Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God. 1 Peter 1:21 (NIV).
Last time we talked about what the world would be like without Jesus. All we can assume is that it would be bleak, much different from what we know today (even on our world’s worst day, which is yet to come). A world without Jesus – a world without love, hope, justice, honor and so much more – would be a terrible nightmare in which to exist.
One thing we can know, however (because Peter’s words remind us): we wouldn’t be able to believe in God. There would be nothing to believe in because He is God. And it is only through Jesus that we have come to believe in God for it was only through Jesus that God sent the part of Himself who is His Holy Spirit. When we know Jesus, we do so because His Spirit first touched us. Yes, we choose to ultimately follow Jesus but that choice comes only after He, first, reached out to touch us in some way. When we grow in faith it’s because He started and is causing the growth. Think of us as good soil and Him as seed, light, air, and water. The growth happens because of Him, not us.
If you put your faith in other men, you aren’t putting your faith and hope in God. If you put your faith in Allah through Mohammed you aren’t putting your faith and hope in God. If you put your faith in your abilities, in chance, in your fortune (or what a fortune teller says), or in anything other than God, you aren’t putting your faith and hope in God.
Neither Allah nor a thousand Hindu gods raised themselves from death. No other man has ever done this. Our money, our possessions, our history all pass to others when we assume room temperature. Go check the tomb: Jesus isn’t there, because He rose from death then ascended into heaven later. Somewhere on this planet you will find the mortal remains of Mohammed, the Buddha, your ancestors, and eventually us. But Jesus isn’t here. He isn’t here because He said He wouldn’t be bound by death, and He wasn’t.
You and I can’t know this to be true if God Himself, through His Spirit-inspired Word, had not reached us in both spiritual and intellectual knowledge. He made it happen so the He could inspire it into our hearts and minds. You and I put our faith in the reliability and honesty of His Words. It’s true because He said it and made it so. It’s simply the truth.
For further reading: Romans 4:24, Philippians 2:7-9, Hebrews 2:9, 1 Peter 1:22
Lord Jesus, You and Your Word are the ultimate truth in our world. In this fallen place, they’re really the only reliable word. Thank You for inspiring them into my faith.