Saturday, January 29, 2005

Some things are certain.

That is one of my favorite quotes from The Return of the King. Arwen states this and her certainty is real and beautiful to me. There are so *many* uncertainties in this life that to know you have found what truly is certain is a comfort beyond words. This comes to my mind because of a deep conversation I had with my two eldest daughters. We were in the midst of our Bible study time with Training Hearts, Teaching Minds and have been learning about His anger and curse towards sin and the amazing miracle of salvation through Jesus. Our most recent question was What is faith in Jesus Christ? Where does it come from and how do we know we have it? How do we know we are saved? I loved the Monday devotional answer:

"The answer to the previous question told us what God requires from us to escape the anger and curse we deserve for our sin. We learned that God requires us to have faith in Jesus Christ. Our faith does not save us. [But wait!!] The Lord Jesus Christ saves us. He did everything that needed to be done to save us from the anger and curse of God. Faith is the way we reach out and receive all that Christ has done for us."

"If I were starving to death, someone might offer me food. I would reach out with my hand to take the food I was being given. My hand would not save me from starving; the food would save me. My hand is just what I use to accept the food that is being given to me. That is what faith is like. The faith does not save us; what Christ did for us saves us. The faith is what we use to reach out and take what Christ did for us and make it ours." (page 281)

And then on Tuesday it made it all that more clear!

"...Faith is the way we reach out and receive for ourselves what He has done. Faith in Christ is not something we work up on our own. If it were, then we could say that we are saved because of something we do. Faith in Christ is the gift of God. God requires faith from us, and then He Himself gives us that faith so we can escape His curse." (page 281)

Ephesians 2:8-10 is really an amazing proof text for this: "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them."

To me this is marvelous. What a maker and savior we have - that any should be saved at all. We are all so unworthy of His love, yet He gave it freely and not as a result of anything I did. Of this I am certain.

I know that my daughters struggle with certainty of faith - they are young and have not faced many challenges to it. While they have the priviledge of growing up in a Christian home and in a sound church at some point they will know with certainty if they are truly His. I read for them some verses that have often been of great comfort to me to help me in this area.

"And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life."
1 John 5: 11-13

May you know today that you have eternal life in the glorious Son of God and may the faith He gives you strengthen your heart and mind!



Karen said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Karen said...

I was trying to correct a typo, and instead I deleted my post. I hope this post can capture the same brilliance ;-D

I am using "Training Hearts, Training Minds" as well with my two oldest boys. The 2 yo only got as far as "What is man's primary purpose?", but he knows the answer :-)

I have found comfort in what is certain. Sometimes we need to cling to those certaines like a plank from a sinking ship in stormy seas. God is faithful, unchanging, He will never leave us or forsake us, He loved us so much He sent His Son to die for us, all things work together for good, and many more. When all else fails, God never will. When we grab onto those attributes and promises of God not only are we comforted, but God increases our faith. I love that He does that.


Kim said...

We used the Starr Meade book, too. I really enjoyed it.

I don't often feel like I've had a lot of challenges to my faith, either, and I definitely don't think my children have.

I really like the idea of reaching our for our faith, and accepting, rather than the tendency to believe we somehoe dragged that offer toward ourselves.