Faith in Christ has the prerequisite of you being found positioned in Christ (1 Cor 1:30). Faith is not the first thing. Faith is the benefit granted when one is translated from the world, the domain of darkness, and into the kingdom of God’s beloved Son (Phil 1:29; Col 1:13).
For one to be moved from Satan’s dominion into Christ's dominion is a work of God (Jn 6:29; Acts 26:18). One must be born again of God’s Spirit (Jn 3:1–8), and this new, spiritual life is caused by the Holy Spirit Himself (1 Pet 1:3). Being made alive in Christ is the single most profound event in a person’s life (Eph 2:5; Col 2:13) because it is literally a resurrection to life for one’s dead soul (regeneration).
As a new creature in Christ, the new life abiding in one’s soul is the life of God, that is, the life-giving Spirit of Christ now indwelling the man made new (Jn 6:63; 14:17; Rom 8:9, 11). “Christ lives in me!” declares the new believer in union with Christ. A mutual indwelling has occurred (1 Jn 4:13). The Spirit permanently abides in the regenerated soul and the new Christian is placed in Christ’s church as a member of His body of believers, the saints (1 Cor 12:13).
All true believers in Jesus share one Spirit and have one faith that has been handed down to all the saints throughout history and around the world (Eph 4:4; Jude 3). The Nicene Creed is a helpful statement of faith for Christians everywhere and in every generation. Our collective faith in the God-man, Jesus Christ, is the result of God’s grace extended to us (Eph 2:8–9).
If God makes you believe in Jesus, by His grace, it will mean that some very significant changes will occur in your life. Let us consider a few.
First, your worldview will change. Your affections for the world and the things of the world will sour. The world will be crucified to you, and you will be crucified to the world (Gal 6:14). This means the old ways and habits of sin will be put to death. Sin’s enticement will no longer appeal to you with the addictive power it once did before your conversion. You may have bad days and lapse into sin, but the love of darkness is gone. Repentance becomes a welcome relief (Acts 5:31; 11:18).
Second, the things you live for will change. Primarily, living for self will be replaced by a daily desire to minister to other people. Your ambition will be to please God and serving Him will be your objective in everything (2 Cor 5:9). You will think of Christ. You will speak of Christ from the heart. You will give of your time and possessions to help others to know Christ in more meaningful ways. God owns everything (Ps 24:1), and He has made you a steward of His possessions, knowing how to re-supply you for every good deed (2 Cor 9:8).
Third, you will be led by the Spirit into the things of God. You will become a spiritual person. Christians, as people of faith in Jesus, love the truth as it is in Jesus (Eph 4:21) because Jesus is the truth (Jn 14:6). Everything about Jesus is relevant, and anything that is relevant will have something in it that pertains to Jesus. Your heart and mind will be occupied with Him.
Fourth, if God makes you a believer you will want the best for Christ’s church, His bride (Mt 16:18; Eph 5:25). Clearly, Jesus loves the Israel of God (Is 49:1–6; Gal 6:16), having died for His chosen people (Rom 11:5; 1 Pet 2:9), as an act of love (Rom 5:8; Eph 5:25). You, too, will love the family of God, regardless of the squabbles within her. The Lord knows His ambassadors (2 Cor 5:20; 2 Tim 2:19), and His prayer for us is one of unity (Jn 17). Therefore, you are to be at peace with all people as much as possible (Rom 12:18).
Fifth, for others to be at peace with God, they need to be justified by the precious blood of Christ (Rom 3:24, 28; 5:1; 1 Pet 1:19). They must know that right standing with God is only found when they are positioned in Christ. As God gave you faith, dear Christian, it was by the Word of God being preached to you in the power of the Holy Spirit (Jn 6:63; Rom 10:17; 1 Cor 2:4; 2 Tim 4:2). Therefore, you will invite others to join you in small group Bible studies and in worship gatherings at your local church. Faith is a work of God in opening the ears of the spiritually deaf and making them hear God’s Word of truth (Jn 6:29; Rom 10:17).
Sixth, your love for God’s Word of truth will become inexplicable. People in your life will know you by your love for the Bible and for the people of the book. They will recognize that each Christian they know shares the same hope within them. When spiritual questions arise in the small gatherings of family and friends, they will now come to you with their “God Questions.” These encounters will spur you on to study the Bible, in order to have an answer when queries are made to you.
Seventh, if God makes you a believer, you will never stop giving thanks for every good and every perfect gift granted to you by His grace (1 Thess 5:17–18; Jas 1:17). Thanking God for His indescribable gift (2 Cor 9:15) will only be enhanced as you grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Pet 3:18). You will discover the depth of the riches of His glorious grace, and you will recognize you were made to glory in Him, now and forever.
Eighth, faith allocated to you by faith’s Author will be the life you live from this day forth (Rom 12:3; Gal 2:20; Heb 12:2), until the appointed day of your going home to be with the Lord Jesus (Ps 139:16; Phil 1:23), seated in the heavenlies on the throne of God (Ps 110:1; Eph 2:6; Rev 7:17). Faith is the gift of God (Eph 2:9), handed down to all the saints (Jude 3), which means that not all people have faith (2 Thess 3:2). Faith increases as one walks by the Spirit year after year, trial after trial (Lk 17:5; Gal 5:16, 25).
Finally, if God has made you believe in Jesus, it is because He loved you before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4–5), which means His love for you is everlasting (Jer 31:3), and it has been set upon you (Dt 7:7), poured out in your heart (Rom 5:5), before you could ever love or have faith in the One who loved you and gave Himself for you (Eph 5:25; 1 Jn 4:19). Knowing there was nothing lovable within you at all, means you understand God’s mercy and grace extended to you from the cross of Christ. Where once you were among the scoffers there, you now glory in the cross for more reasons than you know…by the faith He has granted to you. Give thanks to God for giving His only begotten Son and thank Him for the faith in Christ He has given to you by giving you His Spirit as gift of His love.
Spokane Valley, Washington
July 21, 2022