- Luke Hildebrand
The Object of Faith
In the world today, there are many troubles, and with technology, we receive nearly all rumours of trouble as well. Anyone can become burdened with fear of illness, war, and deprivation. These are only the large issues we may dread, not the smaller, daily trials we encounter. In the face of stress, Christians can become just as fearful as non-believers. This occurs when we as believers lose faith in our true hope for salvation, Jesus Christ. Now, this may sound exaggerated, but if we are not fully trusting in Christ to be in control of our lives, we are not putting our faith fully in Him. It follows that if our faith is not directed to Him completely, it is naturally diverted into other things like money, government, family or even ourselves. Anyone who professes faith in Christ must always have that faith completely focused on the object of our true salvation, Jesus Christ.
Why is it that faith in Christ is meant to be the object of our faith? Jesus himself said, “…I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). Faith is vital for us to have, but more important is in whom we believe. Belief in our righteous works, biblical knowledge or even God Himself will not save us from eternal death, for even demonic entities believe that God exists and is powerful. Having faith in Christ unites us with Him in spirit. His righteousness is then imputed to us, making us righteous before God. We are justified by Christ, and Christ is ours by faith (Romans 5:1). We are not justified by the strength of our faith but by the strength of our Savior (Galatians 2:16). Jesus promises to work within us even if our faith is but the size of a mustard seed (Matthew 17:20). We are justified by faith because faith unites us to Christ, who justifies. Only by surrendering our lives to unity with Jesus, the object of our faith, are we saved from the fruits of sins we have committed.
How can we obtain this faith connection with Christ and have lasting union with Him? First, we must grow in the knowledge of the Gospel by reading the Bible; God’s written Word to us, to understand His plan for our life in Christ intellectually. The second step is to agree with who the Bible tells us He is: the Son of God, both God and man, sent to earth to free us from the chains of sin by dying on the cross (John 3:16) and rising from death three days later to prove our freedom secured. This also means admitting we are sinful, needing Christ to save us personally (Romans 3:23). This is usually when most of us Christians accept Christ and are reborn in Him. Great!
This is not the end, however, it is the beginning. The third step is to trust completely in Jesus, to give our entire lives over to serve Him as our Lord, trusting that His death was accepted by God as payment for our sins, securing our salvation (Romans 10:9-10). This is the most difficult step, and many of us fall short of achieving true faith in Christ because it requires sacrifice. It requires giving up everything we hold dear and everything we have been in order to grasp the object of true eternal value, Jesus Christ Himself.
Only when we have union by faith with Christ, the object of our faith, will we truly be at peace in this tumultuous fallen world we presently inhabit. We will not achieve this by the works of our hands or the strength of our personal faith, but by submitting our lives to the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, by God, through Jesus. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” We will know Christ has transformed us when our lives reflect everything the Bible pictures a human united with Him to be—a life where everything good that we have or do has Jesus involved integrally.