He intended all along to provide a substitute—a stand-in sacrifice that He would accept as payment in full.
The concept of faith is woven through the pages of Scripture and is essential to a personal relationship with God. In fact, “without faith, it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6 NIV). It is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8-9) and not only is it necessary for salvation it is part of our daily walk and warfare as believers (Ephesians 6:16).
Contrary to popular Christian opinion, the Bible neither exhorts us to have childlike faith nor does it tell us to believe as children believe. The idea that we are to have childlike faith is an incorrect inference based on several passages of Scripture. “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it” (Mark 10:14-15; Luke 18:15-17 NIV).
These passages don’t tell us what receiving the kingdom of God like a little child means so it is wrongly assumed to be referring to the faith of a child. In Matthew 18:2-4 Jesus spells out what He means. “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
Our goal as believers is not childlike faith. Instead it is to grow to be “mature and complete, not lacking anything" (James 1:4).
So, how does one become real—anchored to the Rock but geared to the times, successful at relating what doesn’t change to what does? I offer three suggestions.
To go somewhere new, of course, it’s necessary to know where we are.
Many people claim to be Christians…but say that their faith is a private thing and has no bearing on their day-to-day life. But the Bible leaves no room for this kind of faith. Chuck Swindoll describes why genuine belief is made obvious by the way we behave.
What is our greatest obstacle to faith? You might think it would be unbelief, but Ney and Chuck name something else that tends to stand in our way more, capturing our feelings.
Ney Bailey received Christ in 1951 at a Billy Graham Crusade. But she didn’t really walk closely with God until years later. Learn how she reconnected with her faith.
Chuck and Ney discuss where a life of faith comes from. Taking God at His Word doesn’t mean we’ll never be fearful, but as we face fear with faith and see God act, our faith grows.
Our Lord is full of surprises! His leading includes twists, turns, ups, downs, potholes, and drop-offs, which shake us up. The fact we can rarely guess the ultimate destination only adds to the adventure.
Something down inside us admires a person who stretches our faith by doing things that are filled with vision. Initially such actions might appear to be foolish. That occurs when we don't know the facts behind the action.