Believe in God

116 believe in god

Faith in God is a gift of God, rooted in His incarnate Son and enlightened by His eternal Word through the testimony of the Holy Spirit in Scripture. Faith in God makes the heart and meaning of man receptive to God's gift of grace, salvation. Through Jesus Christ and through the Holy Spirit, faith empowers us to spiritual fellowship and active fidelity to God, our Father. Jesus Christ is the author and finisher of our faith, and through faith, not through works, we receive salvation through grace. (Ephesians 2,8; Acts 15,9; 14,27; Romans 12,3; John 1,1.4; Acts 3,16; Romans 10,17; Hebrews 11,1; Romans 5,1-2; 1,17; 3,21-28; 11,6; Ephesians 3,12; 1; Corinthians 2,5; Hebrews 12,2)

React in faith to God

God is great and good. God uses his mighty power to promote his promise of love and grace towards his people. He is meek, loving, slow to anger and rich in grace.

That's nice, but how is it relevant to us? What difference does it make in our lives? How do we respond to a God who is both powerful and meek? We respond in at least two ways.

trust

When we realize that God has all the power to do whatever he wants, and that he always uses that power as a blessing for humanity, then we can have absolute confidence that we are in good hands. He has the ability as well as the declared purpose of doing all things, including our rebellion, our hatred, and our betrayal of him and against each other, for our salvation. He is completely trustworthy - worthy of our trust.

When we are in the midst of trials, sickness, suffering and even dying, we can be confident that God is still with us, that he cares about us and that he has everything under control. It may not look like that, and we certainly feel in control, but we can be confident that God will not be surprised. He can turn every situation, every misfortune to our best.

We never need to doubt God's love for us. "But God shows his love for us in the fact that Christ died for us when we were still sinners" (Rom 5,8). "Through this we have recognized the love that Jesus Christ left his life for us" (1Joh 3,16). We can build on the fact that the God who did not even spare his Son, will give to us through his Son all that we need for eternal happiness.

God has not sent anyone else: the Son of God, essential to the deity, became man so he could die for us and rise again from the dead (Heb. 2,14). We were not redeemed by the blood of animals, not by the blood of a good man, but by the blood of the God who became man. Every time we take the sacrament, we are reminded of this degree of his love for us. We can be confident that he loves us. He
has earned our trust.

"God is faithful," says Paul, "who does not let you try on your power, but makes the temptation come to an end so that you can endure it" (1Kor 10,13). "But the Lord is faithful; it will strengthen and protect you from evil "(2Th 3,3). Even if "we are unfaithful, he still remains faithful" (2T in 2,13). He will not change his mind about wanting us, calling us to be merciful. "Let us hold on to the confession of hope and not waver; because he is faithful, who has promised them "(Heb. 10,23).

He is a commitment to us, made a covenant to redeem us, to give us eternal life, to love us forever. He does not want to be without us. He is trustworthy, but how should we answer him? Are we worried? Are we struggling to be worthy of his love? Or do we trust him?

We never need to doubt God's power. This manifests itself in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. This is the God who has the power over death itself, power over all beings he has created, power over all other powers (Kol 2,15). He triumphed through the cross over all things, and this is attested by his resurrection. Death could not hold him, for he is the prince of life (Act 3,15).

The same power that raised Jesus from the dead will also give us immortal life (Rom 8,11). We can trust that he has the power and the desire to fulfill all of his promises to us. We can trust him in all things - and that's good, because it's foolish to trust in anything else.

On our own we will fail. On its own, even the sun will fail. The only hope lies in a God who has greater power than the sun, greater power than the universe, who is more faithful than time and space, full of love and faithfulness to us. We have this sure hope in Jesus, our Redeemer.

Faith and trust

All who believe in Jesus Christ will be saved (Acts 16,31). But what does it mean to believe in Jesus Christ? Even Satan believes that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. He does not like it, but he knows it's true. Moreover, Satan knows that God exists and that He rewards those who seek Him (Hebr 11,6).

