All relationships are based on trust. If there is no trust then there is no healthy relationship.
Back in the Garden, God’s motives were attacked: Satan said God could not be trusted. He is not looking out for your best interests. He is not really telling you the truth. (Genesis 3).
If I have reservations about whether God really cares about me, whether He has a hidden agenda, then there is a flaw in our relationship. If I suspect that God is arbitrary, vengeful, stern, or severe, then I will not really trust Him.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” Romans 1:16-17 (ESV)
Faith (or believe – the English verb for faith) is basically faith in a person. It is not just believing a fact or something I was told. It is a relational word. Faith is essentially “trust”.
“Faith, as I understand it, is a word we use to describe a relationship with God as with a person well known. The better we know him, the better this relationship may be.” – Graham Maxwell, Can God be Trusted? p. 43.
The phrase “from faith to faith” in most of our translations is accurate. But in Greek idiom the repetition is for emphasis. The NIV says it is “a righteousness that is by faith from first to last.” or the New Living Translation says, “This is accomplished from start to finish by faith.” In other words, this new relationship with God is totally based on faith – nothing else.
The ticket to heaven is faith or trust. If we truly trust God, He can trust us in His kingdom forever. That’s all that’s required. All else follows automatically.
What do I rely on for my relationship with God? Do I rely on my being “good enough?” Do I trust that my “faith” is great enough – or fear it is not? Or do I simply rely on God’s kindness – characteristics revealed in the life of Jesus?
Isn’t this trust just my response to who God is and what He has done for me?
“I am proud of the Good News about Jesus because it contains God’s power to save everyone who will trust Him. That’s “everyone” whether Jew or not. The Good News is that God puts people in a proper relationship with Himself when they trust Him and there is no other way. As Scripture says, “The person who is in a right relationship with Him by faith will really live.” (paraphrased)