By Ernest O'Neill

Life By Faith or Artificial Life Support?

By Rev. Ernest O'Neill

I'll put it to you this way. We human beings are all involved from our birth in living by artificial life-support systems. We are, we are all involved. We're like bodies that continue to exist by man-made inventions. Here is the drip-feed to provide the strength that ordinary, natural food should provide. Here is the pace-maker that keeps the heart going that can't keep going itself. Here are the blood transfusions that provide us with the blood we should manufacture with our own bodies. Except, that our drip-feed is our jobs, our salaries, and our possessions. Our pace-maker is our human relationships, interesting experiences, congenial circumstances that supply us with happiness. Our blood-transfusions are the praise and approval of our peers, the recognition of men, from which we get our sense of significance and importance.

And you may say, take away those and we would die. And that is true. If you took away those from your present, old dying, deteriorating personality, you would die. You would die without the approval of your friends, without this stimulation of circumstances and events to make you happy. But, do you see, once you died, you wouldn't need those? Isn't that right? I mean around a dying body the activity is frenetic, keeping the blood transfusions going, keeping the drip-feed going, keeping the heart going, and then when the person dies peace comes. Absolute peace. You don't need those once you die, isn't that right?

That's exactly what has happened in Jesus! That's what has happened in Jesus to you. Look at it in Colossians 3:3. "For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God." That's the truth. The old personality of yours that through the centuries has deteriorated to such a point that it cannot exist without all those artificial life support systems was destroyed in Jesus. It was! All those life support systems of your peer's approval, your salary for security, and other people's praise for significance is no longer necessary. But you know what happens as soon as the dear Holy Spirit of God puts his hands on your drip-feed, you know what you do. You protest, " No, no, don't, I'll die if you take it away, I'll die without financial security." The Holy Spirit is lovingly saying, "You would have died if that weak personality that needed this artificial support had not been destroyed in Jesus. But it has been destroyed and before when you tried to do without that financial security, you tried to do by your own efforts. Now you have a new body not made with hands that is eternal in the heavens and that personality is able to live without this drip-feed. Just believe me, it is able to live without the drip-feed.

Loved ones, daily faith is possible only if God has actually destroyed that old, deteriorating weak personality that used to need those things. But if he has, then all you have to do is what the paralyzed man did when Jesus said to him, "Rise, take up your bed and walk." You simply have to get up and you'll find your muscles and bones strong enough to bear your weight. That's the miracle of it. The moment you exercise an act of faith, to no longer depend on people's opinions and people's approval for your importance, to no longer depend on how many material possessions you have for your sense of security, no longer depend on circumstances and events for your happiness. If you exercise faith and determine I will no longer do that, suddenly in a moment, God is able to make real in your life the miracle that he wrought in Jesus on Calvary. It happens like that. Do you see though, that you have to exercise faith and faith is action? Faith is not saying I believe it; faith is action. It's believing, yes you have been changed radically at Calvary and there is a version of you available to you by an act of faith that does not need all these things.