J. Warner Wallace has written a book called, “Cold Case Christianity“. This book is written by a cold case detective that uses his skills in solving crime to provide evidence for the reliability of the Gospels. In this book, he gives Christians the tools to examine why they believe what they believe. J. Warner Wallace tells a story of an officer doing a routine traffic stop. The officer asked the gentleman to step out of the car, not realizing that this was a person who was on parole for aggravated assault and had spent many years in prison. This parolee was also carrying a loaded .45 caliber, which would have put him back in prison. The officer asked him to turn around and was going to do a pat-down because the man was acting suspicious. The parolee turned around briefly and grabbed his gun. The officer was to slow to react, and did not have time to get his gun out. The officer was wearing a bullet proof vest. The officer had belief that his vest could with stand the shot, but there is a difference in belief that the vest will stop the bullet and belief in (trusting) the vest to stop the bullet. This officer was about to go from belief that to belief in. The officer knew the parolee would get the first shot off, but the officer went for his gun taking the shot from the parolee in the vest before getting a shot of himself.
This story really spoke to me as a Christian. I have studied the Bible extensively and know a lot about theology, doctrines, and how to navigate Christian circles. I even studied Koine Greek for 3 years to better understand the Bible. I believe that God could save me, but I never believed in God to save me. I was relying on myself to save me with my experiences and knowledge. There is a difference from believing and trusting the evidence that God has given us.
Believing to Trust
We have all been in this moment of believing to trusting. I remember going through Bible college and believing all that the gospels said, but never trusting the gospel of salvation. You have to come to the end of yourself and understand that there is nothing that you can do. When we are operating on belief there is still apart of us doing the work, but when we are trusting in there is none of us and all of God.
You really see this in the life of Peter. Peter believed that Jesus was the messiah, but did not trust in Jesus until the death and resurrection of Christ. Peter in the garden, the night of Jesus’ betrayal, cut of the ear of one who came to get Jesus. Peter still had a belief that Jesus was going to liberate by the sword. Peter denies Jesus three times, because belief with out that understanding will fail us.
Trusting in God will lead us to truth. This is evident in Peter’s life, when Jesus ascends to the father. Peter starts to trust in God even unto death. That is the difference from Belief That to Belief In.
Peter believed that taking life would save him in the garden, then Peter discovered after Jesus’ death that dying to Christ would save him.
This comes from understanding who we are and who Christ is. We must understand why Jesus had to die on the cross for us. This is crucial to move from Belief that to belief in. Like Peter, we must understand our fallen nature and why we need forgiveness and saving. The gospels show the fact that Jesus was the savior, but they also show us how depraved and why we are in need of a savior.
” we need to be careful to understand the proper role of evidence and the important distinction between believing the gospels and trusting the Gospel. I want to be more than someone who understands and accepts the evidence about Jesus. I want to be someone who understands and accepts the evidence about me. Only then will I begin to place my trust in the Savior that the New Testament reliably describes” (Warner, J. (2019, November 1)).
Warner, +J. (2019, November 1). Believing the Gospels Is Different Than Trusting the Gospel. https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/believing-the-gospels-is-different-than-trusting-the-gospel/.