Howzat?

There’s something funny going on here and I don’t find it funny. Tell her to drive up the drive.

You probably understand those two sentences even though the word, funny, and the word, drive, are used in two different ways.  But sometimes word meanings are more ambiguous. Such is the case with the word, faith.

The word, faith, can refer to a set of beliefs: Keep the faith. The same word can refer to a personal decision to trust: Have faith. If you told me that you were a surgeon I may have faith that you are telling me the truth. If I need surgery, and trust you to cut me open to make changes inside me, that’s a different kind of faith..

The Christian faith is a body of beliefs.  You can casually subscribe to this set of beliefs with no big change in your life. But when someone decides to surrender to Jesus, he or she is exercising the second kind of faith. It is this type of faith that comes with new, eternal life, the life of the Holy Spirit.

This active kind of faith was in mind when Paul wrote:

For this reason, when I could endure it no longer, I also sent to find out about your faith, for fear that the tempter might have tempted you, and our labor would be in vain.” ( 1 Thessalonians 3:5 )

But then, after acknowledging that their faith is in good shape, that they are truly alive in Christ, he adds this thought:

“… we night and day keep praying most earnestly that we may see your face, and may complete what is lacking in your faith?”
.. ( 1 Thessalonians 3:10 )

Which makes no sense unless he is talking about the body of their beliefs that make up the faith.

I know, maybe you weren’t really worried about that this morning. But my prayer is you have faith.  And keep the faith.

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