“They said to the (Samaritan) woman, ‘We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.’” (John 4:42)
This is a beautiful verse on conversion. The Samaritan woman planted the seed of faith in Jesus by sharing with the people her experience with Jesus, and now that seed has grown into their own personal faith. Here are the two aspects of witnessing: (1) sharing the Good News and (2) the Holy Spirit bringing a person face to face with Jesus. The head knowledge gained from a witness must be translated into trusting faith in Jesus. This is what happened with these people.
Saving faith is an assurance not only from the words of Good News about Jesus but from the actual receiving of those words which create a trust in Him. Real faith only comes through a face to face, so to speak, confrontation with Jesus. Head knowledge alone will not do that. Assurance of salvation will remain elusive without that relationship established by the Spirit. This is how our God works. His method has not changed down through the centuries. We will come face to face with Jesus, through the Word and Holy Spirit, and we will be changed.
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your saving Word and Your saving touch of Jesus on our lives. Through Your Word and Your Spirit You opened our eyes to the gift of Your Son and brought us to saving faith in Him. Alleluia! In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor Robert Forsberg is retired from Light of Christ Lutheran Church in Fairborn.
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