I pray this devotional finds that all of you had a wonderful weekend and went to church on Sunday. I apologize for not finishing this up on Friday, but it was my birthday and I just took the whole day off. It was a wonderful birthday weekend thanks primarily to my lovely bride Karen and to so many well-wishers.
Let me re-gauge our thinking to the Secret of Faith by asking a question: Is faith enough?
I finished â€œThe Safety of Faithâ€ with this statement:
When faith is all you have, faith is all you need.
Can that possibly be true? When you are facing financial difficulty, is faith enough to pay the bills? When you or a loved one is battling cancer, is faith enough to heal your body?
Some people forsake seeing a doctor because they believe if God doesnâ€™t heal them through their faith then the Lord did not mean them to be healed. Beloved that is not at all what I mean. Of course you should go to the doctor if you are sick.
Faith is the essential element in Christianity. You cannot come to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ without faith. It takes trust because Jesus being â€œthe Way, the Truth, and the Lifeâ€ and the only way to the Father in Heaven takes believing what Jesus said is true. You have to trust Christ. I cannot know with 100% assurance that what the Bible says is true nor can I prove it. It takes faith.
The foundational truths of Christianity are grounded in faith, in trusting and believing that the Bible is indeed the Word of God and that it is without error and infallible. I canâ€™t scientifically prove it any more than an atheist can prove there is no God or an evolutionist can prove I came from primordial sludge. We all exercise faith in what we believe.
The purpose of the Christian life is to do the Will of God. My goal in life is to please my Heavenly Father so when I get to Heaven I can hear those wonderful words, â€œWell done my faithful servant.â€ If that too is your goal then we need at least one foundational truth about pleasing God and here it is:
â€œBut without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.â€ (Hebrews 11:6)
I have to believe that God is so what does it mean to believe? The Random House Dictionary gives an excellent definition of the verb believe: â€œto have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something, although without absolute proof that one is right in doing so.â€
When faith is all you have, faith is all you need.
And that faith is not of yourself; it is a gift of God. Satan and sin have blinded fallen human beings to the point that we are unable to understand faith on our own. Writing about lost souls the Apostle Paul reminds us:
â€œ…having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart…â€ (Ephesians 4:18)
Remember, faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. I got saved reading the Bible because a lady took the time to show me that my beliefs about God, Jesus, Heaven, and salvation were diametrically opposed to Godâ€™s Word. How does that happen? Again, our great teacher the Apostle Paul instructed the Corinthian church on this matter:
â€œTherefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every manâ€™s conscience in the sight of God. But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesusâ€™ sake. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.â€ (2 Corinthians 4:1-6)
The god of this age is Satan and he has blinded those who will not believe the gospel. He might blind them with worldly knowledge or their own pride. Notwithstanding, they do not believe because, quite frankly, they do not want to believe because they reject the Light of the Gospel. May God have pity on them. I pray for those of you reading this devotional who refuse to believe the truth of the Bible.
Hereâ€™s an analogy that might help: a man marries a woman because he falls in love with her and wants to build a life together. He does not marry her believing she is going to commit adultery. Notice I said believing; he cannot marry a woman knowing she will not commit adultery. He may think he is exercising his knowledge of her future fidelity, but in actuality he is exercising faith. He believes she will be faithful because he TRUSTS her. That is what we have to do with Christ and the gospel. We have to trust that Christ is the Truth and believe in Him. And that belief in Jesus, like marriage, requires a commitment…it manifests itself in a relationship. That is the difference between Christianity and all other religions; the former is a relationship and the latter is mere religion.
So what do you do when all you have is faith…is it enough? It is to come to a saving relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. As the late, great Dr. Adrian Rogers once said, and my pastor is often wont to repeat, you have to give all you know of you to all you know of Jesus. You cannot answer all the questions to a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ anymore than you can answer all the questions to marriage.
You have to trust Jesus. Wonâ€™t you trust Him today?
Maybe you think you are not good enough. Excellent! Jesus says to come as you are. A verse I read before I got saved rocked my world then and still does:
â€œBut God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.â€ (Romans 5:8)
That word demonstrates is also translated manifests and it means to put on display as you would put on a performance. As Ed Sullivan used to say, â€œWe have a really big show.â€ God put on a supernatural, heavenly show of how much He loves us by allowing Jesus to die for us while were yet sinners.
That my dear friend is the heart and soul of God and the key to faith. Jesus died for our sins because we are sinners.
I know its too good to be true and perhaps you still cannot get past the guilt you feel for the sins you have committed. I understand and can relate to you completely.
More on that tomorrow…
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Copyright Â© 2011 David Jeffers