I'm going to try an illustration this coming Sunday, to try and show how faith operates in connecting us to Jesus. I'm posting it here for comments because I want to avoid accidental heresy, or confusion.
The point I'm trying to illustrate is this: The Bible says faith is not meritorious in our salvation; but it is instrumental in saving us.
The illustration I'm trialling is: a water wheel.
- The power is in the water. That’s what makes the wheel go round.
- The pipe (the "flume") gets the water to the wheel. Without the pipe, the water wouldn't get to the wheel, and the wheel wouldn't work.
- But there’s no power in the pipe itself. If there’s no water in the pipe, the wheel won’t turn. The water, not the pipe, makes the wheel go round.
- Jesus is like the water. Jesus - especially in his death and resurrection - is God’s power to save us.
- Our faith is like the pipe. When we trust Jesus, we access God’s salvation power. We actually get saved. Without faith – if we don’t trust Jesus – we don’t access Jesus’ saving power.
- But our faith, in itself, doesn't actually do anything to save us. The power is in Jesus, not in our faith.
- The water wheel is our personal salvation. When we put our trust in Jesus, he makes us to actually be saved - that is, justified, reconciled, at peace with God, adopted by him, part of his beloved people, with a sure hope of glory.
To collocate a few Bible verses: We are justified by Christ alone, through faith alone – not by works (Rom 3:24, 27-30; 5:1; 1 Cor 6:11; Gal 2:16).
What do you think? Feedback, please.