(RE)UNION 9 of 10
Just a friendly reminder today that the biblical word for “faith” (pistis) is the same word for “faithfulness” (also pistis). We are saved by faith (trust) which will manifest itself in a lifelong committed love relationship (faithfulness).
It’s that way with any marriage isn’t it. When Nina and I were married, our vows to each other were a one time act of trust (faith), which means that we will now live in committed relationship for the rest of our lives together (faithfulness). As Christians, we are not just the “bride of Christ” as though we only need to have enough faith to make it to the altar and say our vows, have a party, cut a cake, throw a bouquet, remove a garter (I never understood that one), and take some really expensive pictures. We are also “the wife of the Lamb” (Revelation 21:9), that is, a people who are committed to a marriage and not just a wedding. Being a wife and not just a bride reminds us that we are now called to live out the life we have committed to.
But aren’t we saved by sheer grace, received by simple faith? Absolutely. Our faithfulness to God as our heavenly husband is not drudgery, not an added obligation that comes after salvation by grace alone and received by faith alone. Our faithfulness to God in response to his faithfulness to us is the very privilege and delight we signed up for in the first place. It’s all grace.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:8-10)
We are God’s works of art – but not art that sits still, like a sculpture; more like art that moves, like a dance. The very fact that we can participate in this glorious reality – faithfully living out the faith we have placed in Christ – is pure grace.
Let’s not be the kind of bride who only get married because we want the security of a celestial sugar daddy, but who have no intention of being actually engaged in a loving and faithful marriage. Who wants to spend the rest of their lives in a loveless marriage with a rich husband? Instead, let us see our greatest reward, our riches and security, as the love we get to live out every day in partnership with our heavenly husband who loves us and gave himself for us.
EXTRA NOTES ON CHAPTER 12
Q & EH?
- How much can you relate to having a “reflective mind”? How does this affect your spiritual life?
- Mark Twain said, “Faith is believing what you know ain’t so.” In other words, having faith is just playing pretend about spiritual things to comfort ourselves, when really we all know better. According to Jesus, what is the relationship between faith and reason?
- The biblical Greek work for “faith” (pistis) is the same word for “faithfulness” (also pistis). How does this inform our understanding of faith?
- Jesus encouraged potential followers to first count the cost to see if they were really ready for a life with Jesus (e.g., Luke 14:28-30). When a single person gets married, they give up a lot, but they give it up gladly to gain something greater. What are some things you know you would need to gladly give up to follow Jesus?
- Read: Ephesians 2:8-10.
- Think: God’s gift of salvation (grace) is accepted by simple trust (faith) which helps us become the “handiwork” (work of art) that God originally intended us to be.
- Meditate: I am God’s work of art.
THANK YOU for reading and commenting! I appreciate your feedback!