Our congregation has weekly Lenten services, and this year we’ve been blessed to have a minister who attends our church bring the Wednesday messages. His homily this week addressed the critical topic of faith.
Have you ever thought about the idea that there are different sorts or levels of faith? For example, I may understand Christianity. I may be able to recite the Apostle’s Creed. I may even read the Bible and attend church, and be perfectly well informed in the basics tenets of the faith. I may know all this, but still not really believe it.
Or, I may know it and believe it in a superficial way. I may intellectually accept it. I may say, “yes, this is true. These are the facts.” I believe that Jesus died, was resurrected and is God’s Son. I may believe in this way and yet still act as if these things do not matter. I may fail to put my full trust in the facts that I profess to believe. This has been called being a “practical pagan” or a “Christian atheist.” (You’ll read more about this in an upcoming book review.)
Saving faith not only understands and assents to the Christian worldview, it transforms believers. Those who truly believe are willing to make changes in the way they live. They surrender their will to put on” the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:16) They trust Him even when their life and the world seem out of control. Job was evidencing a saving faith when he said:
“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in Him.” Job 13:15
The analogy our speaker gave went like this: maybe every day, you see a man push a wheelbarrow across a tightrope between two skyscrapers; you see it with your own eyes, so you know it is true; you believe that every day he will continue to do this successfully. However, this is the test– are you willing to get into the wheelbarrow?
There are some big theological words for each type of faith, but I don’t remember them, and you probably don’t need to know them either. So I’ll simply leave you with our Lenten question for the week: Do you have the right kind of faith? Will you get into the wheelbarrow?