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Please help me understand what faith means?

Discussion in 'Serious Stuff' started by Blaise N, Jul 28, 2021.

  1. Blaise N

    Blaise N Member

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    Hi CF,

    For a long time I’ve been confused onto how to place my faith/trust in Jesus.I want to believe,but I’m scared that my faith right now is like the demons faith.I have a very hard time understanding the Bible and how I can trust Jesus,I want to be saved and I want to be a Christian for certain.I’ve continually and constantly followed Jesus for about 5 years now and I’ve had countless times of doubt(most likely from my OCD and autism).Soemtimes to help my belief I can visualize my surroundings to help me understand the realism of Christ,that may sound confusing and I’d be glad to elaborate.My questions are,and please help answer them so I can understand.

    1.What does having faith in Jesus mean?

    2.How can I be sure Jesus did die on the cross?

    3.How could Jesus alone pay for all the sins of believers?

    4.How can I pray for belief and a better understanding?

    5.Does Christ know my struggle?(I constantly fear about reformed theology,and that I’m afraid that since I have OCD and autism I may not be one of the elect)

    6.What can I do to better understand faith?
     
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Simul Justus et Peccator Supporter

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    Hello Blaise N, the "news" from God is this, we need to be just like Him, perfectly innocent, perfectly righteous, perfectly holy, perfectly loving/selfless, etc., to have any hope of being with Him in the age to come.

    The "bad" news is this, no one is any of those things (and everyone is lost as a result).

    The "good" news is, God sent His Son here to be our Savior, to do for us what we are unable to do for ourselves (e.g. be innocent/righteous),

    1. by living a perfectly righteous life before His Father ~on our behalf~, and
    2. by dying on the Cross in our stead, to make atonement for sins and forgiveness possible.​

    There are many kinds of "faith" (as you pointed out in your OP), because we know that even the demons "believe" in the Lord Jesus Christ, and they know exactly who/what He is. However, "saving" faith in Him involves something more than a mere mental assent (that acknowledges the truth about who He is), saving faith also involves both, ~trust and surrender~.

    Here's a story that might help you understand what I'm getting at.

    Imagine a tightrope, stretched over a quarter of a mile and spanning the breadth of Niagara Falls. Then imagine the thundering sound of the pounding water drowning out all other sounds as you watch a man step onto the rope and walk across :eek:

    This stunning feat made Charles Blondin famous in the summer of 1859.

    He walked 160 feet above the falls several times back and forth between Canada and the United States as huge crowds on both sides looked on with shock and awe. Once he crossed in a sack, once on stilts, another time on a bicycle, and once he even carried a stove and cooked an omelet :D

    On July 15, Blondin walked backward across the tightrope to Canada and returned pushing a wheelbarrow.

    The Blondin story is told that it was after pushing a wheelbarrow across while blindfolded that Blondin asked for some audience participation. The crowds had watched and "Ooooohed" and "Aaaaahed!" He had proven that he could do it; of that, there was no doubt. But now he was asking for a volunteer to get into the wheelbarrow and take a ride across the Falls with him!

    It is said that he asked his audience, "Do you believe I can carry a person across in this wheelbarrow?" Of course the crowd shouted that yes, they believed!

    It was then that Blondin posed the question - "Who will get in the wheelbarrow and take the trip with me?'

    Of course...none did.

    "Saving" faith is the kind of faith that jumps right into that wheelbarrow and says, "yes, lets go". It's the kind of faith that trusts in the Savior so much that we willing surrender our very lives to His care and keeping/to His Lordship over us, trusting that He both can and will do what He told us He would do, save us, sanctify us, and see us safely through this life to be with Him in Glory :amen:

    God bless you!

    --David
    p.s. - here is one of my favorite Christian quotes (and one of my favorite verses that goes along with it too). Hopefully they will be helpful to you in regard to this topic as well :)

    Spurgeon - my hope lives, sinner for whom Christ died.jpg

    "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf,
    so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him"

    2 Corinthians 5:21
    .
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2021
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  3. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Simul Justus et Peccator Supporter

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    Hello again Blaise N, the Lord Jesus' passion and death was prophesied in the OT, and it was testified to both in the NT (by eyewitnesses and others), and by 1st Century non-Christian sources outside of the Bible as well.

