How much faith does it take to get to heaven? How much faith does it take to share the gospel with a neighbor or a member of your family? Unfortunately, faith cannot be measured in a cup or with a yardstick. But we are not completely in the dark when it comes to measuring our own or another’s faith. Two verses aid us in determine the measurability of faith.
Luke 6:44 says, “for each tree is known by its own fruit”. If we say we have the Holy Spirit in our lives, that we have become a new creation, our lives will reflect this truth. The love we have for our neighbors, the poor, the widowed and the alien is a proper indication of the Spirit’s indwelling. But this love cannot be in word only. What good is it if you pray for someone who is hungry, but do not offer him or her any of your food? If we live for ourselves, we show by our selfish fruit what sort of tree we are. If we live for God, we show by our self-less fruit what tree we are.
James 2:26 presents a different approach to measuring faith. “For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead”. If we say we have the Holy Spirit in our lives, that we are a new creation, but we do not reflect any of the generous and loving actions that were so inherent in the life of Jesus, how can we say that we have been transformed and that Jesus is living through us? If I say that I am an apple tree, but I never bear any apples, can I truly be defined as an apple tree? My actions will always define my character.
True, saving faith, however, does produce good fruit in the shape of good works. True faith walks the walk of an active and growing Christian life. If a man’s faith is not on the move, that faith is dead. And, as James asks, “can that faith save him”? If a man’s faith is not strong enough to propel him across the street to share the good news of Christ’s sacrifice with a neighbor, can such a faith be enough to propel that man to heaven? Can your faith walk you to heaven?