Can Faith Be Seen?

Walk by Faith

This writing is a response to these questions:

Have you ever said, “That man (or that woman) is a person of faith”? If so, what did you mean by that? How would you define or describe a person of faith? What did or does that look like to you? What criteria do you use to determine if someone is or is not a person of faith?

Do you believe there is outward and discernable evidence as to whether someone is or is not a person of faith? And do you have biblical support for your belief on this subject? But, let’s confine this “faith” to faith in Jesus Christ.

I asked these questions in response to something I recently heard someone say. The person I heard speak said something to the effect that only God can see our faith, but that what we can see is one another’s works. It was a video I watched, and I agreed with probably most of it, but this one statement didn’t sit right with me.

And, then I got thinking about how many times in my life I have heard someone talk about others’ faith, such as in “That man (or that woman) is a person of faith,” often spoken of at funerals, so often in past tense, but not always. So, if we can’t see people’s faith, but only God can, how can we know if a person is of the faith or not? Or, can we? Or, does it matter?

And, then I have heard this, too: “You can’t see inside my heart, only God can, so you can’t see whether I have faith or not.” I agree that we can’t see inside other people’s hearts, and that only God can, but I disagree with the statement that we can’t see if people have faith or not.

So, am I on solid ground here in my dispute with the statement that only God can see our faith? Or, am I totally off base here?

The Faith Chapter

The main passage of scripture that comes to my mind is Hebrews 11, which is usually called “The Faith Chapter” of the Bible. In it we learn about many different people’s faith in God, and in most all of their cases, it was faith that was evidenced by what they did. So, it was visible faith. Otherwise, let’s just call it “The Works Chapter” of the Bible, if we can’t see people’s faith.

For, we can’t separate faith from works or works from faith if those works are done in the power of God in obedience to God. If we say we can’t see other people’s faith but only their works, then how do we know that their works are a result of their faith and that they are not just works of the flesh? Do we not have the ability to discern the difference between works of the flesh and those done in the power of the Spirit of God? I believe we do.

Love and Faith

I John 4:7-8 says this: “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

So, loving others as God loves us (keep reading in 1 John 4) is something that can be seen. For, love is not a feeling or an emotion. Love is what we do. For, God so loved us that he gave his only begotten Son that whoever believing (present tense) in him has eternal life with God (Jn. 3:16). So, love is giving of ourselves to others self-sacrificially in ways that will meet others’ legitimate needs. And, this is something that can be seen.

But, it is also a determining factor as to whether or not we truly have been born of God, so it is evidence that can be seen which says whether or not we have faith in Jesus Christ, too. Wouldn’t you agree?

And, this is speaking of god-like (agape) love, which literally means “to prefer” what God prefers, which is what is holy, righteous, moral, upright and honest, too. And, it is evidenced by how we treat God and by how we treat others. For, the Bible says that to love God is to obey him, and that to love others is to not sin against them but to do good to them, as God defines good. Thus, love is also the evidence of whether or not we have faith.

John 13:34-35 says this: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

And, we have already learned that love is something that is visible, for it is what we do that shows love, not what we feel. And, we have already learned, too, that our actions of love for God and towards others, in obedience to our Lord, are evidence of whether or not we have genuine faith in Jesus Christ. Thus, our love for God and our love for others is not only something visible to us, but it is also evidence of our faith. So, faith and love are also inseparable. If we don’t have love, we don’t have faith.

So, if others can tell whether or not we are disciples of Christ by our love for one another, as God loves us, and if love is evidence of our faith, then we can certainly know if someone has genuine faith in Jesus Christ by whether or not they are acting in love towards God and towards others, but again as God defines love, and as God/Jesus demonstrated his love for us, too.

For, this love is not as the world loves. It is as God loves.

Does it Matter?

Does it matter if we can see one another’s faith or not? I believe it does. But, let me first of all add a word of caution here. This is not about going around judging everyone’s faith. This is not about being critical of others or about putting them down. For, that is not love if that is all we are doing.

