I keep hearing “crossing the line of faith.” That makes me wonder if they think faith is a line. Or that faith is an area.
Faith is a gift. The Bible has no references to faith being a line. I think I need a better understanding of what exactly this “line of faith” means. I’m pretty sure the answer would be “accepting Jesus Christ and entering salvation.”
However, I would say that faith is given to us and God enables us to have faith. Faith is not something we walk into. Faith is not our choice. Faith is not something we do to get.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
(Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV)
Paul T. McCain has a very good blog post about faith.
I have, over the years, talked to many Calvinists, in person and over the Internet. I always ask them, ?Do you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are among God?s elect and are saved?? There are generally two reactions to that question: (1) A long and rather painful pause after which they say, ?I hope I am. I do believe in Christ.? or (2) A quick, ?Yes, I believe in Christ.? Now, let?s be honest here and admit that many Lutherans would answer in somewhat the same way. But here is the problem.
If our confidence that we are saved is based on our feeling that we have faith, we will flounder. The answer we must always give to the question of ?Do you know you are saved?? is not, ?Yes, because I have faith? but rather, ?Yes, because Christ Jesus died for me? and of course, in my opinion, the very best answer of all is simply to point people to Luther?s explanation of the Creed and say, ?Here, this puts it very well.?
Never look to your subjective feeling that there is faith in your heart. Always, always, always, look to Christ and what He has done for you and the whole world. Do not confuse faith in faith, with trust in Christ. There is a key difference. If you believe you are a child of God because you feel you have faith, this is no better than the Mormon who tells you about the ?burning in his bosum? or the Muslim who tells you he feels the Koran is true, etc.
Salvation rests on objective realities that have absolutely nothing to do with feelings or emotions. Faith is merely and only the receiving hand God gives us and into which He pours His good gifts, it is not the cause of our salvation.
We are Christians, not Faith-ians.