    IOW, it is an historical fact. How do you know that George Washington was America's first president? :)

    --David
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2021
  4. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Simul Justus et Peccator Supporter

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    1. He alone is the "spotless Lamb of God". He was born w/o the stain of Original Sin, He lived life as a man in both perfect obedience and perfect righteousness before His Father (for us/on our behalf), and He died on the Cross in this state (perfectly innocent/perfectly righteous) as the atonement for and forgiveness of the sins of all who have faith in Him as their Lord and Savior.

    2. He is God the Son.

    --David
     
  5. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Simul Justus et Peccator Supporter

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    Just ask Him for those things.
     
  6. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Simul Justus et Peccator Supporter

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    The Lord Jesus Christ is God the Son. As God, He is omniscient (IOW, He knows EVERYTHING), so yes, He knows of your struggle.

    As far as being "one of the elect", election is taught by Reformed soteriology because "election" is a Biblical concept/doctrine (IOW, it was NOT invented by Reformed theologians).

    That said, no one knows who the "elect of God" are until/unless they are born again and have already come to saving faith in Christ. So, when we know that someone is truly saved, that's when we know that they are also part of God's elect.

    There is no other way to know :preach:

    BTW, I am saying this as a Calvinist/as someone who holds to Reformed theology.

    God bless you!

    --David
     
  7. Blaise N

    Blaise N Member

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    Thank you stworm your advice has been an incredible blessing.But I still have a question.I still am uncertain and have anxiety and doubts as to if I have been born again,saved,and having assurance of salvation.I have asked God countless times to be born again and to please save me.However I still struggle with reassurance.Is it bad that I struggle with a lack of assurance?
     
  8. Tigger45

    Tigger45 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    St_Worm2 responding to this thread >

    8CD974F3-C6C7-4FCE-9266-5F22280CCDBF.gif
     
  9. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Simul Justus et Peccator Supporter

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    The only way to truly understand God and His truth (and be able to accept what He has to say from His spiritual POV) is to be born again and come to saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no other way.

    So, confess to God that you are a lost sinner who is without hope in this world, and that you are therefore in need of the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Confess your sins to Him (as many as you can remember) and ask Him to forgive you of them, trusting that He will do exactly that. Then tell Him that you want to be a Christian, His child by adoption, that you want to trust Him with your life from now on, that you want Him to become your Savior and Lord, and then ask Him to fill you with the Holy Spirit.

    God bless you! (John 3:16, 5:24; Romans 10:9-10)

    --David
    p.s. - here's an interesting passage to consider (the Lord Jesus is talking to the people who were following Him in this case).

    John 6
    27 Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him God the Father has set His seal.
    28 Therefore they said to Him, What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?
    29 Jesus answered and said to them, This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent
    .
    Second level Christianity is oft times deep and hard to truly and fully understand, in fact, I am very happy that we have an eternity in front of us to learn/understand all there is know about God and Christianity.

    But that is hardly true of Christianity 101, because God could not have made being saved and becoming a Christian any simpler :amen:

    Problems arise however when people bypass Christianity 101 and try to go straight to Christianity, Level 2 instead (because Christianity, Level 2, cannot be understood properly apart from first being born again and coming to saving faith in Christ). It's almost like trying to build the second story of a building before you build the first floor.

    So, stop doing that for now ;) Stop insisting to the Doctor (as someone who is on their death bed and w/o hope apart from the cure He is offering you) that you need to become an MD and know all that He does about the medicine that will cure you before you are willing to consider taking it, even though you know that it has already cured countless others of the sickness that is besetting you, and that you will die w/o it.

    Believe Him/Trust Him (Jesus Christ and Him crucified), knowing who He is and what He did to make eternal life possible for you (and me). Allow Him to change your heart, quicken you to spiritual life, and save you, because you'll literally have an eternity to grapple with all of the rest of the Christian faith, level 2 and beyond :)



     
  10. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Simul Justus et Peccator Supporter

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    Hello Blaise, what you are missing is something that we, even as believers, need to fight against to stop at times (something that is CONSIDERABLY harder to do with OCD, BTW). While asking God to save you is what you needed to do, you also need to take it a step further by taking Him at His word, IOW, you must choose to believe/trust/know that you are saved (by believing that God did exactly what He promised He would do .. e.g. John 5:24; Romans 10:9-10) :preach:

    This is not an easy thing to do (as we've discussed before in some of your earlier threads), because it's hard to believe what our ~feelings~ are telling us not to believe. Unfortunately, that is part of what it means and takes at times to believe God and to trust Him above all others/all other things, INCLUDING what our "feelings" are telling us in the moment.

