16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance [other transl.:”reality”] is of Christ. (Col. 2:16-17)
It happens often when Christian celebrities are interviewed in media, that they emphasize how important “faith” is in their lives, and how they are depending on their “faith”. I recently read a statement from someone on the website of the Norwegian Christian newspaper “Dagen” where the person said, “without my faith I wouldn’t have anything”.
This sounds cute and sweet, but I don’t like it. We do not only preach a life philosophy or a set of creeds that we can hold on to during the storms of life.
The Christian life is not about following a so called “faith” in general. It is about following the risen, and very much alive, Jesus Christ. I wish that Christians could start talking about how important Jesus is to them – not their “faith”. Maybe the reason is that they haven’t really met Jesus personally. They might only be following the Christian religion, i.e. a set of rules and philosophical assumptions.
Jesus is real! Colossians 2:17 tells us that He is the reality personified. We do not only proclaim a “faith” or assumption about God. It is possible to get a personal relationship with Jesus. As you receive Him, He moves into your heart and resides there permanently! The Holy Spirit dwells in your spirit!
Another probable reason to why Christians talk about the importance of their “faith” rather than their relationship with Jesus, is that they have not experienced the baptism in the Holy Spirit. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is for every believer – not only for “over spiritual Christians” or Christian “elite groups”.
48 And you are witnesses of these things. 49 Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.” (Lk. 24:48-49)
Jesus commanded His disciples not to do anything, but only to remain in Jerusalem until they had been baptized in the Holy Spirit, which happened on the day of Pentecost. They were not to go out and preach without the Holy Spirit. The Spirit was necessary for them to live a victorious Christian life and to fulfill the Great Commission.
I don’t understand why some Christians refuse to receive the baptism of the Spirit, with the evidence of speaking in tongues, today. Why not gladly receive everything God in His grace has to offer? Today there are an estimated 500 million born-again, tongue speaking believers worldwide, and the number is growing rapidly. We are not a small sect or fringe group hiding somewhere in a hidden basement facility.
Jesus is real. You can receive Him in your heart by simply inviting Him. Say: “Jesus, I receive You. I believe You died and rose from the dead for me. You are my Lord”. This will give you eternal life, but you also need to receive the baptism of the Spirit. Once you are baptized in the Spirit, you will have the boldness to proclaim that you depend on Jesus and share with others that He is a reality in your life. You will be speaking about Jesus instead of your so called “faith”.