Christians commonly emphasize ways that faith in Christ expresses itself. Talking about what faith accomplished is comfortable. Talking about faith's power is reassuring. We could easily compose a lengthy list of things that faith does.

Consider what faith in Jesus did not do. It did not cause the disciples to flee into the night when the soldiers arrested Jesus. It did not cause Peter to deny Jesus. It was not the reason that the Jewish counsel falsely convicted Jesus. It did not motivate Pilot to wash his hands of the situation. It did not create Jesus' abuse and mockery prior to his death. Faith did not nail Jesus to the cross and jeer as he died.

Faith did not cause Thomas to say, "I will not believe Jesus is alive unless I feel the wounds." It did not cause Ananias and Saphira to lie about their contribution. It did not create the accusations and dissension in the Jerusalem church regarding their benevolent program. It did not move Saul to hold the clothes of Stephen's executioners.

Faith did not cause the confusion about salvation in the church at Rome; or the division and ungodly behavior in the church at Corinth; or the acceptance of Jewish ritual over grace in the churches in Galatia; or the wrangling between Jewish and non-Jewish Christians at Ephesus; or the personality clashes in the church at Philippi; or the mixing of idolatry and Christianity in the church at Colossae; or the irresponsible, lazy behavior found among Christians in the church at Thessalonica.

But faith in Christ had the power to reverse any of those. It revitalized the disciples. It restored Peter. It converted some of those responsible for the crucifixion and placed them in the first church. It forgave Thomas. It gave Ananias and Saphira opportunity to confess and repent. It brought healing to the Jerusalem church. And it transformed Saul into the apostle Paul.

Through faith, all the problems in each of those churches could be reversed. The specific goal of the letter written to each church was to reverse their problems by maturing their faith in Jesus Christ.

The objective of faith in human life is to redirect. What has faith in Christ reversed and redirected in your life?

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 21 June 1998

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