Saturday, June 16, 2007

I was recently at an event when I heard a speaker say this phrase, “God believes in you.” At that point in the message I was listening, but now my ears really perked up. I listened as he continued to expound on his idea of God believing in me. Moreover, he ended his message by saying this exact phrase, “My faith in God is a reflection of God’s faith in me.” Thus, do I believe in God because God first believed in me?

Is this a truth that the Scriptures teach? This is what the question must boil down to. Forget psychology. Forget the feel-good ideologies. Forget the subjective seeker-friendly statements. We must ask, does this phrase align itself with the teaching of the Word of God?

The answer: No.

We must begin with a simple and clear-cut definition of what it means for God to believe in me. If you take the idea of “belief” here to mean that God loves me, or that he entrusts certain things to my care, then sure, God believes in me.

But this is NOT what the biblical definition of faith is. BDAG defines pistis (the Greek word for “faith” or “belief”) as “a state of believing on the basis of the reliability of the one trusted; trust, confidence; faith." If we try and take this biblical definition of belief, then God certainly does NOT believe in me. He does not hope in me on the basis of my reliability. I have no reliability. Neither do you. Neither does any other human being on the face of the earth. Why? We are sinners. We are not sinners because we sin. Rather, we sin because we are sinners.

Listen to the testimony of Isa 43:10:

Isaiah 43:10 10 "You are My witnesses," declares the LORD, "And My servant whom I have chosen, In order that you may know and believe Me, And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me.

This verse certainly gives no hint of God hoping in us. Rather, we are to hope in God for he alone is worthy of all hope and trust.

Furthermore, 1 John 5:13 says a similar truth:

1 John 5:13 13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life.

So we must recognize that biblical speaking, God does not hope in me. But now the question is begged…WHY?

Simple. Because we totally depraved. This does not mean that human beings are as bad as they could be. Rather it means that every aspect of every human being’s life is somehow and in some way tainted by sin. That’s it. God has no reason to hope in us. He cannot hope in us. For God to hope in us would infer that God is lacking in something and must hope in us to fulfill something that he cannot fulfill in and of himself.

If God were to really believe in me, then that would give the intimation that I have something good in me. And that is absolutely false – biblically speaking. Of course, after a person is regenerated and “born again,” then the “old nature has passed away and the new nature has come” (2 Cor 5:17). But even then, every single iota of “goodness” a person has at that time is all because of Christ.

I am convinced that I am such a wretched sinner that there is no good in me in and of myself. Anything good that ever comes from Geoffrey R. Kirkland is all an evidence of the grace of God to bring Him glory.

So I come back to the question at hand, “Does God Believe In You?” No. Read the Scriptures. Search them. Study them. Meditate on them. But you will NOT find a single passage hinting that God is believing in you to do something for His gain or personal benefit – as if he needed anything (Acts 17:25).

Let us be warned how we read and understand the Scriptures. Hear King David’s words:

Psalm 24:1-6 The earth is the LORD's, and all it contains, The world, and those who dwell in it. 2 For He has founded it upon the seas, And established it upon the rivers. 3 Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? And who may stand in His holy place? 4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood, And has not sworn deceitfully. 5 He shall receive a blessing from the LORD And righteousness from the God of his salvation. 6 This is the generation of those who seek Him, Who seek Thy face-- even Jacob. Selah.


your wifey ;-) said...

Wow, Honey! You made so many GREAT points... I love the fact that you brought out our depravity & discussed God's self-sufficiency. Those 2 points alone are enough to refute the speakers man-centered arguments, but all of the other information was really helpful too just in filling-in the "theological gaps" between the 2 points. You did a GREAT job!!! I only wish that the hundreds of students, to whom the speaker was addressing, would have been able to hear these points as well :-/



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