“. . . that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise” (Ephesians 1:12,13 NKJV).
IN THE NEW TESTAMENT, THE ACT OF BECOMING A CHRISTIAN IS DESCRIBED IN SEVERAL WAYS, EACH OF THEM INSTRUCTIVE. One of these is “trusting (or hoping) in Christ.” In the NKJV, Paul spoke of the Jews as those “who first trusted in Christ,” and then he said that Gentiles in places like Ephesus had “also trusted.” For today’s meditation, let’s think about what it means to trust in Christ.
If you compare several translations of v.12, you will notice that many render the verb not as “trusted” but as “hoped.” But while the literal meaning of the Greek verb is to “hope before” or to “be the first to hope,” the ideas of hope and trust are so intertwined that “trusted in Christ” is not a bad translation.
Faith, trust, and hope all have to do with intangible (“unseen”) realities, usually because these are in the future. Based on evidence, we believe that certain things are true and that certain things are going to happen. Belief engenders trust, and trust is the thing that makes hope possible. Faith is, as the Hebrew writer described it, ”the assurance of things hoped for” (Hebrews 11:1).
There is no better example of faith than Abraham. “Under utterly hopeless circumstances he hopefully believed . . . being absolutely certain that whatever promise [God] is bound by He is able also to make good” (Romans 4:18-21 Weymouth). So today, when we obey the gospel we trust in Christ. Believing God’s promise of salvation, we stake our lives on the reality of the promise.
If you’re like me, you may have found that trusting Christ is an ongoing work. Yes, we know that Christ has proven His trustworthiness. And yes, when we were baptized we made a commitment to trust Him. But life wears us down, and our trust runs low. So we have to go back, remember the foundations of our faith, and remake our commitment to trust Him. As life unfolds, our decision to trust has to be repeated frequently and fervently. That’s not a lack of faith — it’s how serious commitments always work.
“Relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing had yet been done” (C. S. Lewis).