byGraceFaith

“Salvation is like a house built beside a broad and busy highway. Like everyone else, I was born on that highway and was spending my life following it to its destination. At first the trip had been exciting and almost effortless, the constant flow of the crowd carrying me along. However, the farther down the road I got, the more difficult things became; my original joy had dissipated and I noticed that my fellow travelers rarely laughed anymore and their occasional smiles seemed forced. The backpack I had been issued at the beginning of my journey had grown heavier every day, and I was now permanently stooped from its weight. Worst of all, I had been overtaken lately by an unexplainable fear of reaching the end of the highway’.

‘One day my attention was drawn suddenly to the side of the highway to a magnificently constructed house. Over its narrow front doors a sign silently announced in bold red letters: ‘Whosoever Will May Enter and Find Rest’. I do not know how I knew it, but I realized that if I could reach the inside of this beautiful house I would be saved from the highway and its destination. Pushing my way through the mass of indifferent travelers, I broke clear of the crowd and ran up the steps to the front door. But, it was locked. Perhaps it’s only stuck, I thought, and tried again. It refused to open. I was confused. Why would someone put up a sign inviting people in and then lock the door to keep them out? Not knowing what else to do (I refused to return to the highway), I pounded on the door, and shouted for someone on the inside to open it, and tried to pick the lock – but it was useless’.

‘Suddenly a voice spoke my name, and I spun around. It was the Builder of the House. He placed in my hand a key with one word carved on it: FAITH. Turning back to the door, I inserted the key in the lock, twisted it, and heard a reassuring click. The door swung open, and I stepped across the threshold. Immediately the backpack fell from off my shoulders, my back began to straighten like a wilting flower reaching for the sunlight, and from deep within me my soul breathed a sigh of relief as an extraordinary sense of peace and well-being wrapped itself around me. The Builder of the House welcomed me to my new home, explaining that everything in the house was now mine to enjoy. This was the house that grace had built, and faith was the key’.

‘Surveying my new surroundings, I saw that the House of Salvation was a house with many rooms and I was only in the foyer. Across the way was a door marked Answered Prayer. Next to it was another Daily Victory, and next to it, Every Need Supplied. The row of doors, each promising some spiritual blessing, stretched endlessly throughout the house. The discovery of these other rooms puzzled me, for I failed to mention that the foyer in which I stood was jammed with people. It seemed that everyone who entered the house stopped in the foyer, never advancing beyond it, as though the foyer were the entire building’ – remember that as well.

‘This was little better than the highway. Couldn’t they see that there was more to the House of Salvation than the foyer? Surely, the Builder intended every room to be occupied. Hadn’t he said that everything in the house was ours to enjoy? I, for one, had no desire to spend my life standing in a foyer. This was my Father’s house; I was his child, and all he possessed was mine. I went to the door marked Answered Prayer, grabbed the knob, and twisted. It was locked. I went to the next door, the next, and the next. All were locked. Nevertheless, this time I didn’t try to pick the lock or knock the door down. I remembered my encounter with the front door and knew I had a key for that. Although I had been in the house only a short time, I had somehow managed to accumulate a large number of other keys. Rummaging through my collection, I selected one tagged Doing Your Best, and tried it. It did not fit. Nor did the one tagged Religious Activity. The key of Sincerity proved useless. Next I tried the key of Tithing (I was getting desperate); but it was as powerless as the others. I was beginning to understand why the foyer was so crowded’.

‘And then I heard a familiar voice. It was the Builder of the House. ‘Child’, he said, ‘do you remember the key I gave you to enter my house?’. ‘Yes, I remember’. ‘What was it?’. ‘Why, it was the key of Faith’, I answered’. Now listen, the Builder said: ‘The key of Faith is the master key that unlocks every door in the house’. Faith is the master key of the Christian life. From start to finish, salvation is ‘by grace through faith’. Everything we get in the Christian life we get by grace through faith. Grace makes it available and faith accepts it. Grace is God’s hand giving; faith is man’s hand receiving. Faith possesses what grace provides. Grace is God’s part; faith is man’s part. It is our positive response to God’s gracious offer. Everything God demands of man can be summed up in one word: faith.”

~ by Ronald Dunn

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