What is true faith? Why is it so important? A frequent lament of Jesus over His disciples was their lack of faith. The stilling of the storm, the healing of the demonic, the raising of Jairus’ daughter, the healing of the Syrophoenician’s daughter in the book of Mark were all lessons to teach the disciples what true faith is.
In fact, we can learn what true faith is by looking broadly at how the Gospel of Mark is structured. Mark 1 to 8:21 deal with the disciples’ failure to discern who Jesus is. Mark 8:22 to Mark 16 deal with the disciples’ failure to accept the mission of Jesus. True faith according to the Gospel of Mark, therefore, has its object in Jesus and the work He has accomplished for us. In other words, true faith is a response to the Gospel of Jesus Christ—who He is and what He has come to do.
But why is true faith so important? True faith that arises from the Gospel of Christ is the instrument of our communion with God—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The Gospel of Christ is God’s revelation of the glory of His Trinitarian nature. God the Father chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before Him. He sent Christ the Son to atone for our sins. Christ received the Holy Spirit from the Father after His death, resurrection, and ascension and sent the Holy Spirit to us. The Holy Spirit then brings into effect, by bringing to us, all that the Father has ordained, all that belong to Christ, and all that Christ has wrought for us through the cross. He does so by revealing to us the truths that are in Christ, so that we may worship God with His help by responding to these truths.
Consequently, we now can have communion with Christ daily by laying our sins before Him and receiving from Him cleansing and forgiveness. By so doing, we are acknowledging afresh that His work and His sacrifice alone, through His unceasing priestly intercession, can efficaciously wash away our sins and guilt, to make us righteous before the Father. We acknowledge our helplessness and His sufficiency, thereby giving Him the glory that is due Him. This is the faith alone that pleases God. This is the faith that will be rewarded by the Father with a joy, a thankfulness, a boldness, an assurance, and a righteousness that is not our own, but given to us from the treasury of Christ, via the Holy Spirit, to the glory of the Triune God.