Faith is the basic building block on which a relationship with God, Almighty is built. Faith demands the Christian relinquish his worldly thinking and surrender to Heavenly understanding.
A Christian believes that Jesus is the Christ. It is by God’s grace that we have the faith necessary to seek Him. Faith in Him is a gift from Him given so as to give us the direction for the work He defined for each of us.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
I am a Christian. I came to believe that Christ is my Savior without human rationale. I am like very nearly every other Christian in that I have not seen God face to face. That does not change my belief that God exists.
Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”
Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Over time the Lord leads all Christians to seek a deeper, greater understanding. Many Christians haphazardly or halfheartedly seek heavenly wisdom.
Allow me this analogy about faith. Americans purchase meals at any of dozens of national fast food restaurant chains. We find a favorite chain and are comfortable purchasing the same meal time and again no matter where the franchise might be located. Why? Because we have a faith our favorite meal will be prepared in the same manner every time. We trust the person in charge of our meal’s preparation to follow the guidelines established by their respective franchise headquarters. We trust that the restaurant staff are honorable and will not taint the meal they are preparing for us. That is having a faith in something not seen, in a secular sense, of course.
Christian faith is precisely the same. God’s Holy Word teaches us this:
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.
Consider the fast food restaurant analogy that was offered earlier. The Christian trusts God to be the same God each and every moment of each and every day. The meal, spiritual bread with living water, is consistent. The Christian knows in his heart that God’s worlds are prepared by His Word.
There is a blessing from God for having faith in Him.
Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD and whose trust is the LORD. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, That extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit.
A life of peace. A life that is fruitful. A life with plenty. These are the blessings for “…the man who trusts (has the heavenly gift of faith) in the LORD….”
God always hears our prayers. Our faith in Him brings answers to our heartfelt prayers to Him.
Then Jesus said to her, “O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed at once.
Dear reader, our faith is a thing not measurable. Faith is not an emotion that grows when it is fed. Our faith is not tangible and it is not a force. Our faith, like God, simply is. It is important to remember that God loved us first and that His gift of faith in Him is the blessing for hearing His call.
Thank you, Father for leading me to trust You without reservation. You are wonderful and awesome even though I have never seen You. Your will for me is that I should be held in Your bosom and sit at Your feet. I believe Lord in the unseen. I believe You and believe in You. Gracious Father thank You for drawing me to You. In Jesus, the Christ’s, Holy Name, AMEN.
When I consider the crucifying Cross of Jesus my heart aches. My spirit sinks and tears well up in my eyes. My mind can only imagine the humiliation suffered by my Savior so that I can live forever with Him in Heaven.
My intellect reminds me that Christ was murdered so many years ago because He offered Himself up to be the last and ultimate sacrifice. It was by His design and the command of His Father that His blood is shed for worthless sinners such as me. His blood is shed for all mankind; for all the world.
All saints on earth should stand and praise Him. He is worthy of our worship.
Murdering or executing a person on a cross was not a new form of punishment invented during Christ’s time. The practice of hanging persons on crosses had likely been a practice from the time of Alexander the Great.
Alexander the Great (353-326 B.C.) is said to have had 2000 survivors from the siege of Troy crucified. The Jewish king Alexander Jannaeus (ruled from 103-76 B.C.) crucified 800 Pharisees and then, as they were dying, ordered that their wives and children be slaughtered before their eyes. The Roman orator Cicero (106-43 B.C.) called crucifixion the “summum supplicium,” the worst form of punishment. Titus, the Roman general who led the Roman armies in the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., ordered the crucifixion of many Jewish men.
History records the deeds of Roman warriors. When entering a conquered town or city the Romans would select several men randomly and crucify them at the city gate. This act was intended to instill fear of the Roman authority.
To the Christian the Cross is highly significant in our daily lives. It is Christ’s death on the Cross that bridges us from evil to His goodness. It is by His death on the Cross that we are saved. Salvation is the single most important tenet of basic Christian doctrine. It is the single Christian doctrine that cannot be challenged by the traditions or wisdom of men.
The Cross is indicative of Christ’s suffering and is a focal point of a Christian’s faith. Naturally, our total faith is in Him and not the physical tool of torture. However, the symbolism of the Cross cannot be ignored.
The Apostle Paul was moved by God Almighty to write:
2 Corinthians 5:14-19
For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
The Old Testament points to our Christ as the Savior of all mankind. The Old Testament is fulfilled in Christ Jesus. The New Testament is completed by His birth, His ministry on earth, His persecution, His conviction, His punishment, His burial, His resurrection, and His ascension to heaven where He sits at the right hand of the Father.
Christ submitted Himself to human authority. He was obedient to His Father’s command. Christ allowed those who hated Him to murder Him. He could have called legions of angels to set the world straight at that time, but He did not.
The Christian walk always comes back to the Cross. Paul teaches:
Rather, I make myself guilty if I rebuild the old system I already tore down. For when I tried to keep the law, I realized I could never earn God’s approval. So I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ. I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. So I live my life in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not one of those who treats the grace of God as meaningless. For if we could be saved by keeping the law, then there was no need for Christ to die.
Without Christ’s sacrifice and His shed blood my life would be meaningless. His Life means everything and is in everything. Because He loves me He chose to die. Oh, Jesus, I am not worthy, but You carry me and Your blood is shed for my sins on that Cross. Your Body, Your Blood for the sins of the world. I love you Lord. In Your Name, Amen.
This is indisputable. Christ died for the sins of the world. Everything Biblical, scriptural and spiritual we believe hinges on this one fact.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
This is indisputable. All things, all mankind, all nature were made through Him. There is nothing made that does not have Him ascribed to it.
Every other doctrine developed by men is challenged by other men. Only this simple basic doctrine stands alone. It is indisputable.
We have this understanding because of the gift of faith.