Christians believe in God because of God

Jais H. Tinglund

I am already comfortable writing “2024” down as part of the date when I have to date something; usually it will take longer before I no longer have to think about what year it is, or have to make a correction because I forgot that it is a new year. This time around, it has been the other way around: I found myself tempted to write “2024” already in December. I have no idea why that is. But then, there are so many things I do that I am not sure why I do.
When it comes to why I believe not only in the existence of God, but also in His Truth, as Holy Scripture teaches it, so that I am Christian, and Lutheran, well, that I do know; even though I do wonder why, at times, when I forget that I already know why. Many Christians do; wonder, that is.
Holy Scripture answers: “Those whom God foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son”, writes the holy Apostle Paul. “And those whom He predestined, He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”
The answer as to why a Christian is a Christian is found in the love of God. God knew and loved us from eternity, and called us to the faith, by His Word of His love and what His love has done for us, what the Son suffered for our salvation. And He called us so that we were overcome by His love. This holds true for all who are Christian, whether they were raised in the faith or not. Faith is the love of God alive in us, for our salvation. That is why we have come to the faith to begin with. That is why we do not turn away, even though the faith draws us into a life in which we have to not only suffer contradiction and contempt from many, but also to struggle with our own doubts. It calls us into a life in which we are called and commanded to do so much we would rather not do, and to not do so much that we would like to do. It call us into a life in which we are constantly confronted with our sinfulness and actual sins, which does not do much to make us feel good about ourselves. But first and foremost, life in the faith is a life in which God Himself lives with us, and within us, with His love, and sustains us in the faith, and assures us that because of what He Himself has done for us, and gives to us, we are right with Him, and so, all is well, and ultimately, nothing else matters. And He Himself makes us to believe it because He wills our salvation. So good is God. And the glory is all His.
(Jais H. Tinglund is pastor of Grace Lutheran Church, Greybull/Zion Lutheran Church, Emblem.)