So, under what circumstances would it be important if we could see other people’s faith or not by what they do? Well, several things come to mind here, and the first one takes me back to the faith chapter of the Bible.

If we know what real genuine faith looks like, then we will also know if we have genuine faith or if what we are believing is a lie or not. So, it is a measure for us personally to determine whether or not we are in the faith or not. And, the scriptures do teach us to examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith or not, so we have to know what that faith looks like.

Also, knowing that faith is something that we can see, that we can discern, helps us to know what true faith looks like in order to encourage us in our own walks of faith. It helps us to see areas in our own walks of faith which are lacking, and where we need yet to grow and to mature, too. And, it gives us examples of faith which we can then emulate in the power and working of God’s Spirit in and through our lives (see Heb. 11).

But, it is also important that we know what real faith in Jesus Christ looks like so that we are not led astray by those who would teach otherwise. And, it is also so that we can refute Satan’s lies and so we can expose them for the lies that they are, and so that we can then proclaim what is truth regarding the faith that it takes to be in Christ and to be bound for heaven.

And, going along with that, it is also so that we can help others see what true faith looks like so that they don’t go on living their lives in such a way in which they are convinced they have true faith, but which is not evidenced in how they live. It is to rescue them from the fires of hell, in other words.

For, many people are being deceived by clever enchanters who convince them that faith is just some feeling or some acknowledgment of Christ and that it requires no action on their part. So, they can continue in their sinful practices while claiming they have faith, and while believing they are going to heaven, while what they are sowing, which is to the flesh, is going to end them up in hell, instead.

So, we need to know what genuine faith in Jesus Christ looks like so that we can rescue others from hell, and lead them to true faith, which will then lead them to God’s righteousness and to eternal life with God.

Servant of the Lord

An Original Work / July 26, 2012
Based off Romans 1:1-17

Servant of the Lord;
For the gospel you’re set apart.
Promised through the prophets of old:
Jesus, Son of God.
Through Him, and for His name alone,
We receive His grace
To call people, Him to obey;
Coming from their faith.
Servant of the Lord,
For the gospel you’re set apart.
Promised through the prophets of old:
Jesus, Son of God.

You belong to Christ;
Loved by God, and called to be saints;
Serving God with whole heart and mind;
Preaching Jesus Christ;
Always praying for others’ needs;
Helping hand to lend;
Giving courage to others’ faith,
For the praise of God.
You belong to Christ;
Loved by God, and called to be saints;
Serving God with whole heart and mind;
Preaching Jesus Christ.

Servant of the Lord;
Of the gospel, I’m not ashamed;
For salvation, power of God
To those who have faith.
In the gospel find righteousness:
Being right with God.
Turn from sin, and trust Jesus Christ.
By faith, live in Him.
Servant of the Lord;
Of the gospel, I’m not ashamed;
For salvation, power of God
To those who have faith.

12 thoughts on “Can Faith Be Seen?

  1. I believe that genuine deep faith is visible. Genuine Christ followers have a sense of peace about them that can be felt. They have a sense of confidence in all situations, knowing that God is with them.

    Often genuine believers age more slowly than their peers, because they experience little stress. Both fellow believers, and often non believers also will recognize a sincere believer. 🤗

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m glad you wrote on this especially for people who are confused about faith. I’ve thought about our conversion and had some other thoughts to add to it.

    One of the first things I thought of related to when Jesus talked to Thomas. He told Thomas blessed are those who believe in Him, but they don’t see Him (physically in the body that we could touch His wrists and the holes in them). So, I think I can grasp how faith can be like this. We see it like we see the work of God in our lives, but we also do not see it, as faith is created by Jesus Christ, He’s the author of faith.

    Which for the video’s purpose, I can see if that’s how she was trying to explain it, especially for people who are on the milk or not even receiving the milk.

