Sunday, May 27, 2012

Starting to Believe

How does one become a "Christian"  - one who is committed to following Christ? Is there some point between not being a Christian and being one, a space of time where the crossover is made?  For some perhaps this happens rapidly, for others more slowly.  But how does it happen?  (Isn't that what we'd really like to know?)

I found something Piper said regarding how one comes to trust in the truth of the Bible to be helpful.    He distinguishes between God "'telling us' that the Bible is true" and "enabling us to see what is really there."  He writes,
The practical effect of this path is that I do not ask you to pray for a special whisper from God to decide if Jesus is real.  Rather I ask you to look at the Jesus of the Bible.  Look at him.  Don't close your eyes and hope for a word of confirmation.  Keep your eyes open and fill them with the full portrait of Jesus provided in the Bible.  If you come to trust Jesus Christ as Lord and God, it will be because you see in him a divine glory ad excellence that simply is what it is - true. (Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ, p.121)
This does not diminish the work of the Holy Spirit, who helps us see this truth.  It does speak against the idea that we should pray for some sign or magical change in ourselves that will make us all of a sudden believe in something that a logical person would find unbelievable.  You don't trust and follow someone unless you know them; you don't know them unless you take the opportunities to do so.

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This applies to those of us who already profess to follow Christ.  Are we truly looking at Christ, and expecting to see ever more?  The Holy Spirit does the work of helping us see, but do we allow Him to do so?  This is a challenge to me to really hunger to know Christ more.

Does this resonate with you?  Is what Piper says helpful?


  1. This is very helpful -- thanks for posting Bethany! I think we often wait for a magical moment of truth, but the only way to see God is like Piper said, to open our eyes and look! Then wait for Him to work.

  2. This is really good. Really, really good.
    I must read more of this Piper. =)

  3. Thanks! I'm glad you both found it meaningful.

    As you probably already know, Piper is perhaps even a better speaker than a writer and his sermons can be listened to at or via podcast. Sometimes I don't have time to read another book but I do have time to listen to a sermon while driving or doing something else. :)