“Christians have an equal need to believe on Jesus and His gospel. Faith in Christ is once for all in its effects, eternally reconciling a believer to God. But faith in Christ is not a once-for-all event. The greatest need of Christians is to exercise their faith in Christ—to make their belief not a mere assent but a living practice and habit.
Let me provide some practical examples. What if you are taken gravely ill? You might say that your greatest need would be to receive expert medical care. That is valuable, to be sure. But the greatest need of a gravely ill Christian is to know that God holds his or her life safe for all eternity, and to experience God’s loving care and the peace that only He can give. These things come only through the exercise of faith in Christ. Likewise, what is the greatest need of a Christian who gains success and worldly blessing? It is an active belief in Christ and His Word to protect him from pride and the snares of the world.
A Christian facing poverty most needs, not money, but the realization that God hears his or her prayers and takes care of His own. A Christian who is lonely needs first of all the companionship of Christ. A Christian beset by temptation needs a shield of protection. A Christian who is weary needs strength and refreshment. All of these come from one and the same source: belief in Jesus Christ, in His promises, in the teachings of His Word, and in the God and Father who rules over all and who, because of His great love for us, sent the true light into the world.
Let those who wish to witness Christ to the world therefore tend to their own faith in Jesus Christ above all else. It is often the simple exercise of faith in all of life’s circumstances that bears the strongest witness. Devote yourself to God’s Word, the bread that feeds our faith. Guard your faith against the many false lights in this world. Commit to a life of prayer, worship, and discipleship to Jesus, all of which depend on faith. As our faith bears its witness to the reality of Jesus, we will surely find others coming to us, as they did to John the Baptist, so that we can tell them what we know and believe.”
–Richard D. Phillips, Jesus the Evangelist (Orlando, Fla.: Reformation Trust, 2007), 17-18.