Faith Changes Things

”…make every effort to add to your faith goodness” 2 Peter 1:5

How does faith change culture? Faith is clearly described in the Bible, but applying faith to culture is a new way of thinking about how faith changes things.

First off, changing culture is not just a matter of faith. It’s not simply a “believe and receive” proposition. In fact, 2 Peter says exactly the opposite. Peter says very clearly, “add to your faith” (2 Peter 1:5). That means faith on its own is not enough.

Faith on its own is not enough.

You might need a moment to let that settle in. We’ve heard “faith alone” so often that we get suspicious any time someone suggests adding to our faith. We need to be clear about what we mean by faith alone.

Changes to how we think about faith alone

That phrase comes from the Protestant Reformation (1517), which has been summarized in five “alone” statements. These are: Saved by grace alone, through faith alone, by Christ alone, according to Scripture alone, for the glory of God alone.

These statements, referred to as the five solas (sola is Latin for “alone”), were used to protest against the corrupted teaching in the church. Something was being added to faith for salvation but was not in line with Scripture.

But this is different. 2 Peter 1 tells us to add to our faith. This is the same thought expressed in James, which says “faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (James 2:17).

Faith is the beginning of our Christian life, but it’s just the beginning.

Genuine faith gets us working. It changes how we see the world and ourselves in it. It means we cannot ignore the problems around us or the failures in our own lives. Working faith changes us and makes us discontent with anything that was part of our former life.

So what is working faith?