THE BIBLE’S DEFINITION OF FAITH

FROM MY HEART TO YOURS – BLUEGILL BILL

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Hebrews 11:1

In the Bible verse quoted above, Hebrews 11:1, is the most accurate and concise description of faith found anywhere.  Faith requires that it be something we hope for or desire, and also faith must be anchored in something that is evident.  Therefore saving faith, i. e., Biblical faith, must be evident, if it is worth anything.  Saving faith must also be in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, since there is salvation in no other; because, “there is no other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

There are no events in human history, that are more firmly attested to by the witness of faithful and honorable men and women, than the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ.  The fact that all of the apostles but John, were martyred for their belief, is logical evidence in itself, that Jesus Christ, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty,” is the One that the Bible says He is:  Creator, Redeemer, Only Begotten Son of the True and Living God, The Word, who was in the beginning with God, who was and is indeed, the Son of God, and God the Son.

The atheist and the agnostic will say, “How can this be so?  Can you explain the Trinity to me?”  My answer to that person and all who think in the same manner, is, that God, with His infinite wisdom, can never be understood by the finite reasoning of inferior humankind.  We live and move and have our being in Him; not He in us.  God must, if He is God, be aware of every single molecule in the universe.  Not merely awareness of their existence, but of their purposes; where they are, and what they’re doing.  As a friend of mine once said, “Why, He even has them named.”

Now THIS is the God of whom I speak.  The One who calls us to have faith in Him!  This is not the god of someone’s imagination; but Almighty God who has revealed Himself to us in the pages of His Holy Word.  The One who says, “Apart from me you can nothing.”  He is the One to whom we sing, “My faith looks up to Thee, Thou Lamb of Calvary, Savior Divine.”  Have faith in Him!  He is the Only One worthy of our faith!

With love and prayer for all,

Bluegill Bill aka Bill Biza

THE BIBLE’S DEFINITION OF FAITH

FROM MY HEART TO YOURS

BLUEGILL BILL

In Colossians 3rd Chapter, we find some of the most wonderful advice in the New Testament (Verses 12-17) “Put on, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another, forgiving one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must forgive.  And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.  And, let peace rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body.  And be thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing songs, and hymns, and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.  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.”

Will any of us do this perfectly?  Absolutely not.  Not me, for sure.  Why not?  Because we’re all made from the same clay!  All of us are defined in this way: “There is none righteous, no, not one (Romans 3:10)!  Only the Lord Jesus Christ lived a life without sin.  As the perfect Lamb of God, without spot or blemish, only He could pay the penalty for our sins, and secure our salvation, and our redemption!  The most wonderful thing is, He did just that!  “For our sake he (God the Father) made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him, we might become the righteous of God (2 Corinthians 5:21).”  Therein lies our righteousness.  It’s in the Son of God.  He imputes it to us (deposits it to our account).  Salvation is free.  You can’t earn it.  The only wages spoken of in our relationship with God are the wages of sin.  Salvation is spoken of in the same verse as the “gift of God (Romans 6:23)”  Stop trying to earn salvation.  Simply accept and receive it in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Are there any works involved?  Of course there are.  But, they’re done out of love for the One who saves us, not in order to be saved (Ephesians 2:8-10). 

“Only trust Him, only trust Him, Only trust Him now!  He will save you, He will save you, He will save you now.”

Yours in the Savior’s love,

Bluegill Bill

 

 

 

 

 

 

FROM MY HEART YOURS – BLUEGILL BILL

Isn’t it wonderful that we have a God who is all powerful, all knowing, and present in every place?  He is just and holy; true and righteous; and works out everything according to His will.  In light of this, “Why should we be discouraged?  Why do the shadows come?  Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven, and home?  When Jesus is our portion.  Our constant friend is He.  His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.  His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He wathces me.”

In Psalm 62:1,2 David says by inspiration of the Holy Spirit:  “For God alone my soul waits in silence.  He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress.  I shall not be greatly shaken.”  Think of that!  The True and Living God, who created everything, and paid for our redemption, is our Rock; our Salvation, our Defence!  Praise His Holy Name!  He will never leave us, or forsake us!  In the midst of sorrow, He weeps for us!  In the midst of happiness He rejoices with us!  Moreover, when we breathe our last, we are born by angel’s wings into His presence!  What a glorious position we have in Him by grace through faith.

If you’ve never come by faith to Him, do so today!  Ask Him to be your Savior and Lord, and rejoice in Him.

Yours for the sake of Christ and His wonderful Gospel,

Bill Biza aka Bluegill Bill

 

FROM MY HEART YOURS – BLUEGILL BILL

GOD’S GRACE – NOTHING ELSE COUNTS!

John Newton had it right when he penned:  “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.”

However, it’s not salvation alone that smacks of God’s Grace, everything that comes in succession after salvation, is of grace as well.  As Charles H. Spurgeon once wrote, “It’s All of Grace.”

