Tag Archive | Faith

Send me what thou wilt …

Can you say this with Spurgeon?

“Send me what thou wilt, my God,

so long as it comes from thee;

never came there an ill portion from thy table to any of thy children.”

“Say not my soul, ‘From whence can God relieve my care?’

Remember that Omnipotence has servants everywhere.

His method is sublime, his heart profoundly kind,

God never is before his time, and never is behind.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Charles Spurgeon, Morning and Evening, August 5th



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The Baby’s F-A-I-T-H

The baby who will soon turn six 🙁  is deep into trying to read.  He is one of those that you really don’t have to do much encouraging.  He is constantly sounding out words.  Such a blessing!

The other day he picked up the Contenders for the Faith book and started sounding out a word.

Fuh

Aah

I

Tuh

Huh

Then we reminded him that the I makes the A say it’s name.

Fuh

Ay

Tuh

Huh

Then upon showing him my thumb he remembers that TH together makes the THuh sound.

Fuh

Ay

THuh


Faith!

That’s right what does faith mean?

Faith in Jesus Christ!

Good, but what does faith mean?

Long pause….

Faith a little girl at church.

We, of course, couldn’t help but laugh about that.

 


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Source of Faith

Where does faith come from?

From God and His Word!

Romans 10:17 (ESV) So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

Romans 12:3 (ESV) For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.

Ephesians 2:8-9 (ESV)
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
9  not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

May our cry be like this father’s.

Mark 9:24 (ESV) Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”



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Why the Return to the Law is so Serious

The seriousness of NT believers returning to the Law is shown through several verses in Scripture.  Here are just two of them in both the ESV and the KJV.

Fallen From Grace

Galatians 5:4 You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. ESV

Galatians 5:4 (KJV) Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

This verse is pretty clear that you have fallen from Grace if you think the law will justify you.  What does justified mean?  To be counted righteous.  If you feel that being obedient to the law makes you more righteous, than you have fallen from grace.

Because see then your Salvation becomes Jesus plus the Law and not Christ alone.  Following the Law is a work of the flesh and no one can follow the Law.  Only Christ successfully followed the Law and thus He fulfilled it for each of us.

This commentary by Luther is quite helpful to understanding this passage.

Galatians 5:4 (Underlining added)

Paul in this verse discloses that he is not speaking so much of circumcision as the trust which men repose in the outward act. We can hear him say: “I do not condemn the Law in itself; what I condemn is that men seek to be justified by the Law, as if Christ were still to come, or as if He alone were unable to justify sinners. It is this that I condemn, because it makes Christ of no effect. It makes you void of Christ so that Christ is not in you, nor can you be partakers of the knowledge, the spirit, the fellowship, the liberty, the life, or the achievements of Christ. You are completely separated from Him, so much so that He has nothing to do with you any more, or for that matter you with Him.” Can anything worse be said against the Law? If you think Christ and the Law can dwell together in your heart, you may be sure that Christ dwells not in your heart. For if Christ is in your heart He neither condemns you, nor does He ever bid you to trust in your own good works. If you know Christ at all, you know that good works do not serve unto righteousness, nor evil works unto condemnation. I do not want to withhold from good works their due praise, nor do I wish to encourage evil works. But when it comes to justification, I say, we must concentrate upon Christ alone, or else we make Him non-effective. You must choose between Christ and the righteousness of the Law. If you choose Christ you are righteous before God. If you stick to the Law, Christ is of no use to you.

(from Luther’s Commentary on Galatians, PC Study Bible formatted electronic database Copyright © 1999, 2003, 2006 Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Law is not of Faith

Galatians 3:10-12

10 For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.”

11 Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.”

12 But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.” ESV

Galatians 3:10-12 (KJV)

10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.

As we know “for whatsoever is not of faith is sin” (Romans 14:23) and in Galatians Paul tells us that the Law is not of faith.  All through the OT we see that the just were saved by faith and not by the Law.  The Law never saved any OT saint.  The Law revealed our sin but Jesus fulfilled the Law and He saved us by faith in Him.

Are we justified through faith in Jesus or through the Law?  If the Law is not of faith then we can’t be justified by faith and the Law.

