Coming to Faith
The Beginning, Part 2, Galatians 3:25
Galatians 3:25 (NKJV)
Revelation 3:20 (NKJV)
John 8:12 (NKJV)
Our faith in Jesus does not come from a something we got from our parents. It doesn’t come from going to church. It doesn’t come from our friends. It comes from having a personal relationship with Jesus.
While my parents talked about Jesus and even while they modeled the Christian lifestyle, that did not ultimately make me accept Jesus as my Savior.
While I did go to church growing up and as an adult, that in itself did not give me God/Jesus IN me.
While I’ve had great friends who are believers who helped to guide me and advise me, they did NOT give me Jesus.
No one can talk enough, convince enough, or even forcefully make someone accept Jesus. No one...no person and no church can change you.
Every person’s journey with Jesus is unique. I think the thing that intrigued me most when I was a child was watching my dad take communion every week. When he took communion he had a look on his face that I can’t effectively explain. I knew Jesus was IN Him and talking to Him personally. I knew Jesus in him changed him.
I didn’t realize it then, but Jesus was knocking and I wanted it.
I wanted what my dad had, so I asked for it. I opened the door. I asked Jesus to be IN me. I believed Jesus was THE ONE who would change my life. My dad modeled it but Jesus made it happen.
When I ‘asked’ Him to come in, Jesus honored the request. Jesus knocked and I chose to let him in.
I was in church, but that wasn’t what saved me. I saw my dad’s faith, but that didn’t give me Jesus. Jesus came in because I opened the door. God is so loving and honorable that He will will not force His way in. We need to ask and we need to receive it.
That’s why some people come to faith even if they weren’t raised in church or had parents who were believers. Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”
I believe that Jesus goes to every person and knocks (even continuously) at the door of their heart. Some open the door and Jesus goes in. Some ignore the invitation. The first phrase of Galatians 3:25, “but after faith has come” means after Jesus comes to a person and knocks at the door of their heart and that person turns and chooses to open the door, they invite Jesus IN, and their life is forever changed.
A parent or a church or a friend may have modeled the faith to the person so much that it made the person curious and interested, but that isn’t what made them open the door. I believe the door is opened from the inside only. We choose to open it.
Think about who Saul of Tarsus was before Jesus approached him on the road to Damascus that day. Saul had been persecuting and killing the people of the Way who followed Jesus. Saul had studied and memorized the Hebrew Scriptures and he had devoted his entire life to the Hebrew faith and practice. Saul believed this Jesus endangered the lifestyle he was committed to save.
Then one day on the road, Jesus approached Saul and the light of Jesus was so bright that it blinded Saul. That got his attention. Jesus said in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” Once Saul saw the light and heard the knocking that John wrote about in Revelation 3:20, something in Saul that day made him want to put his hand on the doorknob, turn it, and open the door. The rest is history.
Saul became Paul.
Saul who had lived his entire life FOR the Hebrew Scriptures and way of life, walked away from everything he had known. He had dedicated his life to protecting the word of the Law. But the day Paul opened the door, he no longer needed the tutor the Law had been to him. The last part of Galatians 3:25 says, “we are no longer under a tutor.”
Before his conversion Saul WAS under the tutor (the Law).
In an instant, faith in Jesus changed everything. After his Damascus Road experience, Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:7, we “walk by faith, not by sight.”
Paul received faith that Jesus offered, and he was absolutely never the same again.
Neither was I. From the time I opened the door until now, I’ve never been the same again.
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Choose Faith
Even after we open the door for the first time to let Jesus IN, we continuously choose faith. God gives us daily opportunities to choose to believe in Him and trust Him in various situations. Today whenever you struggle, hurt, or need comfort, choose to believe that God has it all covered. Choose faith.
In Jesus, Deborah