Wednesday, October 26, 2011
“This is faith: a renouncing of everything we are apt to call our own and relying wholly upon the blood, righteousness and intercession of Jesus.” John Newton
“...a man will be justified by faith when, excluded from righteousness of works, he by faith lays hold of the righteousness of Christ, and clothed in it, appears in the sight of God not as a sinner, but as righteous...” John Calvin
Faith, it’s a churchy word (just have faith!), it’s also a pop-Christian word (“O I just need more faith to choose between the Chris Tomlin album or the other pop-Christian artists.”), but more than these other two it is a biblical word. Often I marvel at the gravity of words, to take the biblical definition over the dictionary’s definition (for words folks that’s a big deal) and, by God’s grace, live it.
But how do we know we have faith? What makes our faith solid and true faith and not simple some popish thing which whelms us one day and is completely absent the next day?
Allow me to relay what we, as Christians believe. 1) God created something out of absolute void. 2) We jacked that creation up. 3) He sent his Son (who is one with Himself, yet different). 4) Through a women, there was no human dad, God was the Father. 5) This Kid (Jesus) lived a completely sinless perfect life (imagine a six-year-old boy not punching his sibling in the face… difficult?). 6) He was wrongly convicted of being sinful (basically he was too perfect). 7) He was killed (ya know like dead, without a pulse, ummm lights out). 8) He rose from the grave (wha?). 9) He ascended (floated up) into heaven to make intercession for those who have faith in him.
That takes faith to believe. So how do we know whether or not we have faith? “This is faith: a renouncing of everything we are apt to call our own and relying wholly upon the blood, righteousness and intercession of Jesus.” Because everything else is worthless in our eyes when compared with knowing Christ Jesus our Lord; because even though the facts seem ludicrous they make complete sense; because God loved us and made us alive together with Christ; because there is an assurance beyond reason and logic which presses us to know and love and die for this irrefutable truth.
“Therefore… let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2