprehension of the word of God, faith will not be developed. If there is a faith in you without understanding the word of God, then, that is not true faith but a false faith. It is just like the faith of those outside the true Church of God; their faith is not a genuine faith because it is not based on understanding the word of God. Instead, it is a mere fanaticism because, even if they already understand that they are wrong, they continue to cling to it.
The gift of understanding could be given even to illiterates, like Peter and John. Acts 4:13 says,
People who listened to them marveled at the firmness of their faith and at their understanding despite their being unlearned. And they knew that it was because they had been in the company of Jesus, our Lord. In other words, it is never a shame to be led by somebody who is without a college degree or a professional title because when it comes to faith, educational attainment does not count at all. 1 Corinthians 1:19-21 says,
In fact, wisdom of the world, or earthly wisdom, is even a hindrance in understanding the word of God. As written in 1 Corinthians 2:6-8,
Both the Romans and the Greeks were regarded as people of wisdom in the early times. They were the most educated people during the time of Christ and the apostles, but none of them had known the wisdom of God. Not even the highest of authorities in the Roman Empire had known the wisdom of God, not even King Herod and Pontius Pilate – both of whom had high educational attainment, because had they known it, they should not have crucified the Lord of glory. So, the wisdom of God is something which cannot be achieved even by the most learned man, all by himself. It is something that is given by God.