Is Your Faith like a Paper Sack or an Iron Chest?

Martin Luther, the German Protestant Reformer, gives the following analogy to show how the most important thing is not whether your faith is weak or strong, but how strong the object of your faith is. He writes,

We might compare this to two persons who possess a hundred guldens [gold coins]. The one may carry them in a paper sack, the other may keep them in an iron chest. But for all that, both possess the entire treasure. Thus the Christ whom you and I own is one and the same, regardless of the strength or weakness of your faith or mine. In Him we possess all, whether we hold Him with a strong faith or a weak faith. The entire service of God is contained in this: Believe in Christ, whom the Father has sent you. Accept His pronouncements. You can offer God nothing more pleasing to HIm in heaven or on earth. [Quoted by Frederick Dale Bruner, The Gospel of John: A Commentary, 391]

The point is not how tightly we hold the treasure, but is the treasure that we hold. Getting caught up in the value of the treasure will make us grip all the tighter, while focusing on how tightly you grip will, in fact, loosen your grip.

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