This is a simple question…deceptively simple.
How do you answer it?
Here are some scenarios.
You had a traumatic event and as you worked through it, you saw the hand of God working with you through the event? God was in the drama. You think you felt His presence.
You are a church-going person who was always taken to church by your parents. You got baptized as a baby or when you became old enough [depends on your denomination]. You always were told that you have to go to Sunday School and you did. You became a regular church attender and you are taking your family to church now.
You are a successful person and you know that “certain” people attend a “certain” church. You know it helps your business prospects to “rub shoulders” with others who are important people in the community so you go to church to help your business. That seems ok; God does not frown on success.
You started going to church because it was expected by the group of people you were running with. All your friends attend and they all volunteer in the church. In fact, your group is the “cool” group in the church, always pitching in, especially with youth activities. It makes you feel good to be a part of something good like this. Surely God likes this.
Ok, you have been identified by others as being a Christian but here’s that question again, “How did you get your faith in God?” Do you realize that an unbeliever may ask you that because they think you know the answer to that question.
What would these four people mentioned above say?
I feel God worked in my life as I had a horrible upset. He exists because I felt Him.
I was told God existed all along by my church– going parents. I am just doing what I was told to do.
Everyone else who is important in my community goes to church so God must be there. They get something out of it. I want to get something out of going to church too [they won’t admit that they are there for getting business contacts].
God is in the service we do at Church. I enjoy being with my friends and we enjoy helping others, especially the youth. It is in service to God that I feel God exists. [And being with my friends is nice too.]
“Ok, ok but how did you get your faith in God?”
Are you in the same boat with these four people? Are you having a hard time articulating a really good answer to the “faith” question?
Josh McDowell is a Christian writer who thinks like our author, that a question like “how did you get your faith in God?” requires a good answer. McDowell believes that the “Christian needs to have truth on his side; that just acceptance of the Christian faith on authority is not enough. The heart alone is not enough to convince a person to really believe; the intelligent use of evidence is necessary for a person to make a meaningful commitment.”
Do you have evidence that is convincing?
Can you articulate that evidence?
Bruce Bickel and Stan Jantz have written a user-friendly little book called Sharing Your Faith. In the book they say that it is important to take what you have been given and share it with others. For some, there needs to be an honest examination of what they have been given before it can be shared. Whether it is through some personal drama, parents taking you to church, your personal success plan or just trying to be in the cool group, ask yourself what being a Christian means?
For some, it means God has saved you from your sin because you believe. We are in need of “saving” because we have this penchant to sin that goes back to the Garden of Eden. Ephesians 2:8 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.”
When you find yourself being a believer, this is the gift that you get. You can’t take credit for it. It is God’s gift and as a Christian, we are supposed to be able to share the gift. Bickel and Jantz say that a gift always has its benefits, it suggests a personal connection between the recipient of the gift and the giver, and when you get a gift, you should want to share it with others.
“How did you get your faith in God?”
What would you say?
I guess I have faith.
I must have it; I have felt it.
I have been in church all my life; I must have it.
Everyone important goes to church; that must mean that we have faith somewhere in that church.
Helping others shows faith; we do that. We have faith.
How about, I know I sin. I know I need something to help me with this sin problem or I am going to experience a physical and spiritual death. I need a Savior. Jesus actually came to earth to show me that living a life devoted to God is the best thing I can do to help with this sin problem. Jesus showed me that there is life after death and I want to follow Him to heaven. I have accepted Him as my Savior.