So I have had many discussions through the years, and recently about when I came to know Jesus. Faith has been a huge topic of discussion. Through these discussions I realized when I asked Jesus to be the Lord of my life, I didn’t have faith. No, quite the opposite. Let me try to paint you a picture through something you have either seen in a movie, the news, or heard about. Fight or Flight. All of us have either experienced or heard of someone fighting for their life in a desperate situation.
Picture this. You are being held at gun point. The person holding the gun to your head tells you he is going to kill you. You fight to gain control of the gun. You fight to gain control of the situation and not die. Because you know if you don’t fight, you don’t stand a chance. You may still die, but what if you don’t. You don’t have faith necessarily that you can defeat the individual who is trying to kill you. BUT you are desperate enough to fight. When someone told me about Jesus, and how He died for me. How he paid the ransom for my life. How He WANTS me. I was desperate for that. I didn’t have faith but I had desperation. I didn’t just want it, but I needed it and I was willing to do whatever it took to know and experience God’s love through Jesus. I fought desperately for it. Now, once I came out on the other side and had experienced Gods love and salvation. My faith began to grow. Through discipleship and the reading of His word my faith in Jesus began to flourish and sustain me in my journey. But my confidence only grew because of what I had experienced.
In Paul’s writings, faith is trust in the salvation that has already occurred (John 1:12; 1 Corinthians 1:30; Philippians 3:19). Christ has already secured salvation for us through his life, death, and resurrection. He has already defeated death, taking upon himself the penalty for sin that we deserve, and has given us access to salvation, reconciliation, and adoption. The confidence that grows in us after salvation, in what Christ has done on the cross leads to trust and obedience (Romans 16:26). It leads to the perfection of our faith. C.S. Lewis writes in Mere Christianity “To have Faith in Christ means, of course, trying to do all that He says. There would be no sense in saying you trusted a person if you would not take his advice. Thus if you have really handed yourself over to Him, it must follow that you are trying to obey Him….wanting to act in a certain way because a first faint gleam of Heaven is already inside you. The primary act of saving faith though is accepting the promises of justification, sanctification, and ultimately glorification that God has given to us freely through Christ (Romans 3:22-26; 1 Corinthians 15:14). Faith gives us the freedom to let go of our attempts at self-righteousness, allowing us to rest peacefully in the arms of our Savior, being confidently assured of our salvation; not because of anything within us but because of the One in whom we place our faith (Romans 1:16; Galatians 2:16-20).
Dan Ousley - Worship Leader - StoneBridge Baptist Church