Monday, September 5, 2011

How to find faith?

If, as people say, 'a god' does exist, then it stands to reason He is far above us in ways and thoughts. And if He is far above us in ways and thoughts it stands to reason that He is perfectly holy, just, and wise.

It also stands to reason that if He is so far above us, then we are below Him in ways and thoughts and wisdom. We are not equals, that is for sure.

Now, the standout attribute of our God (not 'a god' for He is the only one) is that He is holy. Holiness is described as "A quality of perfection, sinlessness, and inability to sin that is possessed by God alone."

What is it that makes Him holy and us not holy? Our sin. Sin is anything we think, say, or do that displeases God. Since we cannot go through life perfect, then we sin, and we displease God. Our sins keep us from having a relationship with Him. It's like every sin we commit is a brick in a wall between us and Him. If we die with that wall there, it stays there for eternity and we have to go to hell and be separated from Him forever.

But He made a way for us, sinful though we are, to have a relationship with Him, and that is through His son Jesus. He said to His Son, (Hebrews 5:5; Psalm 2:7) 'I am going to ask you to set aside your divinity, pour yourself into human flesh, and live a life on earth, be accused though you are sinless, and die a terrible death on the cross. Once your blood is shed, it will pay the debt humanity owes me for their sins and they will be covered.' Jesus said 'OK.'  After Jesus died on the cross and was buried, on the third day God made Him come to life again and He dwells with God in heaven, and welcomes believers home to Him when they die! (Hebrews 1:3) It's just great.

What I just said is re-stated from Ephesians 2, also

All a person has to do to find faith is to believe that Jesus was and is the son of God, died for our sins, and rose to life again. If you believe that then by default you also believe that you know you're a sinner and you ask Him to forgive the sins. Because His blood covers you, your confession and belief will enact your pardon. The wall will come down.

Jesus says that once you believe, THEN He makes all the truths of the bible come alive in your brain. The bible will no longer be a dry, dusty, incomprehensible book but the Living Word from a Living God who loves us. You know what else He does for us after a you believe? He sends the Holy Spirit to be inside us to help resist sinning. Oh, we still sin, we're human after all. But the more we submit to the Spirit's leading, the less we WANT to sin, and the more He helps us resist it. Like I said, it is a relationship.

For that relationship to begin, you must first understand that you sin. Do you believe this?

How can a person obtain faith? "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."—Romans 10:17. Charles Spurgeon preached on this topic, "How can I obtain faith?". Click the link to read the whole sermon. He began with saying this:

"It is difficult to make men understand that the salvation of the gospel is not by works but entirely by grace, that it is not presented to men as the reward of their own endeavors, but is given to them freely upon their accepting it by an act of simple faith or trust in Jesus Christ."

THAT'S IT!! That is all there is. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. The Word has qualities to it that pierce biology, settle in the soul, inspire the spirit to truth and burst away refusals. Here is an example of this.

I teach first and second graders on Wednesday nights. We are going through Psalm 100. Psalm 100 begins:

"Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands."

I ask the kids to bring their bibles and we all open them to the page and we read it together, even if they can't read, they have the bible open and in hand. After we read the Psalm, there were a couple of minutes of transition time when the other teachers were passing out stuff. One 2nd grade boy who was sitting cross legged on the floor in front of me kept reading the Psalm 100:1 over and over again. Then I heard him muse quietly aloud, "I like that. I don't know why, but I like that."

I know exactly what he means. I love that phraseology, too. There is something beautiful and soul-stirring about certain phrases in the Word. They are so soul stirring, a seven year old will be moved by it. He could not articulate why he liked it, it was beyond his cognition, beyond his ability to form into words, but his soul stretched out and embraced the words and they sustained him as soul-food before my very eyes.

Faith comes by hearing the Word. I hope you have enough of the Word in you to share it so that those who ask, and those even within ear-shot, will hear. "For He is our peace, who made both groups one and tore down the dividing wall of hostility." The Word is the axe that tears down the wall.

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