“What,” someone asks, “does it mean to ‘trust Christ?’ I often hear people use that term but it is not clear to me what they are saying.”
* * *
The bottom-line question each of us must face is this: “Am I personally willing to trust what God has already done, once for all, in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, as the adequate and sufficient basis for my right standing with God, or must I try to supplement that in any manner whatsoever in order to be secure and to feel secure before a holy God?”
One’s honest, soul-level answer to that question will indicate whether that one is really “trusting Christ” or not. We will benefit far more by getting alone in a quiet place with God and dealing with this question than by avoiding it in endless arguments over sacramental rituals, details about worship or formalities of church government. Nor is the issue one of membership in a particular church or whether we judge ourselves “as good as” or “better than” somebody else — or even than a great many other people put together.
Jesus reconciled sinners to God 2,000 years ago by his representative life, death and resurrection (Col. 1:19-23). He offered one sacrifice for sin for all time, and by it he made his people perfect in God’s sight forever (Heb. 10:12, 14). If, when we learn what Jesus has done, we are sorry for our sin and are drawn to him as Savior (through faith) and Lord (for obedience), we may know that we are among those for whom he lived and died and whom, by that representative living and dying, he redeemed and saved forever (1 Thes. 1:3-6).