February 08, 2023 – Wednesday
John 6:28-29 NIV
28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
John 6:28-29 NET
28 So then they said to him, “What must we do to accomplish the deeds God requires?”
29 Jesus replied, “This is the deed God requires—to believe in the one whom he sent.”
Yesterday, I commented on these two verses, with a focus on verse 29, which you may find here. However, a reader (a friend of mine) wrote in with some pertinent thoughts on what these verses confirmed for him. I would like to share some those thought with you now and then comment on them further:
This verse confirms what I have long believed, that faith is akin to the muscles of our body. A child is born with the muscles and nerves necessary for growth and maturity, the ability and coordination to learn various essential movements: walking, feeding, crying, sensing, etc. If something inhibits this process, the muscles will atrophy and become useless. When a person is born again by the Spirit, he or she receives the gift of faith, the ability to trust and wholly lean on Jesus. As a person exercises this faith, it becomes stronger and enables more faith (a gift of the Spirit), the progressive ability to trust God completely and die to self [in] a lifelong process.
There is much to agree with here and I really like his analogy to a newborn baby. However, when Jesus healed a man who had been an invalid for 38 years in John 5, the man was completely healed. Because he had been an invalid for 38 years his muscles had terribly atrophied, almost disappeared. Yet when Jesus told him in v8, Get up! Pick up your mat and walk, he got up and walked. If someone was healed today by modern technology after 38 years, there would be months if not years of physical therapy teaching a man to walk again. Yet when Jesus healed there was no recovery time, no physical therapy needed. The man was completely and totally healed, fully functional.
It was the same in Acts 14 when God, through Paul, healed a man who had been lame from birth. In verse 9 when Paul called out “Stand up on your feet!” At that, the man jumped up and began to walk. Again, there was no recovery time or physical therapy. This man had never stood on his two legs, yet somehow, he was able to jump up and then begin to walk! He did not have to learn to balance himself and then learn to walk. No, he jumped up and began to walk. This is beyond anything our modern miracle medicine can imagine.
Why these two examples? Because I believe when as the Pulpit Commentary told us, that to believe in the one he (the Father) sent, marks the simple fact and continuous act of believing with the effort tending to such result. To “believe on him,” is to habitually entrust one’s self to the power and grace of Christ, to make a full moral surrender of the soul to the Lord, includes in itself all other work, and is in itself the great work of God. The ability is there fully formed, fully capable and it is a miracle. But like the men healed by Jesus and through Paul, that which has been healed can from lack of use begin to atrophy. I believe it is the same with our faith. Through lack of exercise, it too can atrophy. Through use over time, it can become ever deeper and stronger. And in doing so, we become able to make a full moral surrender of the soul to the Lord.
Bottom Line: Let our faith work in our lives so extensively that we truly make a full moral surrender of our souls to the Lord.
Prayer: Almighty God, Heavenly Father, Help us to walk in our faith and live out our faith in such a way that we truly make a full moral surrender of our souls to the Lord. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton