Saturday, June 28, 2014

“Belief That” or “Belief In”?

By Lance Cordle

     In the opening pages of his book, Cold-Case Christianity, J. Warner Wallace tells a story involving a fellow police officer, Mark Walker. Officer Walker was on evening patrol when observed an automobile being driven er- ratically, weaving back and forth in the road. The obvious first guess was that the driver was under the influence of alcohol or some other drug. The officer went through the process of pulling the driver over and approached the driver. When in conversation with the driver, he smelled alcohol on the man’s breath. Walker then asked the driver to get out of the car.
     What Officer Walker did not know was that the man was a parolee who was in possession of a handgun at the time of this incident. In fact, the pistol was tucked inside the waistband of the man’s pants. The police officer asked the driver to turn around so he could do a pat-down. As the man turned, he drew the pistol and fired. Walker knew that he had been beaten to the draw and even as he drew his own weapon, that he would not fire the first shot. So, he braced himself for the impact.
     The positive about the incident that evening was that Mark Walker was wearing a bulletproof vest. In his training, he had learned to use the vest, and up until that moment, the vest had not been called upon to stop a bullet. How- ever, it did stop the bullet and the police officer lived to tell Detective Wallace and others about his experience.
     What is most interesting to me about this incident is the way Wallace sums up the experience of Officer Walker: “In that singular moment, Mark went from ‘belief that’ to ‘belief in.’ It’s one thing to believe that the vest can save a life; it’s another thing to trust it to save your own life.” (J. Warner Wallace, Cold-Case Christianity, Kindle Edition, locations 97- 111).
     Let’s briefly relate that summation by Wallace to our daily walk. We can and should believe that Jesus is the Son of God. The evidence is there (John 20:30, 31); we can agree with that statement. However, until we move from the belief that Jesus is the Son of God, to a belief in him (and obedience to him as Lord as part of that belief), we will not completely live for him, nor will we be willing to die for him. 
     Jesus put it this way: “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live” (John 11:25, ESV).

- via The Encourager, the weekly bulletin for the Calvert City Church of Christ, Calvert City, KY.  Lance Cordle preaches for the congregation.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website:

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