Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Progression of Faith to Boldness

Calvin has been a rich read for me during 2011. I’m spending December reading through Calvin’s commentary on Ephesians, and I found a helpful nugget in the middle of his treatment of chapter 3, commenting on verse 12. “Faith produces confidence, which again, in its turn, produces boldness.”
Calvin’s comments force our attention to the problem of a non-growing, non-progressing faith. It is a faith that is moribund and stagnant. Calvin says that “an empty and confused knowledge of Christ must not be mistaken for Faith.” True faith will not allow us to sit still. It drives us forward.
“There are three stages in our progress:"

"First, we believe the promises of God;"
"next, by relying on them, we obtain that confidence which is accompanied by holiness and peace of mind;"
"and, last of all, comes boldness, which enables us to banish fear, and to come with firmness and steadiness into the presence of God.”
We have spent time recently at the close of 2 Peter with the mini-series entitled, “Living in the Light of Promise.” We must know, and then meditate upon, and believe the promises. But God’s Word must also be obeyed. We are not relying on the promises (stage 2) if we are living in disobedience and unholiness. There is no peace, or confidence, for the person living in sin. The life of obedience will result in the fruit of boldness.
We do not live in a bold age when it comes to faith. Yes, men are bold about their accomplishments or agendas, but not, in general, about their faith. The defect must come in lack of progression. We are failing to focus on the promises. Our lives are riddled with sin and shame. When confidence is shaken, boldness is impossible.
Let us repent, and come back to Christ. Let us embrace the Promise that is Jesus, and leave our sins behind. Let us lean on him and learn from him, and walk with him, and step forward in boldness to share the greatness of God and beauty of Christ.

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