Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. …And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. (Hebrews 11:1, 6 ESV)
Definition of faith: (Merriam – Webster dictionary)
- allegiance to duty or a person : LOYALTY
- belief and trust in and loyalty to God
- firm belief in something for which there is no proof
- something that is believed especially with strong conviction
I am challenged from time to time to defend my position that Jesus is the only Way and even that God actually exists. These people want proof. Part of me understands this. I am, by nature, skeptical. I want to know why you tell me what you do.
So what is my defense and proof of God and Jesus? I have none! I do not try to prove His existence. I know He lives. I talk with Him daily. (If you think that labels me insane, so be it.) To quote the song “He lives within my heart.” The Holy Spirit dwells in me and as a result I have faith that God lives.
I could spend hours going over various archaeological finds that back up the Bible, citing miraculous healing and seemingly impossible rescues, all attributed to God. All of this is great and I love to hear about them. They bolster my faith, but they are not the reason for my faith. The reason for my faith is that God put it in my heart to believe. If I think that I was capable of developing enough faith to be saved then I could boast about this as a work that I did. But it wasn’t me. In Ephesians we are told that it is definitely God’s doing that we have the faith to believe. In Romans we are told that carnal man (those not born again) cannot, by themselves, submit to God’s law and that in the flesh we cannot please God.
God loves the world (that is the humans that He created) so much that He sent Jesus to pay an unbelievable debt that we are unable pay. This debt of sin and the penalty has been lifted for all people who believe. God gives everyone the faith. All they have to do is ask. The Holy Spirit draws people to Jesus. That is one of His purposes. The gift God gives, that is faith, is available to every person on earth.
If we accept God’s gift, we can experience the blessings and ultimate joy that goes along with the new birth. This is true Grace. If we demand proof, though, remember, “without faith, it is impossible to please God.”
© 2019 Tim Lehmann. All rights reserved.
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