Oh To Be Wise Meditations
When Jesus said to certain people, “Your faith has made you well,” He was saying that their faith and confidence in Him had been the means of their restoration. The power of Christ was what effected the cure, but His power was applied in connection with their faith. Just as the faith of some enabled them to receive healing, so healing was sometimes stymied by a lack of faith. In the same way, salvation comes to a sinner through faith. Everyone who is saved must believe, but it is the power of Christ that saves, not the power of faith. Faith is only the instrument and not the power itself. Interestingly, the ingrafting of the gentiles really shows how faith is only an instrument and not a means to get things from God. “Well,” you may say, “those branches were broken off to make room for me.” Yes, but remember—those branches were broken off because they didn’t believe in Christ, and you are there because you do believe. So don’t think highly of yourself, but fear what could happen.
For if God did not spare the original branches, he won’t spare you either. Notice how God is both kind and severe. He is severe toward those who disobeyed, but kind to you if you continue to trust in his kindness. But if you stop trusting, you also will be cut off. And if the people of Israel turn from their unbelief, they will be grafted in again, for God has the power to graft them back into the tree. You, by nature, were a branch cut from a wild olive tree. So if God was willing to do something contrary to nature by grafting you into his cultivated tree, he will be far more eager to graft the original branches back into the tree where they belong. I want you to understand this mystery, dear brothers and sisters, so that you will not feel proud about yourselves. Some of the people of Israel have hard hearts, but this will last only until the full number of Gentiles comes to Christ. I hope that helps a little to understand the mystery of faith. We must grow in relationship with Jesus so that we are truly grafted into a real tree of faith. We like to be that lone branch on the ground that wants to bear fruit. But our power, our sanctification, does not come from our amount of faith. Nor does a lack of faith disqualify us, if we believe again God will have us and renew our faith in him always. Faith is an instrument, let God lead you to Himself.
Meditate Matt. 13:58