Introduction to the Book
Where We’re Going
I was meandering along a creek when a rock in the water caught my eye. I bent down to retrieve it from the water and rolled my find around in my hands. I marveled.
No, it wasn’t an agate. Nor was it a diamond. It wasn’t a gold nugget. It was just another gray rock, except for one thing: it was round like a golf ball. As I stood by the flowing creek I pictured the rock caught in a bowl-like depression at the bottom of the stream. There the current tumbled over and over and over, like in a washing machine. Years went by as the rock was tossed against the side of the bowl. Then I found it.
My round rock reminded me of understanding a verse of the Bible. It has to tumble around the bowl of my mind to be comprehended. I may not see the meaning of the verse with a single reading. Comprehension can be slow in coming to my spirit.
Isaiah, the Messianic prophet, wrote about the doorway to a clear picture of what is said:
The word of the Lord was on to them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little (Isaiah 28:10).
Nature worked diligently to shape my round rock in the bowl of the creek. So, also the Holy Spirit works tirelessly to unveil the riches found in the Lord Jesus Christ.
I’ve read a verse many times over the years, but one day I slap my forehead and exclaim, “Where’d that come from?! I never saw that before.” I’m now in my tenth decade of life — evidently it had been tumbling around in my mind for a long time.
Paul, the disciple of faith, shares from personal experience the secret of seeing again, and again, and again. Look at what he confides with believers in Rome:
Faith comes, and comes, and comes, by the hearing of the Word about Christ (Translation from Greek, Romans 10:17).
This promise guarantees faith will come if one hears, and hears, and hears the Word about Christ. That’s some guarantee!
I return to the gushing creek. Once more my round rock tumbles around in my hands. With renewed clarity I comprehend the journey to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. From time to time I have to remind myself to be patient in learning. With that patience, I have come to three great secrets I have learned — The Three Secrets of a Life of Biblical Faith — included among the insights of this book.
Here is a short preview of the Three Secrets, described and illustrated in Part I of this book:
In Secret Number 1, we see that I can know with certainty that I have been born again. When Jesus laid down the imperative, “You must be born again,” He did not imply I needed a new beginning. He declared I required nothing less than a new life.
Secret Number 2 points to God’s promise: He always does what He says He will do. The certainty I enjoyed in the first secret comes from God’s faithfulness to always do what He says He will do.
Secret Number 3 takes us further: I now know the Holy Spirit lives in me so I can experience for myself what God promises me in the Bible. In 1 Corinthians 2:12, we learn that we have received the Spirit — Who is from God — so that we might enjoy the promises the Father has freely given to us in His Word.
The Three Secrets of a Life of Biblical Faith can guide you on your exciting journey to a surprising new life of faith. We are not born with faith, so we do not come by it naturally. We learn to believe. What can we learn in these secrets? Faith, the noun for “believe,” gives us extraordinary access and awesome power to activate and live out what God has promised in the Bible.
Each secret is illustrated in Part I with stories and essays — both contemporary and from the Bible — that bring these promises to life. You can practice these three secrets using a set of professions of faith, included at the conclusion of Part I, based on Biblical promises with life-changing power. Part II of this book is a collection stories, essays and observations illustrating insights I have gained on my own journey.
It is my hope that these insights will help to guide you, too, on your journey of faith.
— Norman D. Sorensen