The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Importance of faith

 Importance of faith
Importance of faith

Importance of faith

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God – not the result of works, so that none may boast.” -Ephesians 2:8-9 (NRSV)

It’s about time I took a break from writing about politics. No, that stuff hasn’t suddenly becoming boring or mundane to me. There are just certain times when you come to realize that there are far more important things to worry about, especially given the coming of Easter. So for the next few weeks, I will focus on different aspects of the Christian faith that not only set it apart but also make it critically important to your life.

The verses at the top are some of my favorite verses in the Bible. They are found in a letter the apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesians discussing the singular importance of Christ in their – and our – lives. The key idea in that verse is that we, as humans, cannot manufacture our own salvation. Nothing that we can do will make God love us any more or any less. All we have to do is accept this amazing gift from God – the sacrifice of Christ on the cross for our sins – and we shall have eternal life.

I do not submit to you that this is an easy task. People tend to want control of their own lives, thinking that they alone can decide what is best for them. It takes an incredible sense of humility to admit that you are nothing without Christ. I have fought it for years, and I was brought up as a Christian! To a certain extent, I continue to struggle with it.

Why is faith so critically important to Christianity? Because faith is found in an offer of surrender to Christ, allowing Him to work through you. Faith allows the Holy Spirit to dwell in you and direct your life. Though you may not see it at first, there will be a dramatic change in you when you fully submit. Do not be discouraged. The Holy Spirit is simply working continuously to methodically tear down all those desires that are contrary to God within you. He will then rebuild you in His image.

Do not take from the passage above that Christians are those perfect people walking around campus. There has only been one perfect person in the history of Man – Jesus Christ – and he was fully God in Spirit while fully man in the flesh. The standard is perfection, but we do not need to be perfect to reach it, for we are all made perfect in Christ. Do not be discouraged in your own faith when you see someone who claims to be a follower of Christ sinning. Love that person enough to rebuke them in the name of God, for their sins are not representative of God but instead are necessarily contrary to His true nature.

You might be wondering where the application of faith comes from all of this. There is a bit of a twist on this principle of faith, not works, for salvation. James 2:26 states, “For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead.” This is not contrary to the passage from Ephesians I first discussed, although it can appear so at times. I feel that this passage in James simply rebukes those who say that they can claim faith in Christ and not do anything about it. There is still no standard of works that we have to meet, but a person’s true faith can often be seen by the works it produces. “

A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.” (Matthew 7:18). In other words, if you confess to know Jesus with your lips but your heart is unchanged and you continue to walk in your selfish ways, you do not really know Him at all because He will not let you bear bad fruit if you let Him work in you.

To me, one of the greatest applications of faith in your own life is to learn to love all of God’s people, even if they seem particularly vile or decrepit to you.

“For anyone who does not love his brother whom he can see, cannot love God whom he has not seen.” (1 John 4:20). God says that you cannot have love for only those who are pleasing to you, for even those without faith can do that. The truly amazing power of God comes in loving your enemy even while hating their sinful ways. Do not mistake this for being commanded to accept people as they are. Christian love also involves lovingly bringing every person into a serious relationship about Christ hoping that they too can share in the love of Christ.

It takes a leap of faith to come to Christ, but it’s more than worth the effort.

 

Reed Hanson is a junior electrical engineering major. He may be contacted at [email protected].

 

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