Chapter 3 - Understanding Faith
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Why are we saved through faith? It's funny how many of us including myself are stumped at this question. Why faith? Why not have it that we are saved by going to Jerusalem and hitting a button that gives us salvation? Why not saved by good works and by doing good deeds? Why not automatically be saved from birth? For that matter, why even have the ability for us to be able to not be saved? Wouldn't it of been better if the Tree of Knowledge had never existed? First lets look at why we were created in the first place.

  Why did God create us? Why did God create anything? If you can answer that than you know the meaning of life. It's explained in the first chapter of Genesis in three words, "it was good". (Gen 1:4-31)

  God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. (Gen. 1:31)

  The word good here in the original Hebrew is Towb, meaning, good, pleasant, agreeable. God created us and it was pleasant to Him. We were created for His pleasure.

  However, unlike the rest of creation we were created in His image, in His likeness. As God is free, we were free, thus giving us the ability to love Him truly. For love that is manufactured is not love at all. In order to have the ability to love God, that is to choose Him, we have to have the ability to not choose Him. In comes the tree of knowledge. It was the one thing humans could do that would be opposing to God. We had the entire garden to roam and to eat freely from, and to walk with God, with the exception of one tree (Gen 2:16,17).

  but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die." (Gen. 2:17)

  Now we have free will, for without options we cannot choose, without choice we are not free. Without freedom we cannot love God. They could either be united with God sharing perfect fellowship with Him, or they could choose to oppose God in going against His only (at that time) commandment.

  This rules out the possibility of having automatic salvation, for to force salvation is to remove free will. If you remove free will than you remove God's intended purpose for us in the first place, to bring Him pleasure.

  This brings us to why are we saved by faith? That's simple, it's because we have no way to save ourselves. Why isn't their something we can do to save ourselves? Because it won't work. We have no means within our grasps to save ourselves.

  because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight...(Rom. 3:20).

  Pretty helpless feeling if you let that sink in. We have no way to save ourselves. We have nothing we can do to contribute to our salvation (Gal. 3:3). We need a miracle, a savior of Godly magnitudes, we need Jesus.

  So why are we saved by faith? Because it's the act of receiving salvation by the only means available, by the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. (John 19:30)


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Having worked on a dairy farm at a younger age I was assigned to take care of the newborns; the calves. And like newborns of all of God's creation they were born equipped with all the equipment they would use later in life, legs, eyes mouth, teeth, stomach, etc.. But being newborns even the simpler things like legs were difficult for them to use. They had them, they just didn't know how to use them. Shaky, wobbling, kicking downward in an attempt to do something resembling walking, usually falling over letting out a high pitch, saliva filled moo, (sounded more like "maaa" to me).

  Faith is very similar. When we are born again we are given an allotted measure of faith (Romans 12:3) which is part of the gift of salvation from God (Ephesians 2:8-9). But like newborn calves trying out their new set of legs, we fall a lot when we try to walk by faith. We have faith, we just need to grow in it. It's also important to understand as I wrote about in my previous chapter that having doubts does not indicate an absence of faith. Faith is rooted in our spirit, doubt is rooted in our flesh.

  The Bible talks a lot about growing in faith, (2 Cor. 10:15, Rom. 4:20), Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians talks about giving them milk to drink and not solid food as they were infants in Christ and not yet able to move beyond (1 Cor. 3:1,2). Take note however, even as infants, they were still "in Christ". Even without growth they were still covered with the righteousness of Christ.

  One part I hated when taking care of calves on the cow farm is for the first few weeks of their life they had to be bottle fed milk. That's not the part I hated, that was cute. But since the calves were taken away from their mothers immediately after birth they were not taught how to drink from a nipple, they were utterly helpless (pun intended). If the calf would not drink it then it had to be force fed. That's the part I hated. I had to take a bottle and run a 2 foot tube from the bottle down the calf's throat and into his stomach. I didn't like it, and from the faces I got from the calf, neither did they.

  My point here is Christ is both the author, (the creator, originator), and perfecter of our faith. (Heb 12:2) He will not abandoned you (John 6:39). And if need be, I am confident that he would even shove a tube down your throat. And if you're in the state of mind I was in (having a hard time trusting God), you are delighted at the fact Jesus is willing to do that.

  For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. - Philippians 1:6


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Why are my doubts so persistent? Why do they effect every aspect of my life? Why do I question things that at one time were simply common sense? Why do I not have control over my doubts? Why can I not simply choose to not doubt and move on with my life? Oh how I long to be of one mind again.

  My obsession with my doubts drove me to more studying and research regarding God, evidence, and Christian theology than I had ever done on any subject matter before, or since. For my doubts were attacking at all I held dear even the very foundation of my existence and there was no rest to be found for me. Every waking minute from the horrible depressing moment of waking up to the fear and anxiety that accompanied me to slumber was filled with doubt. It was a battle so wretched I truly wished nobody would ever have to go through it, not even my worst enemy. That being my state, research wasn't an option, it was a must. At first I reached to immediate resources, friends, family, bible verses but found no comfort. I continued to reach farther in meetings with elders, prayer groups, bible study's and still no help. I bought books that had anything to do with, or that could help in any way with this struggle I was going through (I could share with you some excellent reading). There wasn't a day you couldn't find me buried in books, bibles, notes, and tears.

   The worst of it was, In all this research I found a lot of the answers I was looking for. Answers to many of the questions my doubts focused on, I had wisdom beyond my years so to speak. My understanding of Christian theology became such that I felt I could heartily argue with and perhaps turn an atheist yet I couldn't seem to douse my own doubts. Despite all my research my doubts persisted in full force. Why?!?! (I hope you sensed my frustration).

  The problem was my doubts were no longer an intellectual deficiency, they couldn't be explained by a lack of understanding of Christian theology, therefore hope of any simple intellectual solution seemed to be out the door. This forced me to consider causes that I hated to consider in search of answers to the question, "Where do my doubts come from".

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