Finding Faith

Charlie:  Have you ever seen a million dollars?
Neil:  No.
Charlie:  Just because you can’t see something, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
~The Santa Clause (1994)

No, you haven’t stumbled on the wrong website.  I realize this is a quote from a movie about Santa Claus.
It seems out of place on a faith-based blog, but the fact is — this simple line, spoken so earnestly by an adorable actor, is extremely poignant…  we just need to apply it to belief in our creator, God Almighty, His son, Jesus Christ, and of course, the Holy Spirit.
Belief in something you’ve never seen before takes a tremendous leap of faith.  However, it’s not that hard…

  1. The evidence of God surrounds us — His creativity is boundless if you simply look at the earth He designed and created.
  2. Jesus Christ’s life is well-documented and even secular historians acknowledge His existence…  That’s not up for debate.  It’s whether or not Jesus was God’s son in human form…  the scriptures foretold everything about Jesus hundreds of years before He was born…  The matter of faith is simply a matter of lining up prophecy with historical record.
  3. The Holy Spirit — belief in the Holy Spirit comes when we ask for forgiveness for our sins, we thank Jesus Christ for dying for our sins, and then ask God for eternal life.  When we do that, the Holy Spirit resides in us.  But more on that in a moment…

So…  what is sin?
When Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden, sin entered the world.  The perfection that God created, that He meant for us to enjoy, was forever tarred.  Sin because a part of life and like an inherited disease, we have all been born with the disease of sin.
However, there’s a cure.
The cure is named Jesus Christ.
Jesus, the one who saves us from sin.
Jesus Christ is the human-form of God, who came to earth as an infant, and lived a perfect life.  Jesus is the only person who ever lived and did not sin.
He performed many miracles and taught about God’s forgiveness.  However, leaders of His day were threatened by Him.  One of his own disciples betrayed Him to the enemy and Jesus was tortured, nailed to a cross, and died for our sins.  All of this was predicted hundreds of years before He came to earth!  Jesus rose from the dead three days later, defeating death, and giving us the opportunity to return to God.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.  ~John 14:6

Why did He have to die for us to be restored to God?

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  ~John 3:16

Because our sin is so offensive to God and it demands justice.  God is perfect and our sin separates us from Him.  Because our wrong-doings should be punished, we all deserve hell.  And if it weren’t for the death of Jesus Christ, that’s where we would all go.
Jesus’ death and resurrection was a game changer though.  And it’s a free gift that every person in the world can choose to accept.
Becoming a Christian…
Believe that Jesus Christ is God’s perfect son.
Acknowledge your sinful nature.  Take a look at the Ten Commandments…  how do you measure up?  Don’t think these don’t apply to you?  Yes.  They do.  Every.  Last.  One of them.

  1. You shall have no other gods before me…  If you’ve put anything else before God (possessions, money, other people, etc.), you’ve broken this commandment.
  2. You shall not make for yourself an idol…  Whether you’ve literally worshiped a carved image, or tree, or nature, or you’ve allowed something or someone else take your focus from God, you’ve broken this commandment.
  3. Do not take the name of the Lord in vain…  If you’ve ever used God’s name casually in every day speech or as a swear word, you’ve broken this commandment.
  4. Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy…  God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh and He instructed us to follow His example…  If you haven’t kept the Sabbath day holy, you’ve broken this commandment.
  5. Honor your father and mother…  If you’ve ever been disrespectful to your parents, you’ve broken this commandment.
  6. You shall not kill/murder…  The Bible says that anyone who has ever even thought about wishing someone dead or hated in their heart, they’ve committed murder and if you’ve done either of these, you’ve broken this commandment.
  7. You shall not commit adultery…  the Bible says that anyone who even looks with lust in their heart is guilty of adultery.  If you’ve done this, you’ve broken this commandment.
  8. You shall not steal…  If you’ve ever taken something that doesn’t belong to you (regardless of value), you’ve broken this commandment.
  9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor…  If you’ve ever told a lie, you’ve broken this commandment. 
  10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife / You shall not covet‡ anything that belongs to your neighbor…  If you’ve ever wanted something that doesn’t belong to you, or have been jealous of what someone else has, you’ve broken this commandment.

(You’re not alone.  I’m not judging.  I’m guilty too.  All of us are.)
Ask God for forgiveness.
Tell Jesus Christ that you know He took your punishment on your behalf.  Acknowledge that you are the one who deserved that punishment.
Thank Him, and ask Him to live in your heart.
If you sincerely repent, you are saved.  The life of a Christian doesn’t promise sunshine and daisies.  But it’s not this life we’re worried about…  we’re worried about eternity.  I love this analogy from Ray Comfort: