Faith is a Given

Everyone exercises faith – the store will honor its policy, my boss will pay me, this bridge will hold up, the pilot will land this place safely, the other drivers will stay on their side of the road, etc., etc. That is faith in general, but we want to talk about religious faith – trust in God – relying upon a specific truth that defines who God is, who I am, and what life is all about.

Faith in Myself?

Everyone exercises religious faith. Even to say, “I don’t trust anyone or anything religiously,” is to place your own evaluation or understanding above everything or everyone else that could be trusted. It is to place faith in yourself regarding transcendent things, which is foolish because you are finite.

The Who of Christian Faith

The Christian faith is not based on you or me, or any normal human being, but on the person of Jesus Christ who said of Himself, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” God’s Spirit gives us a desire to know the way beyond this transient life, to know what’s true, and to overcome the repulsive reality of frailty and death. He leads us to want to be free from uncertainty, free from the curse of sin which is death to both body and soul, and free from selfish, sinful pride that pushes God aside. In short, we want rest for our souls. Jesus Christ is the answer, and He proved it by His life and especially by His rising from the dead as He had promised.

More than Bible-Inspired

The Christian faith is not just moralism or adherence to certain rules or rituals based on Bible teachings. The Christian faith is not just academic or intellectual assent based on Bible teachings. Jesus even told religious leaders of His day, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about Me, yet you refuse to come to Me that you may have life.” The warning is this: we can try to rise in our own power to some spiritual plane of understanding or behavior, even with certain teachings of the Bible inspiring us, but if we do not come to Jesus, honestly admitting our total need for His constant forgiveness, love, and grace, then we will remain as those religious leaders – we may think we are making progress, but we will be going in the wrong direction; we will not have faith that leads to freedom, and our souls will not be at rest.

It’s All About Jesus

BUT, if our faith is not in ourselves but looks totally to what Jesus did to save us, then we will truly have freedom. Jesus lived a perfect life for you. Jesus conquered every temptation for you. Jesus prayed to and related to the Father perfectly for you. Jesus offered His perfect life in your place. Jesus defeated Satan and conquered death and the grave for you. Jesus reconciled you to God so that trusting Him you are declared holy, blameless, and innocent, a child of God and an heir with Him of eternal life. This is true spiritual freedom – freedom from the limitations of this sin-affected existence and at the same time living as an inheritor of God’s glorious life through Jesus Christ.

In Tune with God’s Design

In our Western society, we may think that freedom means that we are in charge and can do whatever we want. But that’s not true, even in society, and it’s certainly not true in our Christian faith. A fish out of water does not equal freedom. They are designed for water. We are designed to be in humble fellowship with our Lord.

“Whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil (that hides God’s truth) is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:16-17).

Jesus’ Finished Salvation

How does Christian faith bring freedom? It is based on Jesus finished salvation.

No more fear of who God is – thinking He is against me.

No more fear of God’s eternal punishment – Jesus paid it.

No more need to earn God’s good favor – Jesus earned it.

No more guilty conscience before God – Jesus took my guilt.

No more thinking that God’s ways are bad for me – Jesus showed me otherwise.

Jesus is the case for faith – Christian faith, that is. Knowing everything about God is good and for my good, I can rest in His love and forgiveness.

Joyful and Content

Christian freedom is not about being able to do whatever I want; none of us are God. Jesus is King. However, being one of the King of kings’ kids is the highest privilege in the universe!

Christian freedom is being joyful and content.:

  • To be what I was created to be – a child of God, dependent on His love and goodness, and
  • To do what I was created to do – to receive God’s good gifts, and with them to serve and worship Him.

At Christ Lutheran Church in Montrose, Colorado, we want you to find rest for your soul in all that Jesus did for you. We warmly invite you to plan a visit and worship with us. The Christian faith truly does give freedom of joy and contentment now and forever.