He intended all along to provide a substitute—a stand-in sacrifice that He would accept as payment in full.
The concept of faith is woven through the pages of Scripture and is essential to a personal relationship with God. In fact, “without faith, it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6 NIV). It is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8-9) and not only is it necessary for salvation it is part of our daily walk and warfare as believers (Ephesians 6:16).
Contrary to popular Christian opinion, the Bible neither exhorts us to have childlike faith nor does it tell us to believe as children believe. The idea that we are to have childlike faith is an incorrect inference based on several passages of Scripture. “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it” (Mark 10:14-15; Luke 18:15-17 NIV).
These passages don’t tell us what receiving the kingdom of God like a little child means so it is wrongly assumed to be referring to the faith of a child. In Matthew 18:2-4 Jesus spells out what He means. “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
Our goal as believers is not childlike faith. Instead it is to grow to be “mature and complete, not lacking anything" (James 1:4).
So, how does one become real—anchored to the Rock but geared to the times, successful at relating what doesn’t change to what does? I offer three suggestions.
To go somewhere new, of course, it’s necessary to know where we are.
When we encounter trials we tend to see them in a negative way. But Christians have the opportunity to view them in the biblical frame of God’s redemptive work.
Our Lord is full of surprises! His leading includes twists, turns, ups, downs, potholes, and drop-offs, which shake us up. The fact we can rarely guess the ultimate destination only adds to the adventure.
Something down inside us admires a person who stretches our faith by doing things that are filled with vision. Initially such actions might appear to be foolish. That occurs when we don't know the facts behind the action.
Every day of your life you are called on to make decisions. Some are minor while others are life changing. Your goal in any decision-making scenario should be to make the wisest decision possible.
Following Christ ought to come with a warning label: Christianity is a battleground, not a playground.
As followers of our Lord, we believe He leads us in a certain direction in pursuit of a precise goal. His leading is unmistakably clear. Not necessarily logical or explainable, but clear.