March 21: The Life of Faith Is the Life of Beholding Christ.

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Sorry Elle, our faith should never be placed in ourselves, and our faith should never be placed in our own faith. Faith is not something that we muster up from inside of ourselves. Rather, what is inside of us is Christ’s life, and our faith is in that life.

2 Corinthians 3:18. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

Faith is beholding. It’s trusting in something (or someone) beyond yourself.

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There’s an Old Testament story that illustrates this in Numbers 21. The Israelites are in the wilderness and complaining about life, and Moses, and God and everything, so God plagues them with serpents (by the way, grumbling is the opposite of faith). And as the people repent, God tells Moses what to do:

Numbers 21: 8-9. And the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.

Jesus will use this same story to explain faith to Nicodemus in John 3.

John 3:14-15. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

The people had to look at something outside of themselves to live, the bronze serpent. And we too have to look beyond ourselves to Christ in order to live day by day. Christians often say, “If only I had more faith.” Or they pray for increased faith. But the answer isn’t in placing faith in our faith. Remember the Tozer quote from yesterday– faith is like the eye that sees everything but itself. We don’t need more faith, we need to behold Christ more. The life of faith is the life of beholding Christ. This means that “to live is Christ” is about a life of this beholding faith. And what exactly are we beholding? Well we are not talking about seeing something physical.

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Our “beholding” of Christ is a spiritual exercise whereby we place our trust in our already accomplished union with Christ. To behold Christ is to see my life joined with his by the power of the Spirit. And, like we said yesterday, it is believing that my union with Christ, by the once for all sacrifice of Christ, is everything I need for life and godliness.

 

 

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