Friday, November 30, 2012

The Life of Faith (Central Things, Part 4)

"The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them the light has shined. [...] For unto us a child is born. Unto us a son is given...." Is. 9:2, 6

To the law and to the testimony, said the Lord, and those who do not walk by them are one with the dark. But there was a new light coming, a living light. Not just illumination, but He who illumines (John 1:4, 9; 12:46). Not just truth, but He who is true (John 14:6). Not just a word, but the Word made flesh (John 1:1, 14). The Eternal-Speak of God made His dwelling among us, and what can we say to this? What words can we find to comprehend this Word? None, except that nothing like this has ever happened before. God has not simply spoken: His very Speech has spoken.

Our faith is not built upon pleasant phrases or static objects but this living Light, a Light ravenous against the impotent dark (John 1:5), a Light come to free captives (Luke 4:18-21), heal the sick (Matt. 8:14-17), and call sinners to repentance (Matt. 9:12-13). This Light has really done these things, with real hands and real mouth from a real body, and it is to this Light, to this raised brazen serpent fresh from the furnace, that we must cast our weary eyes. God has called us to believe, to believe in Him, to believe in what He has said, and here is what He has said: "This is my beloved Son; listen to Him" (Mark 9:7).

So here is the center of faith: not dead words but the living Word; not dead light but the living Light; not dead principles but a living Person. This is salvation: our faith has found a resting place in the Light. And this is damnation: the Light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the Light (John 3:19). We must keep the eyes of our heart always steady on that center: believe God, believe what He has said, and believe what His Son has said. It is that simple. It is that hard. But it is the way of abundant life.

-Jon Vowell (c) 2012

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