Gleanings – Gotta Have Faith

Hebrews 11:1-12/John 6:27-40

“Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it men of old received divine approval.”

“This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”

Faith is rather central to the life of a follower of Jesus. Through it we experience “divine approval” and have “eternal life.” And yet it can be elusive particularly if we allow it to be reduced to a set of doctrines, statements of faith, or creeds. This raises the question which denomination has all that right? If “faith” saves then the answer is of ultimate importance. Otherwise we might find ourselves outside the reach of his saving embrace.

While doctrines and creeds may enhance our understanding of God, they do not save. Not even believing their content saves. Believing is leaning our whole weight upon something. And that something is that we are alienated from God because of our rebellion and Jesus reconciles us to Him by atoning for that alienating sin.

Our life is a response to this central truth. We order our lives upon this central truth as if it were a keystone, the wedge shaped stone placed at the apex of an arch which allows the arch to bear weight. With this keystone within us we can bear the weight of life. For example, the inevitable problem of our sin need not drive us to despair. Rather it drives us back to love, a God who loves us so much that he would bridge the chasm between us. When heaped upon on us by others, the inevitable problem of sin need not drive us to anger or vengeance. The same loving sacrifice was made to save the other sinner who has wronged me. I need the reconciling keystone as much as the next guy, no more, no less.  There is an unparalleled equality among us. Its presence in us and our communities of faith is evidence we are leaning our whole weight upon Jesus.

We can, like Abraham, travel a path conceived by God without knowing its final destination. If He acts to resolve the greatest threat to us, how much more will He meet the challenges of met upon the path of His choosing? Our willingness to venture out is evidence we are leaning our whole weight upon Jesus.

The way of life empowered by the keystone makes little sense to the unbelieving world but makes perfect sense to people who have “the conviction of things not seen.”


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