So what is the difference between our faith and the faith of Satan? Many of us know an answer from James: True faith is shown through action (Jak 2,18-19). What we do shows what we really believe. The behavior can be proof of belief, although some people obey for wrong reasons. Even Satan operates under the restrictions imposed by God.

So what is the belief and how does it differ from the "hold true"? I think the simplest explanation is that saving faith is trust. We trust God to care for us, to do us good instead of evil, to give us eternal life. Trust is knowing that God exists, that he is good, that he has the power to do what he wants, and the confidence that he will use that power to do what is best for us. Trust is a willingness to submit to it and to obey it - not out of fear but out of love. If we trust God, we love Him.

Trust shows in what we do. But the act is not trust and it does not create trust - it is merely the result of trust. True faith is essentially trust in Jesus Christ.

A gift from God

Where does this type of trust come from? It is not something that we can produce from ourselves. We can not persuade ourselves or use human logic to build a lax and solid case. We will never have the time to deal with all possible objections, all the philosophical arguments about God. But we are forced to make a decision every day: will we trust God or not? Trying to delay the decision is a decision in itself - we do not trust it yet.

Every Christian has made a decision to trust Christ at one point or another. For some it was a well thought-out decision. For others it was an illogical decision that was made for wrong reasons - but it was definitely the right decision. We could not trust anyone else, not even ourselves. On our own, we would spoil our lives. We also could not trust other human authorities. For some of us, faith was a choice we made in desperation - we could not go anywhere but to Christ (Joh 6,68).

It is normal that our initial faith is an immature faith - a good start, but not a good place to stop. We have to grow in our faith. As a man said to Jesus:
"I think; help my unbelief! "(Mk 9,24). The disciples themselves had some doubts, even after worshiping the risen Jesus (Mt 28,17).

Where does the faith come from? He is a gift from God. Ephesians 2,8 tells us that salvation is a gift from God, meaning that the faith that leads to salvation must also be a gift.
Acts 15,9 tells us that God purified the hearts of believers by faith. God worked in her heart. He is the One who opened "the door of faith" (Acts 14,27). God did it because He is the one who enables us to believe.

We would not trust God if he did not give us the ability to trust him. People have been corrupted by sin to believe or trust God by their own power or wisdom. That is why faith is not a "work" that qualifies us for salvation. We do not gain fame because we are qualified - faith simply means accepting the gift, being grateful for the gift. God gives us the ability to receive the gift, to enjoy the gift.

trustworthy

God has a good reason to believe us, because there is one who is completely trustworthy to believe in and be saved by. The faith he gives us is founded in his Son, who became flesh for our salvation. We have good reason to believe because we have a savior who has bought salvation for us. He has done everything required, once and for all, signed, sealed and delivered. Our faith has a solid foundation: Jesus Christ.

Jesus is the beginner and finisher of the faith (Hebr 12,2), but he does not do the work alone. Jesus only does what the Father wants, and He works in our hearts through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit teaches us, convicts us, and gives us faith (Joh 14,26; 15,26; 16,10).

By the word

How does God (the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit) give us faith? It usually happens through the sermon. "Faith thus comes from preaching, but preaching by the word of Christ" (Romans 10,17). The sermon is in the written Word of God, the Bible, and it is in the spoken word of God, whether in a sermon in the church or a simple testimony of one person to another.

The word of the gospel tells us about Jesus, about the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit uses that word to enlighten us, and in some way allows us to entrust ourselves to that Word. This is sometimes referred to as the "testimony of the Holy Spirit," but it is not like a witness in court to whom we can ask questions.

It's more like an inside switch that gets rearranged and allows us to accept the good news that is preached. She feels good; Although we may still have questions, we believe that we can live by this message. We can build our lives on it, we can make decisions based on that. It makes sense. It is the best possible choice. God gives us the ability to trust him. He also gives us the ability to grow in faith. The deposit of faith is a seed that is growing. It empowers and empowers our minds and emotions to understand more and more of the gospel. He helps us to understand more and more about God by revealing Himself through Jesus Christ. To use an Old Testament image, we begin to walk with God. We live in him, we think in him, we believe in him.

