A man falls out of a ship at sea.
He will be soon be far behind the ship.
The ship is very big and would take a long time to turn around.
By the time the ship returned, the man would die in the icy waters.
Someone throws a ring with a rope attached.
It could be a lifesaver to him.
Then he calls out to the drowning man,
“Just grab anything. It is not important what it is. Just as long as you believe it will help you.”
Of course, he would not say that. He would more likely say, “Grab the ring!” The reason would be that the man could be pulled to safety with that ring. If the man grabbed a piece of wood floating by, it probably wouldn’t help him much. If the man waited for a friendly dolphin, he might freeze before it came.
The man has to grab the ring and hold on with all his strength. He would depend on the strength of the man who was pulling up the rope. And he only has a short time to make that decision.
Believe it or not, this is our condition. We have time to make a decision about what we will hold on to during our lifetime. But in the turmoil of the sea, it is hard to hear the voice that calls us to take hold of the only thing that will save us. We must make our decision like the man and hold on with all our strength. Our rescue depends on the strength of someone else to save us.
The ‘holding on’ is called ‘faith’. The rescuer is God Himself. He calls out to us to take hold of the only thing that can and will save us. But that Lifesaver is a person not a thing. And that person is much different from others. He is the same person that was in the beginning starting the human race. He has intervened many times and influenced many people all through history. But it is written that finally, he came here himself and told people how the rescue of each person could be worked out.
After being killed by his enemies, he returned to his friends. He told them to continue to tell people about him. The part that really made him different than others was that rising from the dead part.
Many would give us advice. Others would give us rules to live by. But one person offered a new relationship with God as our Father. Only one person showed all the attributes that we admire in someone. He was unselfish. He was kind. He was forgiving.
When he was asked this question.
“What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?”
He answered them, “This is the work of God,
that you believe on him whom he has sent.”