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Month: June 2006

The Nature of Saving Faith: It’s Basis (from today’s Christian Soul Food)

I posted this on the CSF devotional list, but figured I’d share here as well.

From Arthur Pink’s book “Studies in Saving Faith” – chapter 13, he writes:

Having before us the twofold objective named above, let us ask the question, Is a simple faith in Christ sufficient to save a soul for time and eternity? At the risk of some readers turning away from this article and refusing to read further, we unhesitatingly answer, No, it is not. The Lord Jesus Himself declared, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3). Repentance is just as essential to salvation as is believing. Again, we read that,

“wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead” (James 2:20).
A “simple faith” which remains alone, a faith which does not purify the heart (Acts 15:9), work by love (Galatians 5:6), and overcome the world (1 John 5:4), will save nobody.

Much confusion has been caused in many quarters through failure to define clearly what it is from which the sinner needs saving. Only too often the thought of many minds is restricted to Hell. But that is a very inadequate conception, and often proves most misleading. The only thing which can ever take any creature to Hell is unrepented and unforgiven sin. Now on the very first page of the N.T. the Holy Spirit has particularly recorded it that, the incarnate Son of God was named “Jesus” because “he shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). Why is it that that which God has placed at the forefront is relegated to the rear by most of modern evangelists? To ask a person if he has been saved from Hell is much more ambiguous than to inquire if he has been saved from his sins.

Let us attempt to enlarge on this a little, for thousands of professing Christians in these days have but the vaguest idea of what it means to be saved from sin.

Have You Prayed the Sinner’s Prayer Before ?

Did you pray the sinner’s prayer before ?

Here’s why I ask…

No doubt, if you’ve been to church at least once in your life, you’ve heard something along the lines of ‘believe that you’re a sinner and Jesus died for you and ask Him to come into your life and save you.’ You were no doubt, given a scripted prayer that went along those same lines and told to ‘say it and really mean it’.

Immediately afterward (sometimes before the prayer), you may have been presented with the opportunity ‘come down the aisle’ or ‘come to the altar’ and make this a public declaration.

You were probably told that these two things (or any one of them by themselves) may have made you a Christian.

Sometimes, this presentation may have been given to us as children or at very young ages.

I have a few questions to ask you.

Bible Reading – Where To Begin ?

A question was posted on HCR:

Blessings all. I have a friend who has recently become a Christian but has “no knowledge of the bible at all”
I normally tell folk that the Gospel of John is a good place to begin coupled with prayer before any reading
<--- their words verbatim, that they very recently just emailed me. (as my quote below reads so far to them) but is that really true?

Originally Posted by me (my response so far)
I pray for understanding of His word, sometimes before I even open the Bible up. But even then, honestly, i still have trouble understanding what He wants me to glean from a particular passage…and some aspects of His word I just don’t know how to interpret it or digest it. There’s tough meat and milk in the bible….and sometimes we try to chew on meat that we haven’t yet developed the teeth for. Feedin on the milk first is what develops the teeth. A good book of the Bible to start with is the gospel John.

What are your thoughts on “where to begin”? I would greatly appreciate any godly wisdom one feels led to offer. God Bless
I responded (and my response here is slightly expanded):

I recommend starting with two books: An Epistle and then a gospel.

Epistle: 1 John.
Gospel: John

Here’s why.

What About Those Who Haven’t Heard ?

What About Those Who Haven’t Heard The Gospel ?

This question is frequently asked as an objection to the gospel message. It usually is raised by the person who has extreme problems with the exclusivity of Christ as the only way of salvation for humanity.

Some believers shy away from answering the question, or, in an attempt to make God seem more loving, simply claim agnosticism

The major problem is…. It’s the wrong question.

Following Christ – How Do We Know We Are ?

Following Christ – What Does It Mean ?

How do you know if you’re ‘doing it right’ and going in the right direction as a Christian ?

Well, there’s two indicators and they are intimately linked. The first is growth toward holiness in speech and conduct in your daily life. This process is called sanctification. When a person becomes a Christian, God puts His Spirit in them not simply to have them with ‘fire insurance’, but also to give them NEW life. God, through His Spirit brings to the awareness of the believer, a new awareness of holiness, a hatred of sin and a desire and ability to live holy. Romans 8:29-30, Phil. 1:6 and dozens of other passages tell us that God will continue to work in the lives of His people to bring them to practical holiness in this life. Passages such as Phil. 2:13-14 both command believers to ‘work out their salvation with fear and trembling’ AND reminds them that ‘it is God who works in you, both to desire and to do for His good pleasure’. Believers are responsible for their own growth, but ultimately, God is behind it. Such growth is the inevitable result of the Spirit of God dwelling in a person, just like a grape vine is guaranteed to grow grapes.

Is Christianity Arrogant ?

Is Christianity Arrogant ?

What’s that all about ?

Our modern society makes a great deal of the concept of tolerance as a virtue. We are told that to hold onto any belief dogmatically as ‘right’ is to arrogantly put ourselves in a morally superior position and look down upon others that we disagree with. We are told we should tolerate different beliefs, no matter how bizarre or inconsistent some may seem. No one should ever be excluded in a belief system – otherwise it is wrong, we are told.

Thus, Christians are very often viewed as being arrogant and Christianity’s claims viewed as arrogant simply because they claim only one way of salvation and not many.

Well, let’s take a situation for a second.