Is it possible to have the wrong kind of faith? Perhaps the best question is; do I have the right kind of faith? Some say that one religious idea is just as good as another or is enough just to believe in something? If that’s the case, isn’t one religious idea just as good as another? What does the Bible say?
Perhaps faith toward a cult leader or reverently bowing toward a holy city or faithfully praying three times a day to an unknown God would demonstrate the right kind of faith. Not!
Faith is a confident belief in the truth. The rightness or wrongness of faith is determined by its object — by what you believe in. Right faith is not a warm fuzzy feeling, a blind, wild, irrational hope, an end by itself, or based on imagination. The conclusion therefore, is this: The rightness of faith is determined by its object. Your faith is right if you put your trust in the right thing. Did the passengers on the Titanic have the wrong kind of faith while believing that the ship was unsinkable?
Unfortunately we give our trust to the wrong kind of faith. Some examples of the wrong kind of faith are; faith in humanism, faith in escapism, faith in occultism, faith in mysticism, faith in Sacramentalism, faith in legalism, faith in selfism, and faith in universalism. Notice that all of those are self-centered faiths that are unrealistic demonstrations of wishful thinking.
The popular mood today is toleration or escapism. The idea is expressed as follows: “Let everybody do his own thing. What a person believes doesn’t matter much anyway. That sounds like a serious mistake. The Bible details a right kind of faith and a wrong kind of faith. Left to himself, man will put his confidence in the wrong objects of faith. We looked at some and God’s Word shows clearly that faith placed in these objects will end up smashed on the rocks of disappointment and despair. These faiths which originate in man, depend on man, and end with man — are contrary to the teaching of the Bible. It is in God’s revealed Word that we can discover the right object of faith — Jesus Christ.
Why Jesus Christ? HIS DEITY. In the beginning was the Word Jesus Christ, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1) Because Christ is God, faith placed in Him has unshakable stability. Consider the following: Christ is eternal. (John 1:1, 17:5). Christ is all-knowing. (John 16:30, 21:17). Christ is all-powerful, (John 5:19). Christ is unchanging, (Hebrew 13:8). Christ is everywhere. (Matthew 18:20, 28:20), Christ is the creator of all. (Col 1:16). The contrast is obvious. Wrong faith puts its trust in an object that is finite, fickle, and limited in knowledge and power.
The Bible says that Jesus is to be the object of our faith. We must put our trust in Him if we are to have our sins forgiven and to be at peace with God. When the Philippian leader asked Paul, “What must I do to be saved? He replied, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.” (Acts 16:30-31) If your faith is in anyone or anything other than Christ, your faith is inadequate. It is the wrong kind of faith.
To have the right kind of faith, the Bible gives the following steps: 1. You must admit your sinfulness and desire to turn from it. Jesus said, “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” Luke 13:3) 2. You must believe that “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He rose again the third day. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4) 3. You must trust in Jesus Christ alone as your personal Savior and Lord. (Romans 10:9) By an act of faith, by a deliberate choice, you must accept God’s offer of salvation through His son and be willing to let Him take control of your life.
Paul wrote, “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor 6:2). The time to choose to trust in Christ, to make him the object of your faith, is now. You can do it today by bowing your head and praying to ask Jesus to take control of your life. If you prayed in all sincerity, you can honestly say, “Now, today, I have the right kind of faith!”
The author is a retired businessman whose Christian service included director of the singles ministry in a 5,500 member church, Sunday school superintendent, Sunday school teacher, and director of youth ministry.
The author has also been a consultant to various Christian organizations including Christians For Urban Justice, Urban Home Ownership Corporation, and Habitat for Humanity.
Civic activity included Director of the Edison Inventor’s Association.
The author, now retired, was a principal and CEO of SAVE-ON-A/C, a wholesale distribution company, MARKETING CONCEPTS, a multi-faceted marketing company, and PINE ISLAND LUMBER, a full scale building material dealership.
Professional licenses include Land Title Law, Business Insurance Law, Real Estate and Mortgage Law, and Security Law Enforcement.