"Have Faith in God"Jesus the Christ
In the gospel of Mark (11:22) Jesus commands His disciples to “Have faith in God.” The God Jesus is referring to is the God who reveals Himself in nature (Romans 1:20) and the Bible, and was with them in Christ.
To have faith in God as Jesus is commanding, is to have a certain kind of relationship with God that determines your lifestyle. (2 Corinthians 5:9; Hebrews 10:38) It is this relational lifestyle that makes all the difference between the way the those who have faith in God live, and the way those who do not have faith in God live.
The way we live is always influenced and defined by the relationships we have (or do not have), because the human creature is created to live in community. Before sin God was an appreciated and loved participant in the human community.
The gospel calls us back to the love and appreciation of the God who is, and His defining presence in our lives; it calls us back to the joy of being in community with God.
The difference between the life of a believer and the life of an unbeliever, is determined by the actuality of having faith in God, or not.
As such, when faith in God is possessed it affects every aspect of the life of the possessor, beginning with ones primary, or governing, reason for living; i.e. that reason for living to which all other reasons within one’s life must be subordinate. (as a meditation, read Ecclesiastes 12:13, then read the whole short book of Ecclesiastes)
We are not here only addressing God’s reason for your life, but also that reason for living that you assign to your life as a free moral agent.
The primary reason for living that attends the actuality of having faith in God may be comprehended in the confession of 2 Corinthians 5:l4-15. Consider this text in confessional form: “For the love of Christ compels me, because I judge thus: that if One died for me, then I died; and He died for me, that I who live should live no longer for myself, but for Him who died for me and rose again.
This scripture is teaching the believer how to think about the meaning and course of his own life; and it is the reciprocated love of Christ (1 John 4:19), not human logic, that leads the rationality of this thinking.
In response to the love Jesus has demonstrated toward us, our love for Jesus should result in the reasoning and conclusion presented in this bible verse; if we actually love Jesus this will make sense to us.
As Christians Divinely endowed with the God kind of love (Romans 5:5), we reason from our love, not to it; as concerns both God and man. This is contained in Jesus’ two Great Commandments. (Matt 22:37-40)
In the greatest commandment we are told to love God with the totality of our “heart,” “soul” and “mind.” (notice that the word “all” is applied severally to each faculty of loving)
The question we are challenged with is “do I express my love for God in all my affections, all my choices, my way of thinking about things, how I feel about things, and all that I enjoy in living?”
Again, the love that we are to reason from is the God kind of love as revealed and defined in scripture. The God kind of love is communicated to the Christian by the Holy Spirit (Rom 5:5); it is not natural human love that disrespects holiness and justice, and is selfish and self serving.
The kind of thinking, and lifestyle, compelled by the God kind of love, is a purpose of Christ’s vicarious death. May this purpose be fulfilled in each one of us and the Christian community as a whole, and may it be the testimony to the world that our Lord desires. (John 13:35)
Rev. George T. Frey,
Faith Christian Center