Posted by: pastortomvabeach | March 13, 2012

Thought for the Week March 18, 2012

How did you do this week “acting” like saints? Did you notice anything different about the way you approached everyday situations? Did you experience any victories in living out the salvation you have in Jesus Christ? I can’t help but believe that you must have noticed a difference, even if it is merely the difference in how you view yourself in relation to God and the trials and temptations faced in life. If we can just get our perceptions to line up with what God says (the truth) that will change our lives.

Let’s wind up this discussion on faith by going back to the beginning of the discussion. We began talking about the foundational truths listed in Hebrews 6, “repentance from dead works and faith toward God.” To set the stage we discussed grace and then faith from a standpoint of “what is faith” and “what does it look like in operation”. Let’s step back a bit and just examine the idea of the foundation of a relationship with God which is faith. Everything we receive from God comes by faith. Faith is the only way to have a relationship with God.

So what is “saving faith” – the faith puts me in relationship with God? By way of review faith means to trust in God and what He has revealed through His revelation to us, the Bible (the truth). The Bible views what we believe as something certain and equated it with knowledge because it rests on the testimony of God Himself. i.e. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. (I John 5:13) We trust what God says is certain because He can’t lie (Titus 1:2). We must also remember that faith is revealed as a gift from God and to act in faith means just that, we act like what we believe is true.

So what truths must we believe to be in relationship with God, to be “saved”? We must first believe that, as human beings, we are apart from God and “dead in sin” (Ephesians 2:1) Paul tells us all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) and Jesus said that in order to enter the kingdom of God we must be “born again” (John 3:3, 5). So I must agree with God, that I have sinned and that sin separates me from Him.

Then I need to believe that God has made a way to restore the relationship and that way is His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus was crucified as our substitute to satisfy God’s anger at man’s rebellion through sin then rose again to make the way for us to life with God. Peter preached, Let it be known to all of you…that by the name of Jesus Christ…whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead…the stone that was rejected by you…has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else… (Acts 4:10-12). Jesus said over and over that if we trust in Him we can receive eternal life (forgiveness of sin, new birth, relationship with God, etc.).

Faith for salvation, then, is simply believing I need Jesus and trusting Him to take care of my need. Biblically, it is more than simply assenting intellectually, like saying, “I believe it will rain today.” As we covered last week, biblical faith is following through with the truth and acting like what I believe is true. If Jesus takes me out of a life of rebellion against God and makes me a member of His family, then I live like I’m part of that family.

In fact, God does something supernatural when we trust in Christ. He changes our spirit to be new. Christians struggle so much with sin because God puts His Spirit in us which moves us to dispise sin, so temptation now bothers us where it didn’t in the past. We hunger for God’s word and worship, which didn’t mean anything to us before. Faith makes these things real.

The question this week is, if faith in Christ is the foundation, or beginning, of my relationship with God, have I put in the foundation? Paul tells us how, If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9-10) If we want to progress past the foundational truths in God’s Word, we must start with the foundation. Is yours laid? Just a thought.

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