Pastor Keith Williams,
High Prairie Bethel Baptist Church.
You may have heard of Rao, the Hindu holy man who flirted with fame in 1966. The old mystic believed he could walk on water. He was so confident in his own spiritual power that he announced he would perform the feat before a live audience. He sold tickets at $100 apiece. Bombay’s elite turned out en masse to behold the spectacle.
The event was held in a large garden with a deep pool. A crowd of more than 600 had assembled. The white-bearded yogi appeared in flowing robes and stepped confidently to the edge of the pool. He paused to pray silently. A reverend hush fell on the crowd. Rao opened his eyes, looked heaven-ward, and boldly stepped forward.
With an awkward splash, he disappeared beneath the water.
Sputtering and red-faced, the holy man struggled to pull himself out of the water. Trembling with rage, he shook his finger at the silent, embarrassed crowd.
“One of you,” Rao bellowed indignantly, “Is an unbeliever.”
We might laugh a little bit over that story that really did take place. But we shouldn’t miss that last line.
“One of you is an unbeliever!”
Isn’t it a bit strange that every time someone on TV or at a so-called healing crusade tries to heal someone and fails, they always blame someone else for their failure, and usually because of their unbelief, or lack of faith. This is a far cry from what the Bible teaches us about faith.
Martin Luther found great comfort in and inspiration from his children. Disturbed and depressed by his enemies, one day he noticed little Martin nursing in his mother’s arms and remarked, “Child, your enemies are the Pope, the Bishops, Duke George, Ferdinand, and the devil. And there you are…unconcerned.”
Even as he noticed his child’s complete trust, he realized his own anxiety was unwarranted; God had promised to protect him.
On another occasion, Luther came upon Anasthasia, his four-year-old, prattling away about Christ, angels, and heaven. Whereupon the noted churchman said, “My dear child, if only one could hold fast to this faith.”
Quickly, she replied, “Why, papa, don’t you believe it?”
Luther was shocked and later wrote, “Christ has made the children our teachers.”
The Bible promises that, “Whoever believes in [Jesus Christ] should not perish but have everlasting life” [John 3:16] and says, “By grace you have been saved through faith.” [Ephesians 2:8].
But how much faith is necessary to obtain this salvation?
A person may wonder if he or she has believed enough to be saved. No wonder, there are those who claim that salvation is given only to those who have enough faith, a full faith, a special faith, etc., implying that one’s faith in God’s promise of salvation can be insufficient.
We know that faith can vary in degree or amount because of Biblical testimonies. Jesus spoke of those with “little faith” [Matthew 6:30; 8:26] and those with “great faith” [Matthew 8:10; 15:28].
The man whose son was healed of an evil spirit had a small amount of faith, but asked for more [Mark 9:24]. Jesus spoke of a faith as small as a mustard seed, the smallest agricultural seed in those days.
Examining the quality or amount of one’s faith is a subjective exercise in futility. Salvation and the assurance of salvation only come by focusing faith on the worthiness of Jesus Christ and His promise to save.
The issue is not how much we believe, but what we believe in. We either believe in Jesus Christ for eternal life, or we don’t.