“Jesus said to him, ‘No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:61,62)
What is it that makes a person fit for the Kingdom of God? The answer, of course, is faith in Christ. Here Jesus indicates that a person can at one point put their trust in Him (putting his hand to the plow), and at some other point make himself unfit for the Kingdom of God by looking back.
I believe Jesus is here defining for us the nature of true saving faith. That it’s not simply a one time act, but a faith that endures throughout our lives. The person who looked back, and thus made himself unfit for the Kingdom of God, demonstrated a departure from original faith. Looking back suggests a longing for the old life, a return to where one was before they came to faith in Christ.
Whenever a Christian begins sliding away back into the world, it means there is something wrong with their faith. If they continue to slide to the point to where they’re no longer concerned about honoring their King, no longer concerned about doing the will of God, but have returned to their former lifestyle, it reveals that they have departed from their original faith. They may say that they still believe and still claim Christ as their Savior, but their life tells a different story. Their focus and the way they live, reveals the true nature of their faith.
The faith that saves is a faith of humility, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (1 Pet 5:5). It recognizes Christ as Lord, and receives Him as Savior. The faith that saves, gladly and willingly, surrenders to the authority of Christ in sincere humility.
If at some point a person decides they no longer want Jesus ruling their lives, and they return to their former master (self) to live a self-seeking life, then they have ceased to believe as they did in the beginning. The faith they had when they first trusted Christ, is no longer there. It’s no longer a faith of humility. The faith that gets us saved, must keep us saved.
True faith is an enduring faith that always sees Jesus on His glorious throne.