    So take those kind of thoughts "captive" by refusing to believe them, and whenever you fail to do so, just ask God to forgive you and He will (1 John 1:9). Then get back up and start doing so again. It's HARD to do at first (even for those of us who don't have a problem with OCD), but I promise you that it will become easier and easier as you practice it by making it part of your Christian walk.

    I'm sure that you want to please, honor and glorify God, yes? So, do you think that God is pleased and honored by us when we choose to believe what He tells us, when we choose to take Him at His very word (no matter what our feelings and Satan are telling us at that moment in time), or when we refuse to believe Him and choose to believe our feelings and the devil's lies/half-truths instead?

    God bless you!

    --David
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2021
  11. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Simul Justus et Peccator Supporter

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    Hello @Blaise N, finally, if you still lack assurance, then it is important for you to follow the command that is found in the verse .. 2 Corinthians 13:5.

    If you'd like to know how to obey that command, IOW, if you'd like to know what to look for in your life to be assured that you have truly come to saving faith in Christ, just let me/us know.

    (BTW, the first place to look and the first question to ask yourself is this, what was my life like before the time that I believe that I become a Christian, and what is my life like now? Did I act/speak/think differently then, differently than I do now, or is everything about my new life pretty much the same as it has always been, IOW, just like it was before becoming a Christian? Also, are the things that I am most concerned with now the same things that concerned me back then .. and what and who/Who am I most concerned with now, as a Christian?)

    Blessings to you in Christ!

    --David
    p.s. - here's a passage, and then a Christian quote, which may be helpful to you in this regard :)

    Galatians 5
    19 The deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality,
    20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions,
    21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
    22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
    23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
    24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

    Pink - not the absence of sin but the grieving over it.jpg

     
  12. Petros2015

    Petros2015 Well-Known Member

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    That this was not just another human teacher, that what he said about himself in the gospels was true. He was the son of God, incarnate as a human. Read the gospels; faith in Jesus is faith that he was not lying in what he said and (to me at least) that they have been recorded and passed down accurately, at least accurately enough for me to know to seek Christ. Following Christ is the natural result of faith in Christ.


    ... Romans are *pretty good* at their jobs. I mean, these guys pretty much had it down to a science... #1 pretty much takes care of #2, I would think. I'm sure there are some who might argue that maybe Jesus pulled a "magic trick" like Copperfield or David Blaine to fake his death? But I don't think that's a generally held idea. Even most secular scholars acknowledge him as a historical figure who died in the way recorded.

    Plus... being beaten and then nailed to a cross... talk about suffering for your art!

    And... why?

    It's not like he was collecting money from stage tickets being sold. Even if he was it sounds like Judas already made off with the money purse lol.

    What's Christ's motive if it's not what he said it was? Insanity is pretty much the only open option. I think you will find that the Truth makes more sense. Especially when you look at Human nature, and Christ's nature, and the difference between them.



    Christ reconciles all who believe in Him to God the Father.
    And all who believe in Him, follow Him.

    So let me ask you this:

    In following Him, how often do all believers sin?

    The Father is pleased with those that follow the Son
    "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life," he said.

    So, you may look at the sum of all non believers sins and say "how could one man reconcile and pay for all of this?", but the real question is -

    How many people can one man lead out of one place (sin) and into another? (the kingdom of God)

    And the answer is:

    As many as follow and believe in Him

    (John 1)

    12 But to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of blood, nor of the desire or will of man, but born of God.

    And while it is true that no believer is perfect, and no believer sinless... but at least they are FOLLOWING. And with that, imperfections may be and can be forgiven and even overcome.

    With Christ you may still have some weeds in your wheat garden which will take some work... but that's a better state to be in than having some wheat in your weed garden that no amount of work will save ;) (I have no wheat at all in my garden but for Christ)

    As C.S. Lewis once said:

    “I know all about the despair of overcoming chronic temptations. It is not serious provided self-offended petulance, annoyance at breaking records, impatience et cetera doesn’t get the upper hand. No amount of falls will really undo us if we keep on picking ourselves up each time. We shall of course be very muddy and tattered children by the time we reach home. But the bathrooms are all ready, the towels put out, and the clean clothes are in the airing cupboard. The only fatal thing is to lose one’s temper and give it up. It is when we notice the dirt that God is most present to us: it is the very sign of his presence.”


