We are taught in various passages that we are to “lay hold on eternal life” (1 Tim. 6:12 & 19) and “lay hold upon the hope set before us” (Heb. 6:18). Grasping eternality with our human hands may seem like a strange imperative for Scripture to place upon us mere mortals. It is like asking us to make circles square, or water that parches rather than slakes thirst, or count to infinity three times.
But by faith we do in fact “lay hold” of that which is infinite, bottomless, shoreless, and measureless. As Hudson Taylor once well remarked: “[Faith] is not less than sight but MORE.”1http://www.worldinvisible.com/library/hudsontaylor/hudsontaylorv2/hudsontaylorv212.htm Insofar as we still think of faith as less sturdy than the reason which our five senses inform, we display how deceived we are by our materialistic age.
Insofar as we still think of faith as less sturdy than the reason which our five senses inform, we display how deceived we are by our materialistic age.Think upon the bread & wine of the Lord’s Supper, for there our hands are full of Christ, and by faith we acknowledge that beneath the elements, Christ is really present with us, though He be seated a the Father’s right hand. As we pass the bread, and hold it in our hands, if we have faith in the Christ which these elements signify, we indeed hold Him. The Belgic Confession (article 35)2https://www.christkirk.com/our-church/book-of-worship-faith-practice/ puts it this way:
He did this to testify to us that just as truly as we take and hold the sacraments in our hands and eat and drink it in our mouths, by which our life is then sustained, so truly we receive into our souls, for our spiritual life, the true body and true blood of Christ, our only Savior. We receive these by faith, which is the hand and mouth of our souls.
So, do not simply hold bread in your hands with Christ absent from your hand of faith. He is presented to you here in these signs, that by them your faith may be nourished, built up, and sustained.
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