Posted: 5/3/19 at 3:00pm. Column by Ed Jordan.
I want to ask two questions: Do you have a faith from which you live? And is that faith a dead faith or a living faith?
There are many who have an intellectual understanding of some kind of faith, but it is a dead faith which does not animate or exert influence in their daily lives. There are also many who have a living faith, which daily supplies their lives with power and direction.
So the question is a personal question, which only you can answer about your own life and faith. Is your faith living or dead?
In the world there are many religions and many variations within each religion. There are some very good things taught in most world religions; but is your faith in good old sayings, or in an ethical standard, or in a living God?
So consider this today: Is your faith in a set of religious principles, or in a living God?
One way to determine the answer to this might be to ask: Is the founder of your faith dead or alive?
The one leader of world religions who is still alive is Jesus. He rose from the dead and interacted with people for 40 days following his resurrection, proving himself alive. At Pentecost, he came to live within the early disciples, and that turned the world upside down. Or maybe we should say right-side up!
Jesus still comes to live within each believer, anywhere in the world, through the eternal Holy Spirit (Luke 14:23). Through the indwelling Holy Spirit, we interact with God, as he brings to mind the words Jesus spoke, and as he guides us in our daily living.
Many people are intellectually aware of this teaching and this concept. Perhaps you know intellectually that Jesus was God who become flesh, who came to Earth (John 1:1, 14).
Many know intellectually that Jesus was crucified for the forgiveness of man’s sins and rose from the dead to show that God endorsed all that happened. After his resurrection Jesus presented himself alive to the world, so everyone could understand that he did not merely bring a dead religion but a faith that brings us alive with the power and presence of God.
Christianity is a living faith, with a living God and Living Lord who comes to live in us through his living Spirit. Therefore, our faith is to be a living faith, as we connect our lives to the Living God.
Consider the words of Jesus in John 14:23 (ESV): Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”
Living faith is a faith that connects you with Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit. Faith in a living God brings life—a whole new kind and quality of living. Jesus is the Living Bread from heaven, who gives eternal life to those who commit themselves and partake of him (cf. John 6:51).
Jesus is the Living water, so that whoever drinks of him will live forever and never thirst again (cf. John 4:10). As Christians we are to present our bodies to God as living sacrifices, which is our spiritual duty (Rom. 12:1). We are to live for Christ and to carry out his will, and not merely to live to satisfy our selfish wants.
We have been made alive in Christ to be living proof of the transforming power of Jesus in our human lives.
For many years I believed Jesus was who he said he was, that he did what he said he’d do, that he raised from the dead, and that because of faith in him, when I died I would be in heaven with Jesus. But my faith was dead.
Then one day I surrendered my life to Jesus, asked for his forgiveness, and yielded my life to him to use daily in any way he chose. My life came alive, my faith became a living faith, and now God is living in me every day, through his indwelling Holy Spirit.
Is your faith a dead faith? Has it made any change in your life? Or is your faith a living faith which is alive, moving, and active on God’s behalf?
Is the life you are now living an expression of your love for God and Jesus? Is your faith a dead faith, or a living faith?
If the answer is a dead one, why don’t you choose a living faith today?