Over the last few weeks we have been learning about the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and we know that Love is the greatest of them all. God is love personified. But in order to fully share in God’s love we need to have faith, remembering that; “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-.” (Ephesians 2:8). “This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.” (Romans 3:22).
Now it is here that we start getting into the nitty gritty, because in the bible, in particular in Romans 3:22, the verse above, we need to understand the difference between ‘faith’ and ‘believe’.
The dictionary cross references ‘faith’ and ‘believe’ and this is the clumsiness of the English language because it is the context in which the word ‘believe’ is used. You see we can’t have faith in Jesus unless we believe in Him and even though we believe in something we may not have faith in it. Just like if I stood next to two boats; one being a large ocean liner with plenty of fuel and a reliable motor, and one being a small open 4 metre rowing boat. I believe they are both boats, but I have faith in the large seaworthy one getting me across the ocean to Tasmania, and I don’t have faith that the little boat will get me there.
The incredible difference between faith in something of this world and faith in Jesus is that faith in Jesus comes as a guarantee with a promise of eternal salvation. Looking closer at faith in Jesus, it is like getting into the big boat. We have to get into it and travel in the direction it takes us. So too, we must get into Jesus and travel with Him. We can’t go in any other direction than the direction our boat, Jesus, takes us. If we step out and go in another direction we may swim or float for a short while, but unless we call out in faith and get into the lifeboat that is always ready to save us, we will be lost forever. “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me”. (John 14:6).
So, having faith means walking, travelling, as Jesus did; doing as Jesus would do. We can’t say we have faith in Jesus and not consciously and intentionally walk as he did. “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.”. (James 2:26)
Now this is where some of us throw up our hands and say, “but Jesus was perfect and never sinned, I can’t be that good!” Yes, this is right but remember Jesus died for our sins. He knew full well that we could never be good enough on our own. He is our lifeboat. We only need to call out to Him and He will save us.
Our walk with Jesus is just like travelling in a boat in the rough seas. When things get rough we will occasionally fall overboard but we only need to call out for the lifeboat to be saved. Eventually as we become more experienced in travelling through the rough times we will develop our ‘sea legs’ and won’t fall overboard as much and we will reach our destination.
God bless you all