So does it matter that Galatians was written by Paul?  Did Paul change God’s instructions? Can we trust the words of Paul? Next we’ll look at Paul’s writings to see if we can trust them.



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The Law and the Believer

I must admit this wasn’t something that I was particularly interested in beyond the general interest I have in all of God’s Word.  But the Lord desired me to really study His Word concerning the Law.  I have had several people email me asking questions about it.  I also got a comment on a previous post about the OT dietary laws.  Beyond that I had been noticing more and more over the last few years an increase in the interest of believers following the OT dietary laws, feast and other regulations.  I’m not talking about Jews who have become believers but Gentile believers whom are turning to follow the Law.

It was clear to me in the NT that believers are not bound by the Law and are even warned to not return to the Law.  However, when I ran across this teaching essentially I ignored it as a wrong teaching and something to pity those who fell into it.  But the Lord has convicted me that this isn’t just some wrong teaching but is a false Gospel.  We are not talking about the differences between denominations but the differences between being a Christian and a Mormon or Jehovah’s Witness.

There is so much of the NT that deals with this return to the Law.  The whole books of Galatians and Hebrews are full of warning about returning to the Law.  All through the NT you can find references to the Law, Covenants and returning to the OT Law.  Paul warns the Galatians of this False Gospel with dire warnings of having “fallen from Grace” or being “under a curse”.  That is downright serious and thus I’m convicted by the Lord that I should not have let that slide without confronting it.

Galatians 5:4 You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. ESV

Galatians 3:10-12

10 For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.”

11 Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.”

12 But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.” ESV

Also as Terry and I discussed those who are teaching this return to the Law also tend to focus on what name they use to refer to Jesus and God.  I don’t know if that is consistent or not just something we’ve noticed.  Many of the differences in interpretation are furthermore blamed upon the differences in Bible translations with of course the KJV being the preferred translation.  I don’t know what significance those features all have with each other though.

So let us examine the Scriptures and see what they say about the Law and specific portions of it such as Dietary Laws, Circumcision, Sabbath observance, etc.

Because this subject can get so convoluted with different topics and verses I’m going to try to stick with one idea at a time.



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Do You See Growth?

I’m not much of a gardener nor do I do well with houseplants. I have just a few that I have been able to keep alive over the years. Many times my houseplants just sorta stagnate for years before succumbing to death. What do I mean by stagnate?

No growth.

Gradually loosing leaves but not replacing them.

Leaves becoming more and more yellow.

Never flowering.

No fruit.

Some Christians are like my houseplants. They are stagnant and dying instead of growing and producing fruit.

“The Christian who is always at a standstill,

to all appearance the same man,

with the same little faults, and weaknesses,

and besetting sins, and petty infirmities,

is seldom the Christian who does much good.

The man who shakes and stirs minds,

and sets the world thinking,

is the believer who is continually improving and going forward.

Men think there is life and reality when they see growth.”

Holiness by J.C. Ryle – pp. 103-104

 

Do you see growth?


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Armored Sheep

My husband has been teaching on Ephesians 6:10-17.

Ephesians 6:10-17
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.
12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.
14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.
16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;
17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,
ESV

During the discussion we talked about how we need to put on the Armor of God, not in case Satan will attack, but because Satan will attack. During an attack is the wrong time to be trying to put on the Armor of God. We must put it on ahead of time because otherwise we are defenseless sheep.

John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. ESV

So you sheep have you put on the whole armor of God?

Belt of Truth

Breastplate of Righteousness

Shoes for your feet the Gospel of Peace

Shield of Faith

Helmet of Salvation

Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God

If so then you can stand against the wiles and schemes of the Devil and his fiery darts.

Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. ESV

Ephesians 6:16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; ESV


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The Lord Promises to Provide For All Our Needs

Here is a closer look at the subject of why we fear to obey the Lord and make excuses for our disobedience. This post covers the beginning principles of how we think wrong, faulty thinking, I Can’t Be a “Keeper At Home” Because ….

Philippians 4:19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. ESV

Notice this does not say every want but every need. Not everything we think we “need” is really a need. Have you ever written out every expense and divided them into the wants and needs categories?

Needs

Food
Shelter
Clothing

Wants

Cable TV
iPhones
New Car
Four Bedroom House

Divide every single thing you spend money on and just honestly see what category it truly should be in.