Doubt

But most Christians struggle at times with their faith. Our growth is not always smooth and consistent - it happens through exams and questions. For some, doubts arise because of a tragedy or because of grave suffering. For others it is prosperity or good times that subliminally try to trust more material things than God. Many of us will encounter two kinds of challenges to our faith.

Poor people often have stronger faith than rich people. People who are stalked by constant trials know that they have no hope other than God, that they have no choice but to trust him. Statistics show that poor people give a higher percentage of their income to the church than rich people do. It seems that their faith (though not perfect) is more consistent.

The greatest enemy of faith, it seems, is when everything goes smoothly. People are tempted to believe that the strength of their intelligence has made them accomplish so much. They lose their childish attitude of dependence on God. They rely on what they have instead of God.

Poor people are in a better situation to learn that life on this planet is full of questions, and that God is the least in question. They trust him because everything else has proved untrustworthy. Money, health and friends - they are all unstable. We can not rely on her.

Only God can be trusted, but even if that is so, we do not always have the proof we would like to have. So we have to trust him. As Job said, even if he kills me, I want to trust him (Hi 13,15). Only he offers the hope of eternal life. Only he offers a hope that life makes sense or purpose.

Part of the growth

Nevertheless, we sometimes struggle with doubts. This is simply part of the process of growing in faith by learning to trust God more with life. We see the choices that lie ahead, and again we choose God as the best solution.

As Blaise Pascal said centuries ago, though we believe for no other reason, we should at least believe because God is the best bet. If we follow him and he does not exist, then we have lost nothing. But if we do not follow him and he exists, then we have lost everything. So we have nothing to lose but to gain everything by believing in God by living and thinking that he is the surest reality in the universe.

That does not mean that we will understand everything. No, we will never understand everything. Believing means trusting in God, even if we do not always understand. We can worship him, even if we have doubts (Mt 28,17). Salvation is not an intelligence contest. The faith that saves us does not come from philosophical arguments that have an answer to every doubt. Faith comes from God. If we rely on knowing an answer to every question, we do not rely on God.

The only reason we can be in God's kingdom is through grace, through faith in our Savior Jesus Christ. When we rely on our obedience, we rely on something wrong, something unreliable. We need to reform our faith to Christ (allow God to reform our faith) and to Him alone. Laws, even good laws, can not be the basis of our salvation. Obedience even to the commandments of the New Covenant can not be the source of our security. Only Christ is trustworthy.

As we grow in spiritual maturity, we often become more aware of our sins and sinfulness. We realize how far we are from God, and that too can make us doubt that God would really send his Son to die for people as corrupt as we are.

The doubt, however great, should lead us back to greater faith in Christ, for only in Him do we have any chance at all. There is no other place where we could turn. In his words and actions, we see that he knew exactly how corrupt we were before he came to die for our sins. The better we see ourselves, the more we see the need to surrender ourselves to the grace of God. Only he is good enough to save us from ourselves, and only he will free us from our doubts.

Community

It happens by believing that we have a fruitful relationship with God. It is through the faith that we pray, through the faith that we worship, through the belief that we hear his words in sermons and in the community. Faith enables us to share in fellowship with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Through faith, we are able to manifest our faithfulness to God through our Savior Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit working in our hearts.

It happens by believing that we can love other people. Faith frees us from the fear of ridicule and rejection. We can love others without worrying about what they are going to do to us, because we trust in Christ, that He generously rewards us. By faith in God, we can be generous to others.

By believing in God, we can put Him first in our lives. If we believe that God is as good as he says, then we will value him beyond anything else, and we will be willing to bring the sacrifices he asks of us. We will trust him, and it is by believing that we will experience the joys of salvation. The Christian life is a matter of trust in God from beginning to end.

Joseph Tkach


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