Is it possible to hypnotize oneself to trust in Christ? Or, is it possible to force oneself to trust Christ?
The answers to both questions are, “No.” Faith involves three things: intellect, will, and emotions. Hypnosis is not a substitute for facts, and one cannot force oneself to have emotions.
The first step of faith is to understand the facts about Jesus Christ. Faith is not a blind leap off a cliff. Faith is not stupidity run amock. True faith starts with real facts about Jesus. That is the way we discover Him. The apostle John made this point when he wrote these words under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name. John 20:30-31 (NAS95S)
John tells us that he recorded historical facts about Jesus so that we might “know” the truth about Him. That is also true of the rest of the scriptures. When Dr. Luke wrote the gospel of Luke, he wrote so that Theophilus might know the truth and believe.
Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellent Theophilus; so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught. Luke 1:1-4 (NAS95S)
Hebrews 11 also tells us that faith involves believing facts about God. Read these words,
By faith we understand that . . . Heb 11:3 (NAS95S)
. . . for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. Heb 11:6 (NAS95S)
Faith aThe last verse reveals that true faith includes an emotional love for Jesus Christ. This will not necessarily be evident at the moment of saving faith. It often will come later. The Greek word translated as “love” comes from PHILEO. This word includes the idea of friendship love. It has a sense of emotional attachment to another person. That means, true faith includes an emotional attachment to Jesus Christ.lso involves your will. If persons truly believe in Jesus Christ, then they will also be willing to let God take control of their lives and change them. God will transform their lives as they willingly yield in obedience to Him, helping them become more holy year by year. We will never in this life on earth be holy in the absolute sense, but the process will be started. Listen to the apostle Paul,
. . . that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved . . . Rom 10:9 (NAS95S)
You see, belief or faith in Jesus Christ includes an acknowledgement that Jesus is your Lord – the master of your life. During His ministry, Jesus had this to say about spiritual life.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Matt 16:25 (NAS95S)
That is very plain. True faith will include in some sense a willingness to let God take control of your life. It will become evident after some time has elapsed if one’s faith is real. The proof of true faith is that a person will surrender himself or herself to Christ eventually. Lets look at Hebrews 11 again,
By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed . . . Heb 11:8 (NAS95S)
True faith will include obedience. That is an act of your will.
Faith also includes your emotion. At the moment of saving faith, one will experience emotion. Scripture describes it as repentance. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said that those who were poor in spirit would go to heaven. Being poor in spirit means that a person will not feel very good about himself or herself in a spiritual sense. Jesus’ next statement helps us understand that “poor in spirit” refers to a person mourning over one’s own sin.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Matt 5:3-4 (NAS95S)
In Luke 18:13-14, Jesus said that a tax collector would be justified, that is, forgiven his sins because he knew that he was a sinner and needed help. The man was in great emotional stress over his sin.
But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, “God, be merciful to me, the sinner! I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 18:13-14 (NAS95S)
Early in Jesus ministry, we are told that Jesus connected true belief or faith with repentance over sin.
[Jesus came] saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:15 (NAS95S)
Hebrews 11 also indicates that faith includes emotion. Hope includes emotion.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for . . . Heb 11:1 (NAS95S)
The last verse reveals that true faith includes an emotional love for Jesus Christ. This will not necessarily be evident at the moment of saving faith. It often will come later. The Greek word translated as “love” comes from PHILEO. This word includes the idea of friendship love. It has a sense of emotional attachment to another person. That means, true faith includes an emotional attachment to Jesus Christ.
If anyone does not love the Lord, he is to be accursed. Maranatha. 1 Cor 16:22 (NAS95S)
Can one hypnotize oneself into having faith or force oneself to believe? Hypnosis does not result in true faith: intellect, will, and emotions. Hypnosis or being “forced” is not real. It is artificial. But we have saved the best answer to the last. the answer to your question comes from Ephesians 2:8-9,
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. Eph 2:8-9 (NAS95S)
True faith is a gift from God. It is not something that you manufacture, create, obtain by hypnosis, or can force upon yourself. True faith comes from God. Then you will understand that the recorded history about Jesus is true. The will to let God take control of your life will exist and the emotional sorrow over sin will be present. Only by God’s gift of grace will faith or belief be present in your life.
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