“…How shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?” Romans 10:14
We have established in past devotionals that believing in Christ, in God, is a miracle. The Apostle Paul writes to the Ephesians: “…And you hath He quickened (made alive), who were DEAD in trespasses and sins.” (2:1) The Apostle Paul also wrote to the Romans: “There is NONE that understandeth, there is NONE that seeketh after God.” We have here declared to us what the hymn-writer so eloquently described: “Long my imprisoned spirit lay, fast bound in sin and nature’s night; Thine eye diffused a quickening ray, I woke, the dungeon filled with light; My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.” (C.Wesley) From beginning to end, with regard to the proclamation of the glorious, and life-changing gospel of Christ, we are confronted with three great realities. The first is our helpless, lost, and “lifeless” condition. The second is the overwhelming, loving power of God to speak life into the dead. Right in the middle, between these two truths is the third: Faith is the key that unlocks the eternal door. But, you might ask, “If we are ‘dead’ to God, and do not ‘naturally’ seek Him, then how can one truly believe in Him?
We must remember first of all that God is love, and because of this, Christ died for ALL men. It is for this reason that He is constantly speaking to men through His creation. We see the increased declaration, or the amplification, of that revelation when the Lord proclaimed the Gospel (the news of the Messiah) to Abraham. When Christ came on the scene, and the Father revealed Himself IN the Son, we see the greater expression of that revelation. But when Christ, the spotless Lamb, died on Calvary, and rose from the grave, we see the most powerful, and clear, proclamation of the love, justice, and mercy of God. God, in that very instant gave to man the knowledge of the truth, as the basis for believing in Him. And yet, man cannot believe unless God works to shine into the dungeon of his heart, shatter his chains, and set him free.
So, what is necessary to “believe” in God? First, there has to be a knowledge of the truth of Christ. It may be a small knowledge of the truth, but if the response to God is the glad “yes,” it will suffice. The second thing that is necessary is to see our own need, our bankruptcy. God meets us all because of His mercy, never because of the quantity or quality of our deeds or “works.” He awakens in us the awareness of His presence, and the corresponding need to know Him. He then brings us by conviction and desire to that place where we are willing to call upon Christ, and Christ ALONE, to save us…forgive sins, and enable us to receive the Spirit of God, Christ coming into the heart. This is His work from beginning to end. Ours is to respond with our whole heart to Him, by His grace.
Dear Father, we would believe in Thee. Reveal to us increasingly the truth of Thy Son, and His work on Calvary. Shine in our dark hearts the bright and powerful light of Thy truth and love. Shatter every chain, anything and everything that would restrain us, or hinder us, from rising, going forth to follow Thee. We thank Thee that Thou art READY to save, strengthen, lead, …meeting the deepest needs of our hearts, for Thy glory. Strengthen us to believe that Thou art perfect love and power, OUR perfect love and power. In Jesus’ name, Amen.