Faith Inspires Faith

Taken from my article submitted to the Red Rock News
Faith Inspires Faith
Rev. Dona Johnson | Jan 14, 2024

C.S. Lewis left his childhood Christian faith and years later became an avowed atheist. He entered Oxford University as a professor of literature and in the years that followed, he had many conversations with J.R. Tolkien about God, faith and myths. Lewis was not easily won to Christianity overnight. But a few friends faithfully and patiently walked with him as they helped him to resolve his misgivings about Christianity. He eventually reclaimed his Christianity and made a convincing case for Christ. He wrote,

“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”

Lewis was arguably one of the most intellectual and influential Christian writers of the twentieth century. 

                  Friendship is invaluable in communicating and helping others process the gospel and experience God for themselves. This is evident when Jesus found Philip in Galilee and asked him to follow him (John1:41-53). Something amazing must have happened to Philip when Jesus approached him. Once you see God you cannot un-see him. All we know is Philip was so changed by the encounter, that he immediately ran to tell his friend Nathaniel. Philip told Nathaniel that they had found the “one who Moses wrote about in the Law”—Jesus from Nazareth. Nathanial was not at all receptive, in fact he was somewhat dismissive. 

He replied, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” But Philip did not give up. He said, “Come and see for yourself!”

So Nathaniel accepting Philip’s invitation went to meet Jesus face to face. As Jesus engaged Nathaniel, he didn’t get put off with Nathaniel’s skepticism or suspicions. Instead, Jesus read his most inmost thoughts. He understood his most intimate and secret longings, longings he could never put into words. This encounter left such a deep impression on the soul of Nathaniel that it forever changed him. 

          There are not many people who have been argued into Christianity. Maybe loved and listened to but not ridiculed or embarrassed by what they can’t yet see. You can be told what is true by others and then you can be led to discover truth for yourself. Although we need both, when you discover a truth for yourself something clicks inside you or the light bulb goes off and suddenly you understand in a deeper way what you may have not understood before. This type of self-discovery leads to changes in one’s heart—deep change. And when a truth changes your heart, it becomes a part of you. You may even recite this truth to others. Or it may become one of the guiding principles of your life. And that is exactly what happened to Philip and then Nathaniel that day in Galilee. Philip saw for himself the truth of Jesus and it was life-changing. So he did the next best thing, he told his friend and invited him to come and see. To “come and see” is to approach all of life with a grace-filled curiosity, to believe that we are holy mysteries to each other, worthy of further exploration. To come and see is to enter into the joy of being deeply seen and deeply known, and to have the very best that lies hidden within us, the Light called out and called forth. In the words of the Swiss theologian, Frederick Godet, “One torch serves to light another.” Faith multiplies faith. Following Christ means carrying the torch of faith to light the path for others and future generations. As we search for God, God finds us. We are image bearers and torch bearers of the one true light—Jesus Christ.