Monday, Jan 14, 2019. How do you get access to faith? How can you find out what Christian faith is about and whether it is sound and real, or just an illusion? How does it work? What can you expect? There are enough people today - and have always been - who think that faith is merely some personal belief which has not much to do with reality. Some believe that faith is a mechanism for some people to deal with their own fear, or to seek help in a metaphysical world, instead of focus and concentration here in this world to change things.
Valuable Faith …
You might want to look into the New Testament to find out what biblical faith is about. Do not stay with something you read from some source, but look into the origin yourself. The core of the New Testament are the gospels.
How does it work with faith? In the New Testament, faith comes from hearing. Faith comes from meeting Jesus. Nothing less can be the origin of faith. You cannot believe just into the thin air. You cannot develop sustainable faith, if you have no basis of faith. Let us read a little into the gospel of Luke, chapter 6:
46 “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? 47 Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.3 49 But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.” (Luke 6, 46ff)
The clear process here is: hear first, then do, then mature!
Hear and Do …
The process of Christian faith is highly exciting. It always starts with a search. If you are not open, if you do not want to know, if you do not search God, there is no way to get into faith. But if you are open, still many things can happen. You can be distracted by many goals, by many attractive parts of life, by many powers.
Jesus talks about hearing his word. You find this word in the gospels of the New Testament, but also in the many letters of the apostles. You find it in the word of the prophets in the Old Testament. It is all the word of God in father, son and holy spirit.
And then, you need to do what you understand. If you understand that you should pray, then start to pray. If you understand the truth of God, start to become truthful. If you understand his love, start to love. If you understand his justice, ask him for forgiveness. And be forgiving yourself, with full measure!
You can only understand as much as you do. You can only keep and be kept with what you hear and do. Either you go into real discipleship, and be a Christian as Jesus has called us to be, or you loose it all, and drift into something strange, and get lost completely over time. Some people have reasons why they do not want to go into faith. They will find many objections, will start to argue here or there. The true reasons might be different, sometimes ethical, sometimes a bitter heart. Others, however, want to be healed by Jesus. They open their heart and come to him. In him, there is much joy, forgiveness, truth and love beyond measure. In him, we have come home. (Roland Potthast) ... further texts