I’ve been studying on the necessity of faith and what things we need to believe in order to be saved. The essential nature of faith is crucial to us all. Paul says, “it’s by grace through faith” that we are saved. It’s the content of that faith I’ve been thinking about. The first two things I must believe are about God. Hebrews 11:6 sets those two out for us. The author says, “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” The two things about God are 1) That He exists, 2) that he is positively disposed towards me in a general way. If I seek God, He will show himself to me. If I draw near to God, He will draw near to me.

The thief on the cross who was saved at the last minute is instructional for us all. When the bad thief began to taunt Jesus, we read in Luke 40:43 that the good thief said “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” Don’t you fear God? Frequently we’re taught that the beginning of wisdom is “the fear of the Lord.” It begins with the recognition of our mortality. Everyone dies, and most people harbor a fear of death. That’s why the one thief asked the other why he was acting as if he didn’t fear death. What happens after death? Is there a better place waiting for us in the hereafter? The Secular humanism and naturalism that dominates the world today simply deny any life after death. The world at large promotes a hedonistic approach because “tomorrow we die.” They do not deny death, which would be ridiculous. They deny that there is anything after death.

Both the Old Testament and the New Testament affirm a time of judgment for our time on this earth after death. Daniel 12:2 says, “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” Hebrews 9:27 says, “…it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment…” Paul explains that our mortality is genetic! It’s because of our ancestry. It’s who we are related to that makes death our fate. It’s in 1 Corinthians 15:22 that Paul says, “Everyone dies because all of us are related to Adam, the first man.” But because God not only exists but is positively disposed towards us he offers us a chance to be born again into a new family with a new relationship with someone who has never sinned. The same verse goes on to say, “But all who are related to Christ, the other man, will be given new life.”

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23