Fulton County Gospel News

a work of the mammoth spring church of christ


A faith of their own

By David Harris

There comes a time in all of our lives that we need to believe something because we find it to be true. Many Christians are Christians because of the upbringing of their faithful parents. This is both good and right. We are admonished by the Word to teach our children (Ephesians 6:4; Deuteronomy 4:9), and bring them to a knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4). When one is taught the truth, so he can be saved, then that person must be able to see for himself the truth that will save him. This is a time in our lives when "we" must become the "they" we have been relying on all of our lives. In other words we must grow up spiritually (1 Peter 2:2).

In John 4, after Jesus had His conversation with the woman at the well, she was convinced that He was the promised Christ (verse 29). She immediately went and shared this valuable information with the men of the city with whom she came in contact. Because of this woman's willingness to share this good news, "Many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman which testified, He told me all that ever I did" (verse 39). These Samaritans were not satisfied with a belief based on the report of the woman only; they wanted a faith of their own. Here is a perfect example of how our faith grows (Romans 10:17). The text next tells us that the Samaritans "besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days" (John 4:40). One can only imagine how great it would be to listen to the Savior of the world in a setting such as this. What all did Jesus tell them? Did He tell them of His fulfillment of prophecy? Or did He tell them of the new covenant that was "at hand"? We can only imagine. One thing we do know is that His Word caused them to have faith; "And many more believed because of his own word" (4:41). This growth in their faith caused confidence, trust, courage, and hope in their own salvation. We know this by their own words; "And they said unto the woman, now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ the Savior of the world" (4:42). These individuals now had a faith of their own, based on God's Word, not the word of someone else.

When we study God's Word we not only increase our faith, we gain confidence in what we believe, trust in what we know, gain courage in our ability to share this same good news with others, and most of all we obtain the "grace and peace" that is multiplied unto us through the "knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord" (2 Peter 1:2). No one can do it for us. We must increase our faith by our own diligent effort, through God's inspired Word.

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