Believing in God Is Not Enough (Part 3 of 5)
Christian belief brings us into a right relationship with God. Romans 8:16-17 (NIV) describe that relationship: “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”
Faith transforms our relationship with others. “We know that we have passed from death to life because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him. This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters” (1 John 3:14-16, NIV).
As believers we have a different relationship with ourselves. It is summarized in 2 Corinthians 5:17 as becoming a new creation. We have a new sense of freedom because our guilt is removed, and sins forgiven. We have a new desire to please God and a new servant attitude toward others. We possess a new love for other followers of Christ. We discover a new power to say no to sin’s temptations and a new joy and confidence. We find a new supply road opened to God’s storehouse through prayer.
In early April 1978, I drove 50 miles from Fargo, North Dakota, to Cormorant Lake, Minnesota, to go ice-fishing. At the lake I discovered that two feet of open water around the shoreline bordered the frozen expanse. I was not about to give up. Although my faith was shaking as much as my knees, I took a deep breath and jumped. I feared the milky white edge would break when I landed. Much to my relief, it did not! When I drilled a hole about 50 yards from shore, I discovered the ice was 37 inches thick. Although my faith was weak, the yard of frozen water was not.
God is like that ice. When we believe, we take a leap of faith and land on the bedrock trustworthiness of God’s character and promises. It is not how much faith we have, but whether we place it, be it small or great, in the One who is trustworthy.
Believing in Jesus includes our intellect, emotions, will, and body. Faith isn’t contrary to the facts of history. We do not have to kiss our brain goodbye! The evidence for Jesus’ resurrection is substantial. Yet faith is more than merely agreeing that Jesus is all He claimed. We cannot depend on feelings to gauge our relationship with God. If we do, our spiritual lives will have more ups and downs than an elevator!
Responding to God is a choice. It includes giving God our body (Romans 12:1). Do you think you could trust someone with your body who sacrificed His body for you?
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