Mea culpa: in "The Reasonable Person- Due Process of Law, Logic, and Faith," I use the term "Christianspeak" to describe that unique language by Christians and for Christians. However, until you've been through it, the terminology isn't really relevant to you. It simply doesn't make a lot of sense.
"Trusting in Jesus" means that you trust in the gospel. More Christianspeak. The "gospel" (literally, the "good news") refers to the idea that in Jesus, God assumed human form. That alone is a pretty fantastic concept.
However, through Jesus, God did something even more incredible. Following the essential principle of Mosaic law, the blood sacrifice, God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for the sins of all of mankind- past, present and future.
I've heard it said that one drop of God's blood is worth an infinite number of human lives.
God became human and lived and worked among us. He healed us. He taught us how to live. And ultimately, he died, in order to bridge the chasm that mankind had created between itself and God, beginning with Adam. Jesus died for us.
God is perfect and we aren't. Despite the fact that God has given us everything we have, we want to go our own way. Like petulant children, we don't understand this basic concept. God is God; we are His creation. Something had to be done, in order to reconcile man and God forever. God did it Himself, through the sacrifice of his only son. That sacrifice assured eternal salvation for those of us who choose to accept it, through faith in Jesus' work on the cross.
When we "trust in Jesus," we accept the gospel and we decide to follow Jesus. Following Jesus means to live, as best as we can, like He did. It means to follow God.
Now, back to the question posited at the beginning of this blog post. Do you remember when you first made the decision to trust in Jesus? How old were you? What day was it? Was it winter or summer? Were you inside or outside? Were you in church? Or, were you at home, alone? Try to remember as much of the detail of that day as you can.
Think about what was going on in your mind. Perhaps you were at the end of your rope- feeling hopeless and with no way out. You made the decision because something inside you knew that Jesus was the only way out. Or, maybe you had studied the Bible for years and finally came to the conclusion that it was truth. You may have made the decision as a result of an evangelical message or invitation- a preacher or outreach minister described God's method of salvation to you and it simply resonated.
Whateve the circumstances, you made a decision. You decided that you needed salvation and you decided that Jesus was that salvation. You likely didn't have a lot of information upon which to base that decision. You stepped out in faith. It was a simple, child-like faith; a child who trusts daddy and does what daddy tells her to do, simply because he is "daddy."
Looking back now, that simple faith seems so incredible and yet powerful. You look at the result of that decision and the course your life has taken since. Chances are, you've had plenty of ups and downs. You may have begun your Christian journey in a very strong way, but now have drifted from that initial faith.
In Luke's gospel, a man tells Jesus that he will follow him, but he first needs to say good-bye to his family (Luke 9:61). Jesus replies that anyone who plows a field but keeps looking back is of no use to God.
Simply, God wants us to press on toward the goal.
Here's the moral to the story. Many of us take that first leap of faith. We trust in Jesus for our salvation. At that moment, we have complete faith in God.
But then, something happens. We let the living of our lives diminish our faith. We qualify our faith, based upon the events of our lives. We evaluate our future, based upon our past. We look back. This causes us to doubt. The bible is full of examples of what happens to people when they doubt. And it is full of examples of happens when we trust.
As a Christian, the evidence of my life is the most powerful evidence for why I believe what I believe. I trust in Jesus because he has proven to me, time and time again, that He can be trusted.
So the next time you are tempted to look back, look back instead to the moment you were saved. Think about the faith you had in Jesus at that moment.
There's reason you cannot have that same faith right now.