The Bible often speaks of the importance of faith in knowing God. For example, Ephesians 2:8-9 teaches,
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast.” 1 Corinthians 13:13 adds, “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” But why does God require faith?
One way to answer why God requires faith is because He is our Heavenly Father. Our relationship to Him is similar to other relationships in the sense that it includes trust in the other person, time together, love, and respect. Because we cannot fully know another person, let alone an infinite God, all relationships require some degree of faith (trust). God is our Father and it takes faith to believe that He loves us and that He provides for our needs.
Faith is also important because God is not visible to humanity. Hebrews 11:1 teaches, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” We cannot see God (John 1:18). However, we have faith in Him that provides assurance.
Faith is necessary to please God. Hebrews 11:6 notes,
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Not only does faith please God, it leads to reward—eternal life, heavenly rewards, and experience of fullness of life on earth (John 10:10).
Faith is important in order for believers to obey the Lord. For example, Adam and Eve had been given a command—to not eat from a particular fruit (Genesis 2:15-17). Because their faith wavered regarding this command, they ate the forbidden fruit and sinned. Contrastingly, James 2:23 shares, “And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it (his faith) was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.”
God requires faith because it allows humans the ability to choose or reject Him. Without the ability to make choices, humanity would cease to be human as we know it. Because people can choose to have faith or not to have faith, there is a way for God to know those who have believed in Him and those who have not.
Faith in God is not “Blind Faith“ as some argue. Instead, it is a choice based on the available information. The Word of God, the created world, the changed lives of believers, Jesus Christ, and other ways God operates in our world provide sufficient evidence for people to choose faith in God. As Jesus taught in Luke 16:31, “And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”