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What is the Most Important Verse in the Bible?

Updated: Jun 29, 2023

What is the most important verse in the bible? Nearly everyone will quote John 3:16. They will rightly praise God’s wonderful sacrificial love and how he gave up his son so that whoever believes in him will have eternal life. It is an important verse, for sure. And while it is probably the most memorized verse of the bible, perhaps more important is Hebrews 11:6 where we’re told that it is impossible to please God without faith. Consider that for a moment. We cannot please God without faith. In fact, the truth of Hebrews 11:6 is captured in John 3:16. Whoever “believes” in him will have eternal life. All of this leads us to ask two important questions. First, what is faith anyway, and second, why is it so important to God?

We naturally equate the word faith with the concept of belief. And it is true that faith and belief are inextricably intertwined. Even so, they are not entirely the same thing. Consider how the demons believe in Christ (James 2:19). It is unlikely that they please God with their belief. Faith certainly includes belief, but at its core is also something we call trust. This is why Paul argues that faithful Christians live their lives by faith, and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). A Christian full of faith will walk out his life not based on the troubles, challenges and difficulties he sees, but through his trust that God is good, and that he honors the promises he has made to his children. That kind of faith – the one that starts with belief and is completed by trust – is important to God because it promotes willful behaviors in us that ultimately coalesce into the pattern of a holy life.

Faith, however, isn’t irrational. It is not devoid of reasoning. In fact, faith is trusting something because you have good reason to believe it is true. In the Bible’s seminal story of faith, Abraham almost sacrifices his son Isaac at God’s command because he trusted that God would honor his promise to make a great nation out of Isaac, and if that were so, he reasoned that God would necessarily raise Isaac from the dead (Genesis 22:1-19, Hebrews 11:17-19). Further, Paul tells us that we have no excuse to not believe and trust that God is an all powerful creator with a divine nature because reasonable evidence to support that belief is literally everywhere in the world around us (Romans 1:20).

True faith is entirely rational. And a rational person exercises true faith. This is why when Jesus tells Peter to take his boat out into the deep water and cast his nets into the depths where Peter knows from his fishing expertise that he is unlikely to catch fish, he obeys. He trusted the man he called Master, and recognized the potential for a catch of some kind (Luke 5:1-6, and Reflections Real Faith).

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