2 Nov 2013 by Stewart Chew-
Whatever we all do or whenever we are seriously committing ourselves, it is quite natural, first of all for us to be quite confident and sure that what we do will work! It is like trusting ourselves to an exercise routine. If we have the diligence and the tenacity to faithfully keep to its pretexted workout, we will achieve fitness and physical strength. Or it is like strictly following a dietary programme so that we by doing it faithfully, we can successfully reduce our body weight.
Does it work the same way when we come repenting our sins to receive Jesus Christ by faith? Does it work the same way as it does for the exercise routine or the dietary programme? No, I don’t think it is. This is not like any of our past experiences or decisions in our lives that is determined purely by our human instinct. However, the personal acceptance of Jesus Christ in our hearts is purely done by faith. By faith means that we firmly believe that it will work solely because we know that the Bible tells us that it will work! Remember that ‘faith’ is defined in the Bible as being quite sure of (1) what we hope for and (2) what we do not see:-
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” Hebrews 11:1
Thus by faith we can be absolutely confident that our receiving of God’s salvation will completely change us and ‘make us a new person’. This is because of our emotional freedom through the complete repentance of our hearts and the forgiveness of our past sins. The voluntary surrender of us to God restores His specific purpose and plan for our lives. Thus, we can always be certain of our future successes because we are now relying on His strength and not our own. As the above quotation says that we are strengthened by the belief that we have received something that we have always hoped for ourselves! That’s incredible! It literally means that God will give us anything – we just have to dream them! In addition, we are not affected but can be certain with what we cannot see! What promises!
I can tell you from my own experience when I received God’s salvation many years ago at a Perth Crusade by Leighton Ford (brother-in-law of Billy Graham) that I have found the truth of God in my life. My new faith has resulted in purpose and peace at a tumultuous time of my life. Despite all these experiences, nothing spectacular happened in me as I first expected! Neither was there the explosion of fireworks! I did not need these signs to tell me. I know that something definitely changed inside me like never before! I gradually learned that this divine phenomenon was a total change of my outlook of life. For example, the rearrangement of my life priorities was most remarkable. I will always treasure these new changes since receiving Jesus and nothing from my past life, no matter how significant, will ever affect my relationship with Him. The salvation of God did not make me perfect in any way, but it has done heaps by showing me the purpose and direction of life.
As a result, I also found a new attitude to life. I firmly believe in the value of life and the gift of living that God has graciously bestowed to all of us. I will always strive to live a life worthy of the purpose of God’s love. I will make it a duty to talk to someone that I would usually avoid and I will love and care more for someone whom I have already befriended. It essence, I have unconsciously found a new dimension to life and discovered the new capacity to love that I know I will never be able to do before I became a Christian. So it is not quite correct to say that all our problems and stresses disappear the moment we received God’s salvation through Christ. It has, however, demonstrated to me that my salvation has equipped me to approach all my difficulties with the positivity that I have received from the inspiration of God.
I think because I have changed my attitude to life and my relationship to people, my performance in all the other things that I do everyday has improve! For example, even my sport, work and mental skills have improved! In addition, I noticed most of all that my pride, which is the biggest hurdle I had to overcome before, only when it was placed on the feet of Christ on the Cross, was gradually inundated to total ineffectiveness in my life. To quote Billy Graham from his book “Unto the Hills”:-
“We say to our children, ‘Act like grown-ups,’ but Jesus said
to grown-ups, ‘be like children!’ You are not to come to the
Cross as a PhD, nor a doctor of law, but simply as a
human being; and your life can be changed.
Reference of articles:
“Unto the Hills. A Daily Devotional.” Billy Graham.
Word Publishing – Dallas, London, Vancouver & Melbourne.
Note: Stewart Chew is a retired senior lecturer in School of Medical Sciences, Curtin University in Perth, Australia
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