The god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from clearly seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is God’s image… For the God who said, “Light will shine out of darkness,” is the same one who made light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the person of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:4,6 EHV)
Your faith—who gets the credit for it? Is it your parents, who brought you to the baptismal font, taught you had to pray, brought you to worship, Sunday school and the like? Is it a teacher, Sunday school teacher, or pastor who baptized you, taught you God’s Word and impressed upon you the importance of living a Christian life? Or is it yourself—perhaps you became a believer later on in life; you decided to learn more of God’s Word, attend classes, and worship more often.
So, who gets the credit for your faith? All three options make sense, at least to some extent. There are many who talk about faith being the result of a decision that they made, or saying that you have to “accept Jesus into your heart.” Others will talk about some sort of “conversion experience” during which their lives were greatly affect and they then made the conscious decision to “turn my life over to Jesus.” The problem with such teachings is that it makes faith, and thus also our salvation, reliant on a decision someone made—it means that you are saved in part by what you do.
Since we were born spiritually dead in our trespasses we are not able to do anything spiritually—we cannot obey God’s commands, we can’t save ourselves, and we cannot chose to believe. If they choice was up to us, we’d never choose to believe and follow our sinful nature’s enemy. In verse 4 above Paul explains that the devil (“the god of this age”) has blinded us from clearly seeing the gospel of Christ. This is true to the extent that the gospel is foolishness to those who are perishing.
So who gets the credit for your faith? God does. He is the one who worked through the gospel to bring to faith and keep you in that one true faith. Sure, he does use means—the gospel in Word and Sacrament; and he has servants as human instruments who use those means; but it is God who is doing the work. He works through parents, pastors, teachers and others as they shares the gospel. So those who share the Word with us, brought us to the baptismal font, etc. don’t get the credit—they didn’t do the work of bringing you to faith. God does!
The same God who created the entire world in six days by just his voice is the same one who created faith in your hearts. You were blinded to the gospel; but now you see Christ as true God and the world’s one and only Savior. God shines the light of the gospel in our hearts! And through faith in him, you receive the salvation that he one for you. You have been saved by God’s grace, received through faith—also a gift of God! To him alone be the glory.
Bible Study Opportunities:
Our Last Monday class will be this coming Monday—June 11th. We will then be on a break for the summer. Our Tuesday and Sunday classes are currently on a break for the summer. However, this doesn’t mean that our time in God’s Word should slow-down or cease completely. We strong encourage you to dive deeper into God’s Word yourselves this summer, whether that is reading your Bible, a devotional book, or some other doctrinally sound book on God’s Word. Feel free to ask Pastor Frey or Pastor Gartner for any tips or suggestions.
We are currently in our Summer Schedule: Sunday worship at 8:00am and 10:00am. Monday worship at 6:30pm
Wartburg Project Update:
The Wartburg Project is a group of WELS and ELS pastors and professors who have been working on the Evangelical Heritage Version, the translation of the Bible we are currently examining during our worship services. Click on the following link to see their June update.