How amazing that religions that rely upon good works and rituals are considered to be “faiths.” Faith can only engage the unseen and eternal and, therefore, does not mix with works and ritual. In search of a valid faith, it is folly to look at that which is visible. Even to look to a visible cross or crucifix is of no merit. What occurred on the cross for our salvation was invisible and must be accepted by faith.
The visible torture men inflicted upon Christ, the scourging, mocking, and nailing to the cross, is not the basis of our salvation—though that was the message of the popular film The Passion of the Christ. There is no virtue in making the “sign of the cross” or waving a cross or crucifix to ward off Satan or evil. It was the judgment Christ endured at the hands of God in payment of the penalty for our sins that makes it possible for God to offer salvation. That suffering, endured by Christ, was totally invisible to man and must ever be. It is by faith alone that we believe Christ paid the penalty and by which we receive the eternal salvation He offers.
The Bible speaks of “the faith which was once [for all time] delivered unto the saints” and declares that we must “earnestly contend” for this unchangeable truth because there are false teachers even inside the church who will seek subterfuge to oppose it (Jude 3-4). Jude is not referring to faith in the sense of believing that a prayer will be answered or an event will occur. “The faith” is the body of truth that must be believed for one to be a Christian.