Biblical Christianity is real, historic, personal, supernatural, redemptive, authoritative, relevant, dynamic, and demanding. It’s all that and much more. People, as created by God, were meant to have God firmly and lovingly at the central core of their lives. But in humanity’s great fall into sin, God was replaced at the center of people’s lives with self. Yet, the good news of Christianity is that Jesus has redeemed us back to God. Through faith in Christ and a complete surrendering to him, we embark on a path toward spiritual growth and maturity that seats God back on the center throne of our lives.
It’s not enough for the Christian to mentally know this stuff; the believer must understand how to put this knowledge into daily practice through faith (Hebrews 11:6). Faith is the response of the entire person to God in loving trust, submission, and obedience through the person of Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Faith is neither a warm-fuzzy designed to make us feel good, nor a judgmental feeling of guilt that leaves us wishing our lives were better. No, faith is a decision to take God at his Word and act upon it (Hebrews 11:24-28). Now the kicker to all this is learning to make actual decisions of faith in practical daily experience.
For example, let’s take a look at some decisions of faith based on 1 John 1:9 – “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to purify us from all unrighteousness.” All of us have a need to exercise faith in regard to some specific problem that dogs us. The following steps illustrate the kinds of decisions we must make:
Ø Confess the thing as sin.
Ø Forsake it as a sin.
Ø Believe that God will forgive and deliver you.
Ø Receive Jesus as the specific need you have to deal with the sin.
Ø Believe God’s Word that you are purified from sin, and live like it.
Faith is how we allow God to do what God wants to do: be at the inner central core of our lives so that he can exert his power, influence, and grace in every single area of our lives. Only then can we live in such a way where we don’t have this weird sacred/secular life where we divide ourselves according to spiritual things and non-spiritual things. The truth is that it’s all spiritual and all belongs to God. Therefore, the greater sin is to keep Jesus out of the center of everything we do. God is a jealous God; he wants all of us, not part of us.
The essence of living by faith is taking God at his Word. The provision that God has given for us to walk by faith is the person and work of Jesus Christ. When we choose to apply this good news to our lives through decisions of faith, hope, and love we experience success in the Christian life. It is very difficult to express faith when a person is out of fellowship with God. So, a primary decision to make every day is to engage in spiritual practices that cultivate a basic relationship with God. Disciplines of Bible reading; prayer; and, weekly Sabbath observance; these all are necessary to developing our muscle of faith into a strong robust belief that is able to take on the rigors of life in this world.