    And I think there is a difference between faith and the fruit of the Holy Spirit. We still need faith from Jesus in order to receive the Comforter, but then the Holy Spirit creates a fruit in us that is physically seen, thus works. So faith and works are together, but then, they also are separate. I think to new believers this could be confusing, but it’s a common reality for the believer because God can do many things at once. Each piece having a distinct purpose…yet the same purpose. Haha, my brain is barely grasping what I’m saying,.

    I just read last night the best way to describe this. An orange is one fruit, but an orange has many slices inside, and that’s kinda what the fruit of the Spirit is. One fruit with multiple slices. (Except, unlike an orange, I think each slices has its own unique flavor in our life, but it’s all for the same purpose.)

    I thank the Lord for the inspiration and I truly hope that this encourages others to dive into scripture and draw closer to Him. 🙂 Thank you, Sue! God be with you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • T.R. Thank you so much for responding to this blog post and for answering the questions posed. I agree that faith is believing in things we can’t see with our physical eyes and which we cannot touch with our physical hands. Hebrews 11:1 says: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

      We believe in Jesus, even though we have never seen or touched him. We believe in his salvation from sin via his death on a cross, although we were not there when they crucified him. Faith is also God-given (Eph. 2:8-10), and it is divinely persuaded (see Greek to English), so it comes from God, as you said, and it is persuaded by God, and so true faith in Jesus Christ submits to Christ as Lord and repents of sin and walks in obedience to his commands (Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24; etc.). it doesn’t mean we are perfect, though.

      And, it believes what the Word of God teaches that if we walk (in practice) according to the Spirit, and not according to the flesh, that we have the promise of forgiveness of sins and eternal life with God (Lu. 9:23-26; Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 1:5-9, etc.). And, you did bring out that point in your clarity statement, so thank you.

      But, there is a difference, I believe, between what faith is and whether or not faith can be seen. Faith is believing in what can’t be seen, true, but the question posed is whether or not faith itself can be seen, if it is visible to others. And, I believe that is answered for us in scripture, because if we are saved by God’s grace, through faith, and the evidence of whether or not we have such faith that would result in salvation and eternal life with God is if we love and obey God, and if we love others with the love God/Christ has for us, and if we are walking according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh, then my conclusion is that yes, faith can be seen. For, it is proved genuine by what we do. It is shown by what we do in obedience to our Lord.

      I think the confusion comes into play, T.R., when we view faith in Jesus Christ as a one-time event that takes place in our lives whereby we now are in Christ, by faith in him, and we now have the Comforter living within us, but I don’t believe that is the complete biblical picture of faith. And, I believe we are in sync here. For it has to do with our walks, how we live, dying to sin daily, daily putting on Christ and his righteousness, walking by the Spirit and not by the flesh, walking in the light that Jesus gives us and not fulfilling the lusts of the flesh, and walking in obedience to our Lord, which is how we show we love him, and by loving others with his love, etc. For, these are all criteria in scripture that determine our eternal destiny.

      So, if we are saved by grace, through faith, but if we walk according to the flesh and not according to the Spirit or we don’t walk in obedience to our Lord, then the Bible says we don’t know God, he doesn’t know us, and we don’t have eternal life with God. So, this means we don’t have faith. So, faith has to be something that is seen by what we do, just like love is.

      At least this is what I am seeing. Does this make sense to you? This process is helping me to work all this through in my own mind, and it is coming together for me, and it is making sense to me, and all of you are helping with that process, even if we may not all be completely in sync with one another on all points. The main point is that we believe in Jesus, biblically, so that we can live according to the Spirit of God in freedom from our slavery to sin, which then results in eternal life with God.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I totally see what you are saying!!!

        Yeah, I think we have some different views of it, but ultimately the core we completely with, which is what is most important. Even differing viewpoints can help us dig deeper into the truth ♥️♥️

        Liked by 1 person

      • We should always be growing in our faith and in our knowledge of the scriptures and what they have to teach us. Yes! Thank you, T.R., for your gracious response. I appreciate it.

        Liked by 1 person

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