There is nothing more important in all our short time in this life than that we should get RightWithGod before we leave it. If we are to be saved, it must be in this life. No one will be saved after death. All who are not saved in this life will be under the wrath of God for all eternity. Hence our time in this life is of indescribable importance. That is what this blog is all about.
We have looked at the meaning of believing on Christ, stressing the importance of being burdened about the danger we are in if we do not believe on Him: namely, that we face a miserable, endless eternity. This makes believing on Christ a matter of the greatest urgency.
Today we continue our quest to get as much insight into this believing on Christ as we possibly can. In order to do this we turn again to the Old Testament and the faith of Abraham. In Genesis 15, verse 6, we read, “And he (Abraham) believed in the Lord; and He counted it to him for Righteousness”. Abraham is set before us in the New Testament by Paul as the example of true saving faith. In Romans, chapter 4, verse 3 we read, “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him for righteousness”. In other words He was saved by believing in the promise of God that He would send a Saviour, who would undo the effects of the fall. This gospel promise was first given in Genesis, chapter 3, verse 15, one of the most important verses in the bible. That promise was increasingly clarified throughout the Old Testament, in a great many foreshadowings of Christ, the Son of God, who would come and suffer and die in time, and on this earth, as a substitute for sinners.
As often happens in studying the bible, the original language helps us enormously. We do not need to know any Hebrew in order to understand what we are about to look at. The Hebrew word for “believed” in Genesis 15, verse 6, quoted above is a very useful word in the present context. The basic root idea of the word is firmness. The best example would be the firm and sure support given to a child when it is held in the parent’s arms. The child has complete trust in these arms. This is really wonderful, because it sheds a precious extra light on what it means to believe on Christ, namely, that this believing is an absolute trust in His person and work. He will not fail us. If we believe on Him, and put all our trust in Him, we will be RightWithGod, and we will most certainly be saved. Obviously there has to be an implicit, child-like trust in Christ, the One whom God has sent.
With the help of this illustation, and the one we looked at in the last RightWithGod, we should be getting a clearer idea of what true saving faith is. We must personally believe on and trust in Christ for our salvation, but at this point, we need God’s enabling help. This is stated clearly in the well-known verse in Ephesians, chapter 2, verse 8: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God”: but, crucially, all our attempts at believing and trusting must be bathed in prayer, confessing our inability in this matter and pleading that He will, in His mercy, answer our prayer, and enable us to believe and trust in Christ for our salvation. There is no lasting peace and happiness in this life without being RightWithGod.