A distinguishing factor between knowledge and faith is that faith applies knowledge personally.
There are many people who have a reasonable collection of biblical knowledge, but they fail to believe it applies to them personally. Yes, they believe Jesus died to save the world from sin, but they don’t include themselves in “the world.” Yes, they believe because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, we can have forgiveness of our sins, but they don’t include themselves in the “we” and “our.”
Faith is believing that Jesus died to save YOU from YOUR sins, offering YOU forgiveness from all YOUR trespasses.
“Me, too?” you ask.
Yes, even YOU!
Instead of having faith that God’s redemptive work applies personally to you, it’s easier to rationalize God was thinking about someone else. Kind of like the story of a motivational speaker addressing a large audience. He called a man up from the audience and brought him over to a large, steel beam stretched out on the stage.
The speaker asked the man, “Would you be willing to walk across the beam for $20?”
“Sure!” the man replied, then he stepped onto the beam and quickly walked its length.
Handing the man a crisp $20 dollar bill, the speaker then asked the man, “Okay, if I took this beam and put it across two highrise buildings on the 40th floor, would you walk across it for $20?”
“No way!” was the immediate response from the man.
“Ah, now I’ve got him! He doesn’t have the right motivation,” thought the speaker. So he asked the man, “What if I had one of your children up on that 40th floor, and I told you if you didn’t walk across the beam I would push your child off … would you walk across the beam then?”
The man thought for just a moment and then asked, “Which child do you have?”
We often see ourselves as God’s unruly child not worthy of His being so motivated as to save us. Maybe some of His other children, the better behaved ones, but not one so sinful as me.
But that’s not what scripture says …
“Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned,” Mark 16:16.
“Me, too?” you ask.
Yes, you, too!
Do you have a personal faith, one that trusts Jesus Christ for your salvation? One that accepts the promises of God really do include you?