|The Garden Tomb. Jerusalem|
We've looked at how faith operates in life. We also looked at how the Bible itself gives us the example of investigating its claims. Luke 1:1-4 for example " Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word.With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, " However faith THAT something is true is not the same as faith IN it. I believe THAT the RMS Queen Mary 2 is and ocean going ship. I have never put my faith IN the QM2 to actually take me across the sea.
John 1:11-12 "He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God." John makes these observations about the Jewish people living in Judea at the time of Jesus. Jesus, the Jew, came to his own people and was only received by a comparative few. We might not talk much about "receiving" people these days, unless we happen to live in a modern "Downton Abbey," but we can understand that these people welcomed him into their homes (Or potentially synagogues, although that usually didn't go so harmoniously.) They also listened to his teaching and accepted it as true. They believed he was who he claimed to be. We can likewise take the time to read his teachings (We cannot physically entertain Jesus in our homes but we can receive Him in His word,) and conclude that they are true, that he is who he claims to be. To use the analogy from before, this takes us to the dockside and provides us with a ticket, the right to board and trust the ship to transport us. "He gave [them] the right to become children of God." Just having a right is not enough, you have to exercise it if you want the benefits.
The Christian faith is anchored in a historical event, the death and resurrection of Jesus. We can look at the historical, archaeological, philosophical, textural or whatever-al evidence for this physical event. We can be convinced of the truth of it, but when we put our faith IN Jesus and what he achieved there a spiritual transaction takes place. That can't happen if we don't believe His Word, and won't happen if we don't act on His Word.