“Unbelief is at the bottom of all our staggerings at God’s promises,” wrote Matthew Henry.
He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God. . . (Romans 4;20)
The Creator of the Universe, of all that is, seen and unseen, offers righteousness to His creation; belief is what we offer to G-d. We offer belief in His miracles, His promises, His Resurrection of us. We do this because He offered Y’shuaJesus in redemption for our souls. Through Y’shuaJesus, and only through Y’shuaJesus,we begin a new walk, a new life.
Thus, successful living begins with a handshake with G-d through His Son Y’shuaJesus. G-d extended His hand first, and we must extent our hand to Him. As we grasp His hand, we receive His righteousness. As He grasps ours, He receives our belief. This begins our life as a Believing Person. It begins there and we grow in Him until the time of our bodies fail and our spirits, our soul, is taken to be with G-d in Heaven.
Thus, successful living ends in eternal life with the One Who created us in the first place. In between the initial handshake and our actual ascension to Heaven, we live a life on Earth often at odds with others who’ve not experienced, not grasped, the righteousness of Christ Jesus.
Paul Tripp, The Basics of Christianity, puts it this way, “true, biblical faith believes in the existence of God as Creator, Sovereign, and Savior, and results in a lifestyle of worshipful obedience, confident peace, and humble repentance.”
David Harding, Milnrow Evangelical Church (UK), expounds on what he sees as Five Pillars of Christianity that Believing People base there walk with Christ upon:
Justification. Justification by faith in Christ alone is the first pillar of true Christianity and true conversion.
Atonement. If we are to be saved, we need a Saviour. Only a sinless substitute can offer Himself to make an atonement by bearing the sinner’s guilt and punishment.
Inspiration. Holy men of God were carried along by the Holy Spirit. The 66 books of the Holy Scriptures are the only written, complete, eternal and sufficient revelation of God, His will and ways.
Trinity. There is only One Being that can be eternal, infinite, unchanging, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent and self-existing. The Bible teaches that the Father is God, the Son is God and the Holy Spirit is God. It teaches that the Father is not the Son and the Son is not the Spirit. It teaches there is only One who is God. Is it confusing, contradictory or incomprehensibly true?
Holiness. “If we are forgiven, it doesn’t matter how we live, does it?” The Bible teaches that salvation has two main aspects. There is forgiveness, and there is new life. God comes to live in the new and living heart of believer. The inevitable, though imperfect, outcome includes a new love for all that pleases God. That is what holiness is and it involves separation from sinful thoughts, words, attitudes and actions. It also includes growth in goodness and godliness.
Summing it up, as Paul Tripp wrote, “Our acceptance with God is based on his faithfulness towards us, not our faithfulness towards him! A [successful] lifestyle of true, biblical faith is not the grounds on which I’m accepted, but an invitation to a much better way of living!”
This “much better way of living” comes with hardships along with the inner peace granted by G-d’s righteousness. Immediately after Y’shuaJesus told His followers about loving one another, about growing and being fruitful in life, He said:
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my Father also.” (John 15:18-23)
Apostle John emphasized these words by also quoting Y’shuaJesus when he explained why He the warning:
“I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away. They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me. But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you. (John 16:1-4)
The simple fact is that our lives in Christ ARE successful regardless of what is thought of us by those who do not belief as we. When we stand, and we all will, before G-d, we have Y’shuaJesus that will claim His and welcome us into the Heavenly family.
Thank you Lord Y’shua. Praise You. Help us weather the storms of this world and glorify Your Name. AMEN.
Help us, LORD, to pray for the leaders of our nations, and the leaders of our congregations that meet in Your Name; to pray always for the Peace of Jerusalem; to keep upon our lips and hearts prayers for Your People, Jewish and Christian, who will be one people in You in Your time. AMEN