    In Colossians 1 and Ephesians 3, Paul writes to the early Churches there, and he says "I am praying for you". And he says "I am praying these specific things for you". It might be good to pray those for yourself. If you were to look at those chapters, and what he is praying for them, and write them down for yourself to pray for yourself, they might look something like this:

    Prayer of the Colossians, Chapter 1

    Father,

    Grant us to understand your grace in all its truth
    Fill us with the knowledge of your will
    Grant us spiritual wisdom and understanding
    In order that we might live lives worthy of the Lord, your Son
    And please him in every way
    Bearing fruit in every good work
    Growing in knowledge of You
    Being strengthened with all power
    According to your glorious might
    So that we may have great endurance and patience
    Joyfully giving thanks to you

    By the Son you love
    You have rescued us from the dominion of Darkness
    And qualified us to share
    in the inheritance of the saints -
    His kingdom
    Your kingdom
    Which is
    the Kingdom of Light

    Prayer of the Ephesians Chapter 3

    Out of his glorious riches
    May the Father strengthen us with power through His Spirit
    In our inner beings
    So that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith

    May we, being rooted and established in love
    have power together with all the saints
    To grasp how wide and long and high and deep
    Is the love of Christ

    And to know this love that surpasses knowledge
    That we may be filled to the measure
    Of all the fullness of God

    To him who is able to do
    Immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine
    According to his power that is at work within us

    To him be glory in the church
    and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations
    For ever and ever

    Amen

    I happen to know they might look something like that because I wrote them down for myself for exactly the reason you are asking about ;)

    Yes. Intimately and perfectly. Just as He knows about mine, which are different, but nonetheless understood. We are both loved and forgiven and called to see what we can be in Christ.

    "Ask, Seek and Knock" Faith is a great thing to do that for. I think it would be the Father's good pleasure to grant you a deep and personal understanding that will be yours and yours alone.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2021
  13. Blaise N

    Blaise N Member

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    YES before I came to Christ I lied,stole,cheat,cussed,was disrespectful,careless,inconsiderate,impolite,and rude.

    now I have none of those attributes,I don’t know if it was me maturing or Christ healing me.And yes I’d like to be assured of my salvation,I’d very much like to know!
     
  14. Blaise N

    Blaise N Member

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    Also Some of the things I want to do is regardless of the doubts I have I WANT to believe,I love being kind, generous,and polite to people.God is always on my mind,I constantly think and sometimes if not most worry wether I’m saved.However even through these times I dare not ever leave Christ,I always stay with him no matter what,I still choose to believe he is real and he is holy and sovereign.Whenever I encounter intrusive thoughts that tempt me to walk away from Christ,they scare me horribly.I know life without Christ is hopeless and wrong.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2021
  15. Kris Jordan

    Kris Jordan Acts 4:12

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    Hi Blaise,

    There is only one way for individuals to be saved from their sins, reconciled to God, and enter heaven when they die. That is accomplished through placing their faith in God’s only Son, Jesus Christ, for what He did for them on the cross. In other words, they must trust exclusively in God’s grace for forgiveness and redemption through Jesus Christ. This biblical truth excludes everyone and everything else as a means for obtaining those things.

    Dwelling in God’s holy and righteous presence in heaven requires sinless perfection. This biblical truth disqualifies every human being from entering in on their own merits because “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Therefore, Jesus was sent from heaven to earth to resolve this dilemma for sinners.

    As God manifested in the flesh, Jesus lived a sinless life of obedience to the Father while on earth. He did this on behalf of all sinners, which satisfied God’s righteous requirements for holy living. At the appointed time of His death, Jesus willingly took the sins of the entire world upon Himself, suffered the punishment for each of them, and died a substitutionary death in every sinful person’s place. When He breathed His last breath, He proclaimed, “it is finished,” signifying God’s acceptance of His perfect sacrifice for sins, once for all.

    Those who receive Jesus’ gift of salvation by faith, trusting in what He did for them on the cross, are redeemed from their sinful condition and cleansed from all unrighteousness. In exchange for their sinfulness, they receive Jesus’ righteousness and will enter heaven when they die (2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 10:4).

    Those who reject Jesus’ gift of salvation remain in their sinful state with no other means available for their redemption. As a result, they will reap the full measure of God’s wrath upon their death, suffering the consequences for their sins because they refused Jesus’ sacrifice offered on their behalf.

    Note: Demons believe God exists but are not trusting Him for their redemption and salvation. That is the difference between "believing God exists" and "believing/trusting God for salvation through Jesus Christ."

    Hope this helps!
     
  16. JohnB445

    JohnB445 Well-Known Member

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    My understand is this, if I am doing a trust fall, I have faith the other person will catch me as I fall, I believe I will be caught.
     
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