Faith in Christ is not without a price
Published 2:48 pm Friday, June 2, 2006
We want Jesus Christ to be “mainstream,” to enhance our life. We do not want faith to cost us in any way, so we seek out a Jesus that fits our needs.
The chorus that says, “Celebrate Jesus, Celebrate” could more honestly reflect our hearts if it said, “Fabricate Jesus, Fabricate.”
The Jesus Christ of the Bible gets lost in modern-day movements that build organizations on a Jesus Christ they fabricate.
The writer of the New Testament epistle to the Hebrews challenges the cheap faith of our day which demands no repentance, no turn to holiness and purity, when he says in chapter 13, verses 8-9, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by grace.”
How do you establish your heart with grace? Grace is God's provision for everything. Grace is given to people who declare they need it.
James, chapter 4, verse 6, declares, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
A proud person demands God on their terms. They want to look good, to be revered for their faith, etc., but grace comes to the broken ones, those who through travail come to Christ as a result of the conviction and drawing of the Holy Spirit of God.
It is stated also in the epistle to the Ephesians, chapter 2, verses 8-9, “By grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” The ground is level at the cross.
Hebrews continues in chapter 13, verses 12-13, “Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach.” The grace that saves us is the grace that keeps us.
Did that tax collector in Luke, chapter 18, verses 9-14, ever lift his head in the presence of Jesus Christ? I think not; otherwise, he would have sunk to the depths of the self-righteous Pharisee, who thought he had something to recommend himself to God.
If we are going to live in the resurrection power of Jesus Christ, we must die to ourselves through the power of the cross.
Jesus often spoke to His disciples regarding the price of their faith. In the gospel of Matthew, chapter 16, verses 24-25, Jesus said, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”
Faith in Jesus Christ has a price. If the faith you profess has cost you nothing, it is probably not worth much.
Many people claim a private faith before God, but never participate in fellowship and interaction with the saints because of past hurt, disillusionment, etc., or they are mere spectators at times in a church service. The faith they claim is based on pride and self-protection and is not faith at all.
So it is time for a little introspection. Paul said in 2 Corinthians, chapter 13, verse 5, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?-unless indeed you are disqualified.”