What Is Faith?
A few weeks ago, I began to assist with the catechism class here at Crosstown. In this class, we guide kids to a better understanding of the Christian faith and a deeper walk with Jesus Christ. Unsurprisingly, God has worked on my own heart through this process. Week two’s question was, “What is faith in Jesus Christ?” As we studied this question, I was reminded of my own conversion.
Faith in Jesus Christ is a saving grace, by which we receive and rest on him alone for salvation, as he is offered to us in the gospel.
Before I became a Christian, I thought I knew God. I believed he existed, and therefore felt that I had faith. But that was not faith. I had no faith. Until one day, I did! Seemingly out of nowhere, as the gospel was preached to me, God gave me faith. As the catechism question states, faith is a saving grace. Grace is undeserved favor. God saved me by giving me faith.
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God (Jn 1:12-13).
I became a child of God. I immediately felt rest. My life changed drastically. Outwardly, not much changed right away. Inwardly, I knew everything was different. Over the years, I have had very high “highs” and very low “lows.” But God remained gracious, showing me undeserved favor. I have never had anything to give to God but what he has given me.
Recently, I was in one of my lowest “lows” yet. And there was God, ever gracious and loving. I have been a Christian for ten years. I only have faith still because it is a gift from God. With this gracious gift he gives, I have rest. And I can rest on him alone for salvation, unto the very end.
Since the catechism states that with this faith I rest on Christ alone for salvation, “as he is offered to us in the gospel,” I must ask how he is offered to me there.
I think of Jesus. Perfectly God. Perfectly man. Taking on my sin. Dying in my place. Defeating my deserved death. I did not understand my sinful state before God gave me faith. With the new eyes he has given, I see my need for a Savior and find Jesus Christ “as he is offered to us in the gospel.” And it is there I can rest.
God, being reminded of Your saving grace for faithful rest on you alone for salvation is what I will always need. Thank you for this undeserved grace. Amen.