“Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God,” writes John in his first epistle (5:1). Faith, according to John, is the fruit of the new birth; a spiritual re-orientation of our whole being that enables us to love the Father and all his children, obey his commandments, and overcome the world (vv. 2-5).
True faith, faith in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the living God, is not a natural human inclination. To have faith, we must be “born of God,” that is, “born again,” to use Peter’s words, “not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God” (1 Peter 1:23). For God alone is able to create faith within us, graciously drawing us away from our sins and toward his merciful, loving embrace; and it is God alone, revealed in his Son Jesus Christ, who is the beginning and the end of our faith.
It is only when we place our faith in God and God alone that our faith becomes real. A faith placed in the things of this world is no faith at all. You are not truly born of God if you still rely on your own strength, your own mind, and your own will. Neither are you truly born of God if you look to human institutions for security, protection, and livelihood. It is easy to fall prey to the temptation to trust in those things which are visible and tangible. Faith in a God we cannot see is indeed wrought with many uncertainties. But it is precisely those uncertainties which make a constant and abiding faith in the God who created the heavens and the earth so vibrant, so alive, and so utterly necessary.