“Sure, I believe in God and stuff.”
“I have faith in Jesus, I mean I don’t go to church or pray, or anything like that; but I believe, you know?”
“We have to believe in a higher power, but I don’t know who that it, but I believe in one.”
These aren’t exact quotes, perhaps more along the lines of paraphrases of things I’ve been told in years past, I’m sure you’ve heard similar comments as well. You may even adhere to one of them too.
I’m not attempting to knock anyone’s philosophy, simply point out a small fact from the Bible. Faith changes you. Not just faith, but faith in Jesus changes a person.
It doesn’t make you a better person in the sense that you are better than someone else, but it changes your positionality with God. In that sense, a better person than you personally were before.
In Luke chapter 7 we find the story of the “sinful” woman. We aren’t told her sins, not that they would matter, but we are to understand that everyone seems to know her and her sins, one might suggest that she has a bad reputation.
The chapter ends with Jesus making the announcement that her sins were forgiven, and telling her in verse 50
“Your faith has saved you; go in peace”
He didn’t simply accept her sins as though they didn’t matter and forgive her, He didn’t say “You’re a pretty nice girl after all – let’s just forgive those pesky sins”. The faith which saved her was illustrated in the preceding verses.
She repented of her sins – she was contrite – she worshipped.she washed His feet with her tears and dried His feet with her hair. She spent her most prized possession to anoint Him.
She washed His feet with her tears and dried His feet with her hair. She spent her most prized possession to anoint Him. This was her showing of faith.
This was no small act and it demanded her to abandon any pride or dignity, pushing through the accepted norms of her society, and throwing herself at the mercy of Jesus, with no guarantee that He would be any different from the religious leaders of her day.
To be clear: THIS IS FAITH
Furthermore, this is how faith in Jesus changes us.
Adherence to a philosophy is fine and all – don’t get me wrong – but to so we have faith in Jesus looks a great deal more intense than mental adherence or assent to a set doctrine or religion.
It changes you.
She was changed.
I’ve been changed.