But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as firstfruits to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Thessalonians 2:13,14
The Gift of Faith
How does a person become a Christian? Do they need to have an emotional experience in a worship service? Do they need to have all their questions answered? Do they become Christian after they see good examples of other believers?
Those experiences can be important turning points that lead people to be open in hearing the message of Jesus. But one of Jesus’ followers, a man named Paul, said that Christians are made through the “sanctifying work of the Spirit.” That means God, the Holy Spirit, works in a person to want to know and believe in Jesus.
A great Christian reformer named Martin Luther had a tremendous experience that opened him up to the Gospel. But when he explained how a person comes to faith, he didn’t focus on the outward experience. He said it was through the work of God on the inside.
Luther wrote, “I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel…”
That’s why Christians ought to be the humblest people on the planet. Christians don’t come to believe in Jesus as their Savior because of their own intelligence or worthiness. They are not better than anyone else. God, the Holy Spirit, gave them the gift of faith through his mighty power.
If you call yourself a Christian, live a life of humility and thankfulness. If you are still struggling to believe, I pray that the Holy Spirit would move you to see Jesus as your God and Savior.
Holy Spirit, work in my heart to trust that what you tell me in your Word, the Bible, is true, especially when you tell me that Jesus is my one and only Savior and hope for eternal life with you. Amen.
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