St. Paul's Lutheran Church

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But Jesus on hearing this answered [Jairus], “Do not fear; only believe, and she will be well.” – Luke 8:50

Why was Jairus’ faith have such power? To say it simply, Jarius’ faith grabbed hold of Jesus’ words, “Do not fear, only believe, and she will be made well.” Jairus listened to the word of Christ and abided, because God cannot break His word!

By this example we have so much reason for believing in Christ and His Word. Not that faith is a great work that God rewards, or that faith earns something with God and makes us more worthy or more holy. To be sure, believers are just as unworthy and sinful as the most godless people of the world. So, why does faith in Christ result in such great changes in heaven and on earth and turn God’s anger into mercy and rescue the sinner from eternal death and deliver him to heaven? Why does faith in Christ make a sinner righteous and holy before God and create a new heart in him and fill him with the Spirit of God, with comfort and joy and peace and hope?

Because faith, this gift from God that comes by the Word of God, attaches itself and dedicates itself to the same Word of Christ and to Christ Himself! All that faith is and does belongs to Christ. It is not faith, in and of itself that saves, but salvation and all the gifts of God come through faith. A lamp can do nothing unless it receives power. Likewise, faith is nothing unless it clings to Christ who is the Light of the World.

In the Scripture, the natural man is described as a field of briar thorn, producing nothing of value. But the Word of God is designated as the seed from which healthy, bountiful, fruit-bearing branches grow. Faith receives the seed – the Word of Christ. Christ is the Vine and believers are the branches. Faith grafts a person into Christ and binds them both together as one body. It is not faith that does this, but it is Christ being grasped through faith.

A person who claims to have faith yet cannot or refuses to overcome his sin or the sin of the world and its allurings is not connected to the Lifeblood and Light, is not connected to Christ. They remain as they always were, enslaved to their passions and worshipers of the world. It’s not that they have true faith but simply lack in sanctification, but it is that they lack true faith! They have an imagined faith. By God’s mercy, may they fall before Christ as the poor, faithless sinners they are, repent, and beseech Him to work true saving faith.

For true faith ALWAYS leads to sanctification and good works. For where the light and lifeblood of Christ flows into the ingrafted branches, into those who are truly part of Him and He of them, that light and lifeblood not only covers their sin and makes them children of God and instills joy, peace, and hope, but it also sanctifies them, drawing them away from the passions and desires of the flesh and from the allurings of the fallen world and onward to be imitators of Christ.

Heavenly Father, by Your Word, put to death in me any false faith which refuses to abide in Your light, and bring me instead to the truth faith which holds fast to Your Word, abides in Your Son, fills me with joy, peace, comfort, and hope, and draws me to live a life pleasing to You. In name of Jesus, my Lifeblood, amen.