God’s Plan for Our Growth - page 3

 

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From the Winter 2014 issue of Knowing & Doing:  

God’s Plan for Our Growth

by Stephen D. Eyre M.Div.
City Director, C.S. Lewis Institute - Cincinnati

 
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Faith is God’s work in us that changes us and gives new birth from God (John 1:13). It kills the Old Adam and makes us completely different people. It changes our hearts, our spirits, our thoughts and all our powers. It brings the Holy Spirit with it. Yes, it is a living, creative, active and powerful thing, this faith.

Faith is a living, bold trust in God’s grace, so certain of God’s favor that it would risk death a thousand times trusting in it. Such confidence and knowledge of God’s grace makes you happy, joyful and bold in your relationship to God and all creatures.3

Faith in the justifying blood of Christ changes our status and has soul-shaping power. Peter Haile, in his little classic on the Christian faith The Difference God Makes, writes of a friend who was feeling out of touch with God and consequently upset, disturbed, and edgy.

“But aren’t believers promised joy and peace?” I stopped him and said, “Yes, Believers are promised joy and peace . . .” It was his failure to take God at his Word, to act on the assumption that God really means what he says—that was the trouble.4

  Faith not only receives but unleashes God’s saving power. In a discussion about spirituality and mental health, a doctor at a psychiatric institution commented, “Half the people in here could walk out today if they could believe that they were forgiven.”

Spiritual Union with Christ

  But really, how is it that what Jesus Christ did two thousand years ago makes a difference today? In Mere Christianity (Book 4) C.S. Lewis notes that we have to have a new view of time in order to make sense of Christianity. The Greek word chronos refers to time as a succession of moments. The Greeks had another word for time that is more than a succession of moments: chairos is an eternal view that transcends the moment.
A graphic can help us see this.

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