C S Lewis takes a look at the word ‘Christian’ in his book Mere Christianity. He explains that the meaning has changed since it was originally used in the Bible. Today it can mean a decent person, or a person who goes to church, or a person who believes in God, or… What does ‘Christian’ mean? And what is faith?
I came to faith in October 1965. Prior to that, I was an atheist, convinced that there was no God. But intelligent, decent people telling me that their lives had been changed by an encounter with Jesus Christ caused me to stop, and take another look. And one day I sensed the Presence of God. A month later I committed my life to Jesus, and I was changed forever. I ‘came to faith.’
Faith. What is faith? There is a definition in Hebrews 11:1, and verse 6 of that chapter tells us it is essential in order to ‘please God’. I have been caused to think about that faith recently, and have come to realise how simple it is, compared with so many other types of faith. I believe in God, as written about in the Bible. I also believe the Bible is God’s word to us, and therefore true, so long as each verse and passage is read within the context of the whole. Simple.
God is God. The Bible is so clear in its revelation of Who He is. He created all things. He is not limited in what He can do, has done, or will do. He is perfect love, and perfect holiness. He saves people forever, but those who reject Him come under judgement. Simple.
I measure other statements and values against the yardstick and plumbline of scripture. If science clearly differs from scripture (for example, on how the universe began, or how it will end), I believe scripture. Otherwise one starts believing some parts, compromising on others, and faith becomes complicated. If culture, which is always changing, differs from scripture (for example, on sexuality or morality), I believe scripture. Why traipse along behind the world and it’s changing values, when our God has spoken unchanging words on these matters. Simple.
The Bible speaks of heaven and hell, angels and demons, salvation and judgement, miracles, healing, prophetic statements of the future, and so much more in a world where people make faith so complicated. So sophisticated. And such a muddle.
Read about the Church and what they believed, and therefore accomplished, in the book of Acts. So simple. A faith that ‘turned the world upside down’ (Acts 17:6). Simple faith, but powerful (Read Hebrews 11). A faith that is misunderstood, misrepresented, criticised, scorned, mocked, and aggressively attacked by the cerebral intellectually religious, as much as the demonically driven.
My faith in God is simple. It is based upon the simple revelation given throughout the Bible. Simple.
And I am one of the happiest people on earth. Simple!