Food for Friday

But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost. Jude 20

During a brisk period of city restoration in Saint John some 25 years or more ago, work on the waterfront included construction of a new hotel. The plan was to have it actually overlooking and overhanging the edge of the harbour. However, when the construction began, a serious flaw was discovered in the plans: the foundation for the harbour side of the hotel began to sink, and the work was actually on an angle. It was discovered there was no solid footing for a tall building at that location. Instead of scrapping the plans or moving elsewhere, the builders brought in huge pile drivers and sank piles until they reached solid rock. Construction proceeded. The handsome hotel still stands there, with no evidence of any tilt. And it should be fine for a long time, because it has been built up on a solid foundation. Our Christian lives are like that, they are built on a solid and firm foundation that can never fail.

I hadn’t noticed it before, but our text does not say we built up our faith. No. It says we build up ON our most holy faith. Just as the hotel was built up on the bedrock and the deeply-sunk piles, so too is our life built on something that is far deeper and more abiding than our own little experiences and abilities. We do not hold ourselves up. We do not generate our own support and sustaining abilities. It is the most holy faith that God has placed under us that upholds us and prevents us from slipping into the sinful and defiling morass all about us. This faith can be called most holy because it is from the Lord Himself.

Some poor Christians around us have the sad notion that they must cling to their salvation or else lose it. Only a misreading of the Scriptures could lead them to such error. We are as unable to hold onto our salvation as we were to obtain it by own own power in the first place. We are assured that the most holy faith that we have received can never let us slip. We are told that it is on that faith that we live for God. The trial of our faith is more precious than perishing gold.

Never question the faith that God has given you, it is as solid as Himself. It is what we do on that faith that determines how mature and effective we are as Christians. -Jim MacIntosh

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