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  • Writer's pictureTim Hemingway

The Gift of Faith


"And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:6-9.

We already said that without faith it's impossible to please God - that was in Thursday's mediation. But here Paul is telling us that the very faith we exercise to receive the kindness of Jesus is a gift itself. Faith is not something we have by nature, faith is a gift of God. If he doesn't supply it, we simply won't take hold of the 'kindness' of Jesus.

The reason that is the case is that faith is when the soul trusts unreservedly that Jesus really is more precious than anything else this world has to offer. And that is something we can't see naturally. Here's how Jesus put it, '“I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.' (John 6:35). 'Whoever believes in me will never go thirsty'. What he means when he says 'never go thirsty' is that a person who believes in him will never have a thirsty soul - they will experience soul-satisfaction. How does that happen? It happens when the soul trusts that Jesus really is that fulfilling; when it trusts that Jesus really is what he claims to be for us.

Paul in Ephesians 2:6-9 is speaking of the kind of things Jesus brings to a person's soul when they receive Jesus as their soul-thirst quenching hope. When that faith was exercised we were made spiritually alive (v.5); and, we were spiritually resurrected from the dead (v.6); and, we were seated with Christ (v.6) in the heavenly realms. Those are all awesome present realities for us who are saved by grace and through faith. But it's not all!

God did all this, including the provision of the faith to believe in Jesus for it, in order that - those are important words - in order that he might show us riches in the ages that are coming. That is in ages when we have resurrected bodies - those riches, he says, are incomparible. Oh what a sweet thought this is. God has got lined up for us stupendously great riches which we will receive for endless ages, all because he started it off by giving us the very thing he required of us and knew we did not have - faith!



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