Across the Bridge

Felipe Giacometti. Man Walking on Hanging Bridge During Daytime. (2019) Photo 3376 x 6000. https://unsplash.com/photos/zGtohMf8iOg

THE BEGINNING

Imagine what a thrill it must be to walk across this bridge. Imagine the wind swaying the bridge and your body. Imagine the feel in the pit of your stomach when you look over the side. What if this were you? Would you stop half-way across? Would you get tired and sit down? Would you decide that it’s too much? Or would you even take the first step?

Now, imagine that this bridge is your life as a Christian. There was a lot of life before you decided to take this walk. But at some point, by God’s grace, which John Wesley would call “prevenient grace,” you were allowed to come to the beginning of the bridge. That is where you had to make a decision. Nobody forced you to step onto the bridge. Think of this as your confession of faith. Just as you placed your faith in the planks of the bridge to hold your weight, you can place your faith in Christ to save your soul. This is commonly referred to as justification. But this is only the beginning of the journey.

THE ADVENTURE

What if you never went beyond the first step? You would never know the thrill of being suspended so far in the air and so far out of your own control. You would miss out on the sight of the valley beneath your feet, the feel of the wind swaying the bridge, and the ache of your calves as you ascended on the other side. Unfortunately, many who profess faith in Christ never know the thrill of actually walking with Him. After the baptism water dries off, they return to life as it was before.

For those with the courage to step on the bridge with Christ, there is an experience that cannot be duplicated. As we walk with Christ, we are sanctified. According to the Baptist Faith & Message (2000), “Sanctification is the experience, beginning in regeneration, by which the believer is set apart to God’s purposes, and is enabled to progress toward moral and spiritual maturity through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him. Growth in grace should continue throughout the regenerate person’s life.” Just as a new baby doesn’t become an adult overnight (despite the perception of most parents), a new believer doesn’t instantly become a mature saint. He has to walk on the bridge, trusting in Christ.

THE OTHER SIDE

We are never fully sanctified until we reach our eternal destination in heaven. But as we walk with Christ, loving God first and others as ourselves, we become more and more like Him. If we do not take the first step, we miss out on the wonderful adventure He has for us. If we quit half-way, we will grow weaker until we can no longer walk. However, if we keep walking with Him, we will find ourselves ultimately sanctified in glory with Christ forever.