Also remember that just because we need shelter from the weather that does not mean that we have to have a particular type. God will provide but that does not always mean that we will have a large home with each child having their own bedroom. That is a want not a need.

Read this post for better insight into housing I Have a Confession to Make.

Are your housing choices made in order to meet others expectations?

Matthew 6:5-15

5 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.
6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.
8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
9 Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.

10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread,
12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you,
15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
ESV

Notice “for your Father knows what you need before you ask him” and “Give us this day our daily bread.

Our Heavenly Father knows what we need. He is not like some parents today who would rather have their alcohol or drugs than to feed “His” children. Our Father is perfect and holy He will do what is right at all times.

We in the US think that if our cabinets, pantry, freezer and refrigerator are not full we are suffering. While much of the world starves for food, we throw out more food than they will ever eat.

Matthew 6:25-34

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?
28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,
29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?
32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
ESV

But it is not all just needs our Lord provides. When we trust in Him, He will also grant us the desires of our heart.

Psalms 37:4-5

4 Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act
.
ESV

There are so many verses that show that the Lord will meet our needs if we just trust in Him and seek His will.


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Biblical Saving Faith – MacArthur

The Marks of Saving Faith by John MacArthur

Seven conditions that do not prove or disprove genuine saving faith.

1. Visible Morality

2. Intellectual Knowledge

3. Religious Involvement

4. Active Ministry

5. Conviction of Sin

6. The Feeling of Assurance

7. A Time of Decision

Nine conditions that prove genuine saving faith.
1. Love for God

2. Repentance from Sin

3. Genuine Humility

4. Devotion to God’s Glory

5. Continual Prayer

6. Selfless Love

7. Separation from the World

8. Spiritual Growth

9. Obedience

Follow the links above to read more about what John MacArthur said on each of these points.

See Also:

Ten “Christians” God Will Not Allow Into Heaven

Ten Tests of True Christianity

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Friendships – Bad Company Ruining Good Morals or Iron Sharpening Iron?

We need to be careful of how we relate to the world and unbelievers. Although we are called to share the gospel, we are still warned repeatedly about how we are to use caution when we interact with the world. If we are not careful, unbelieving worldly people will lead us astray.

Even those that claim to believe in Jesus Christ can lead us astray if they are living like the world and listening to the world’s message.

Psalms 1:1-2
1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night
. ESV

1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” ESV

Proverbs 4:14-15
14 Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of the evil.
15 Avoid it; do not go on it; turn away from it and pass on.
ESV

Job 21:16,18 The counsel of the wicked is far from me. … That they are like straw before the wind, and like chaff that the storm carries away? ESV

Proverbs 1:10 My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent. ESV

Psalms 26:4-5
4 I do not sit with men of falsehood, nor do I consort with hypocrites.
5 I hate the assembly of evildoers, and I will not sit with the wicked
. ESV

Psalms 119:47-48
47 for I find my delight in your commandments, which I love.
48 I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on your statutes.
ESV

Proverbs 18:24 A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. ESV

John 17:14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. ESV

James 1:27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. ESV

This Iron sharpens Iron post was talking about how our Christian friends are to encourage us in our walk with the Lord.

“In the Word of God: If either of us are taking on a worldly view or just taking on the “acceptable” view on a topic and not using the Scripture as a guide, it’s not really iron sharpening iron. We’re just having a heated discussion.”

Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. ESV
Proverbs 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy. ESV

Hebrews 3:13-14
13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
14 For we share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end
. ESV

1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. ESV

Colossians 3:16-17
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him
. ESV

We can’t have serious discussions of this type with a nonbeliever because we are not using the same guide, God’s Word. Even if a nonbeliever quotes Scripture, you can be sure they will often quote it out of context or without looking at all of Scripture, such as ignoring other verses.

We are to share the gospel and make disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Mark 16:15-16
15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.
16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
ESV

Matthew 28:19-20
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
ESV

But while we are going about sharing the gospel we must be sure to not become stained by the world.

James 1:27 Religion that is pure and undefiled
before God, the Father, is this:
to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and
to keep oneself unstained from the world. ESV

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