This story has been told of Napoleon Bonaparte:  One of his soldiers deserted, was caught, and was condemned to death by firing squad.  The soldier’s mother came to Napoleon, and said, “Sir will you please have mercy on my son?”  Napoleon answered, “Your son deserves no mercy!”  The mother then said, “Ah, sir!  If he was deserving, it would not be mercy.”  Napoleon was so moved by the mother’s wisdom, that he forgave her son, who, as the story goes, later distinguished himself in battle.

If it were not for the grace of God, all of us would be lost; because, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).”  A beautiful old hymn by Julia Johnston says it quite succinctly and beautifully:  “Grace, Grace, God’s Grace!  Grace that will pardon and cleanse within!  Grace, Grace, God’s Grace!  Grace that is greater than all our sin!”

It is the natural inclination of sinful humankind, to want to have a part in our own salvation.  We, as those who are totally depraved because of the fall of Adam, are incapable of helping ourselves in this regard.  “We are all like unclean things, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment (Isaiah 64:6); The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick (Jeremiah 17:9).”  Nevertheless, all pagan religions, and even some who nominally call themselves “Christian” have a works agenda for obtaining things eternal.  All of humankind’s proclivity to want to have a part in saving ourselves notwithstanding, the fact still remains:  Salvation is by grace alone!

Therefore, if you’ve never trusted in Christ before this time, i. e., called upon His Name, do so today.  It is He who will “never leave you nor forsake you!”  It is He who will “never cast you out!”  It is He who will “raise you up on the last day (Hebrews 13;5; John 6:37; John 6:39,40)!”  Receive Him today!

As ever, with love in Jesus Christ,

Bluegill Bill aka Bill Biza

 

 

 

 

 

GOD’S GRACE – NOTHING ELSE COUNTS!

THE PHARISEE & THE TAX COLLECTOR

In Luke 18:9-14, “He also (Jesus) told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt.: Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.  The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.  I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’  But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God be merciful to me, a sinner!’  I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other.  For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Those of us (because we’re all sinners), who think we can please God with our works are sadly mistaken; “For by the works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the works of the law comes knowledge of sin (Romans 3:20).”  All of us are guilty of this very thing at times, i. e., thinking we can earn favor with God.  The present Christian zeitgeist is quite Pharisaical, in that we tend to get things backward, and think that our standing with God depends on what we do in terms of works, both good works for fellow humans, and ecclesiastical works in terms of attendance to sacraments.  Actually the converse is true; and it’s what we are by God’s grace, that determines what we will do in regard to works that really count (Ephesians 2:8-10; Titus 3:5).  Real Christian works are done because we are united with Jesus Christ by faith, and because we are saved, not in order to be saved.  It only makes sense that if we (think) we must add to what Christ accomplished on the cross, we, in fact, distrust what he did in our behalf; and would, if it were possible, nullify his work in favor of our own works.

Therefore, there is a tendency to want to please God by what we do, rather than simply coming to Christ by faith, and trusting in his righteousness alone.  The Pharisee in Luke 18 tried to make God obligated to him by reminding God how good he was.  The tax collector, knowing that he fell far short of the glory of God, made his plea on the basis of God’s mercy and goodness to sinners.  All of us must know, for the sake of our eternal souls, where we stand in regard to the finished work of Christ.

The late J. Vernon McGee, nearly always made this plea for Jesus Christ at the end of his sermon: “Friends, do you know Him?  Do you love Him?  Will you serve Him?”  We need to ask ourselves these same questions today.

As ever, with love for all in Christ,

Bill Biza aka Bluegill Bill

 

 

 

THE PHARISEE & THE TAX COLLECTOR

GO TO THE LIGHT

“GO to the light” is a term that has been used by many people giving testimony of being with a person who is near death.  Often a person near death will say that they see a light, and will be advised by the person who is with them to “go to the light.”

In John 8:12, Jesus says, “I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”  It’s quite easy to envision the world as being shrouded in darkness, or covered in darkness, especially in the light of man’s inhumanity to man exhibited in the news these days.  I’m not an exceptionally bright man, or a philosopher, or a statesman; but, as a Christian witness, my hope is that everyone will “Go to the Light,” and by so doing, receive the “light of life,” The Lord Jesus Christ.

In John chapter 3, in His discourse to Nicodemus, Jesus says in verse 16-21, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.  And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  For everyone who does wicked things hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.  But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been carried out in God.”

Friends, God’s judgments are “True and righteous altogether.  More to be desired are they than gold.  Moreover, by them is God’s servant warned; and in the keeping of them their is great reward (Psalm 19:9b-11).  Romans 10:9,10 tells exactly how to be saved:  “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”  Nothing needs to be added to that!  Not by any church, nor by any religious leader.  “Jesus paid it all.”

With love for all in Jesus Christ,

Bill Biza aka Bluegill Bill

 

 

 

GO TO THE LIGHT