Sunday, September 9, 2007
Is faith a gift from God or is it something that we coujure up inside of us? This is very important because it is by grace transgressors of the law are saved from transgressing the law and eventually death THROUGH FAITH and that not of ourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast himself. (Eph 2:8-9) It is also an important question to be answered because not only does it affect our entire view of God, our role in salvation, and eternity, but it also effects how we will evangelize (share the good news ie. Gospel) with those that are now condemned or judged already for not believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. (John 3:18-19) Furthermore, it will show if we ourselves who believed and trusted in our work or profession of faith at one time are, indeed, truly saved or if we are merely relying on "our work of faith". To help better understand what faith is, the writer of Hebrews describes faith as the substance or confidence of things hoped for and the evididence of things not seen. Realizing that this is THE BIBLE'S definition of faith, it brings the answer to the question posed already to a more scrutinizing light. How does one conjure up the substance or confidence of things hoped for and the evidence or conviction of things unseen from somewhere inside of themselves? This question was at the heart of the Reformation which led by Martin Luther. The Reformation was a departure from the traditions, customs, and doctrines Rome held and continues to hold. There were people in Luther's day as well as there are people today that believe that the subject of the Reformation and the reason people read Martin Luther still is of little importance, but I understand why for there was a time when I walked in my ignorance according to my own lusts (1Pet 1:14), cared only about the praise and honor I could get for myself from men instead of the glory that goes to God alone, and cared very little if at all of the wellfare of my neighbor's soul much less my own. The attached article by R.C. Sproul are dedicated to those people who may be so ignorant and proud without even knowing the facts as I, myself, was and can relate to being. It's only when I realized again that words actually DO have meaning that they started making sense again ...even the "big ones". Even Paul the Apostle took heed to arguments raised to see if they were true. There was a philosopher among those in Crete who gave a testimony of some of the inhabitants of that land. As Paul notes, "One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons. This witness is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;"(Tit 1:12-13) It's when we don't listen to both sides of the story to see which is true that we just end up not even using our sword, but just keep it to ourselves and show our buddies who have it too how pretty it is and how we've been dressing it up, etc. There is only one that is effective, though. It is the word of God. All that go against it surely fall. Does that ever make you wonder why some that claim to be "all for it" may discourage you from reading and understanding it...?