"Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." -Heb 11:1
To be perfectly honest, the colossal implications of a "saving" faith has never quite sat right with me. Not that I deny the existence of it - I find the concept of faith to be a very beautiful, very inspiring thing. What really has always seemed strange to me is that Faith seems to take precedence over the incredible work and power of Christ.
Faith is a powerful thing, and I have been coming to realize this in the last few years. What really freaks me out is that we are saved through faith in Christ, not merely through the work of Christ himself. This is a powerful distinction. As if the work of Christ on the cross wasn't enough, there is something extra which is needed. It is incredible to me that Christ carried out the ultimate sacrifice - that thousands of years of history accumulated into a single moment in time which is so significant for me and for everybody else that I know, that there was such a master plan in the works being so carefully unfolded, that this great, amazing thing happened - death was conquered, my redemption and the redemption of countless others was carried out. And that, even though all of this incredible mind-blowing things happened, they really add up to nothing if I choose not to believe in it.
Why does the work of Christ become nullified in my life only because I choose not to believe in it?*
It is something that I have been pondering for awhile. I don't have many good answers. But my pondering on this subject has opened up a new beauty and appreciation which I have for the subject of and implications of faith.
Faith is such a powerful thing. On numerous occassions, Jesus credits his ability to perform miracles to the faith of the individal (Luke 7:50, Luke 17:19, etc.). It blows me away that Christ becomes literally powerless in situations due to the lack of faith of those around him (Mark 6:5). It seems wrong that such a small insignificant detail would disarm the Son of God.
But these verses show that something significant and somewhat unseen is happening here. There is something very significant and very powerful about faith. Faith can move mountains (Matthew 17:20). Faith can heal (Matthew 9:22). And, perhaps most importantly, faith can save (Luke 7:50).
That's cool. But I still don't get it. :-)
*these two sentences are, obviously, very simplified statements whose ramifications could be argued against very intelligently. "Nullify" could be considered a bit erronnous and dramatic. But, for the sake of simplicity and ease-of-reading, I have worded it this way in order to exemplify my main point - the power of the cross is at least significantly disabled in a context where faith is absent.