FAITH and WORKS

IF YOU WOULD UNDERSTAND THE TENSION BETWEEN FAITH AND WORKS, READ EPHESIANS 2:8-10; JAMES 2:14-18; HEBREWS 11:1-6.

WHY DO MOST CHRISTIANS, INCLUDING MANY PASTORS, TREAT THIS SUBJECT AS IF YOU CAN’T HAVE BOTH FAITH AND WORKS?  WITH THEM, DUE TO A MISUNDERSTANDING OF THE PASSAGE: “FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD,” THEY PLAY ONE AGAINST THE OTHER, RATHER THAN REALIZING AND UNDERSTANDING THAT FAITH AND WORKS COMPLIMENT ONE ANOTHER.  OFTEN THIS IS DONE SOLELY FOR THE PURPOSE OF ATTEMPTING TO GRIND A DENOMINATIONAL AX.

WORKS ARE THE RESULT OF ONE’S FAITH.  IF FAITH AND WORKS WERE A HORSE AND A WAGON, FAITH WOULD BE THE HORSE, PULLING THE WAGON LOAD OF WORKS.  MANY IF NOT MOST CHRISTIANS, ARE GUILTY OF GETTING THE CART BEFORE THE HORSE.  THE RESULT: YOU CAN’T GET ANYWHERE LIKE THAT!  MOREOVER, YOU CAN’T AND WON’T BE SAVED WITHOUT FAITH, WHICH COMES TO US BY GRACE.

The Bible is equally clear that faith, real faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, engenders good works.  Ephesians 2:10 is adamant about that, and puts it as succinctly as it can be put: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”  Now – since God has ordained it, that’s the way it is: The one who comes by faith to the Lord Jesus Christ, WILL exhibit good works.  It couldn’t be clearer; and there is therefore no reason or need for dissension.  Isn’t God’s Word wonderful?  He tells us clearly everything we need to know!  All we have have to do is seek His will and purpose, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  You and I can know the truth, if It’s our desire to do so.

With love for all, from a sinner saved by irresistible grace,

Bill

 

FAITH and WORKS

A NEW AND ETERNAL COVENANT

AND A NEW HEAVEN AND EARTH, WHERE THOSE WHO ARE NEW CREATIONS IN CHRIST WILL BE GOD’S PEOPLE; AND HE THEIR GOD, FOREVER AND EVER.  AMEN! (Jeremiah 31:33; Revelation 21:3)

And just what qualifies those who will live with God forever and ever to do so?  Why, nothing but the grace of God, whereby we are drawn by that irresistible grace to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.  That’s the only qualification!

To be in Holy Covenant with the True and Living God: That is the highest and most wonderful standing that a person can possibly have.  To have, by grace, a saving relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ – wow!.  It just doesn’t get any better than that.  I’ve quoted this before, many times; but it’s worth reiterating:  Jim Elliot a Christian missionary martyred by the Auca Indians of Ecuador said, “He is no fool, who gives up that which he cannot keep, to gain that which he cannot lose.”

Physical life is transient.  Eternal life in Jesus Christ begins the moment one believes and lasts forever.  I can but praise and bless the Holy Son of God when I think of his wonderful salvation, that he freely gives to all who come to him by grace through faith.  Hallelujah, what a Savior!

With love in the Lord Jesus for all, a sinner saved by grace,

Bill

 

A NEW AND ETERNAL COVENANT

MONERGISM VS SYNERGISM

DOES GOD’S SOVEREIGN ELECTION NEGATE MAN’S RESPONSIBILITY TO BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST?

John 3:14-21: “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.  He that believeth on him is not condemned: But he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath believed on the name of the only begotten Son of God.  And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  For everyone that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they have been wrought in God.”

Revelation 22:17: “And the Spirit and the bride say, come.  And let him that heareth say, come.  And let him that is athirst come, and whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”

In the light of the Scriptures cited above the answer to the question: “Does God’s Sovereign Election negate man’s responsibility to believe in Jesus Christ,” is a resounding no!

Why then, did God initiate election in the first place?  The answer is quite simple, and easy to discern in the light of God’s clear Truth.  From God’s Word the answer follows:  Humankind, being totally depraved, and at enmity with God by the result of Adam’s sin, can not possibly transcend that depraved nature, and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.  It is, in fact, impossible for us to do so (Scripture references: Psalms 14 & 53; Romans 3:9-20; Jeremiah 17:9; Isaiah 64:6).  Therefore: If God had not chosen some by Sovereign election, none could, or would, come to Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:4-6).  Being dead in trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1), it is as impossible for a person to move spiritually, in order to come in belief to Jesus Christ, as it is for a physically dead person to walk or talk or manifest life in any other way.  Therefore, I respectfully submit that Monergism is true doctrine in regard to God’s dealings with humankind.  Furthermore, as an ambassador for Jesus Christ, I pray that, if you haven’t yet been, you will be reconciled to God this very day (2 Corinthians 5:20,21).

Additionally, I would that all who come to the Lord Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, would realize that they have indeed been chosen by God from the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blame before him in love: Having been predestined to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he has made us accepted in the beloved (Ephesians 1:4-6).

O beloved, we should indeed fear and stand in awe of the Sovereign God; and be quick to believe and follow his dictates; never disbelieving what he clearly states in His Word, simply because it can’t be reconciled in our finite minds by human reasoning.  We are, after all, a fallen species.

With love, from a rank sinner, saved by God’s Sovereign grace,

Bill

 

 

 

MONERGISM VS SYNERGISM

JESUS PRAYS FOR HIS OWN!

THE MANIFESTO OF MONERGISM

JOHN 17: The Lord Prays for those whom the Father has given to him:

These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour has come; glorify thy Son that thy Son also may glorify thee:  As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.  And this is life eternal, that they may know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.

It is clear by the wording of the Scripture above, that Jesus Christ is the giver of eternal life. It is equally clear that those to whom Christ gives eternal life, are none but whom the Father has given to Him.  It is clear as well that all power was given Christ in heaven and on earth, over all flesh, for the express purpose of giving eternal life to those whom the Father has given him.  To deny those things, or to assign other meaning to that particular Scripture, is an affront to Almighty God, who works all things after the counsel of his will.

Why then do some people object to the sovereignty of God, claiming responsibility, and ability to have a part in a salvation that purportedly helps God Almighty save them (think of the absurdity of that!)   Prayerful reading of the New Testament, should be enough in itself, for the Holy Spirit to work the truth into deluded souls.  Why then, do people usurp the authority of God, and claim for themselves that which belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ alone; and that is “to give eternal life to as many” as God the Father has given him?  It’s because much of Christendom is trapped in Synergistic confusion and tradition that is nothing less than rank heresy.

Read the New Testament.  The testimony of Jesus Christ and all the apostles is clear.  Our Lord prays for his own; he seeks his own; he saves his own.  He will come back to take his own to be with him where he is.  “How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord, Is laid for your faith in his excellent Word!  What more can he say than to you he hath said.  Than to you who for refuge to Jesus  have fled?” (Based on 2 Timothy 2:19; Hebrews 13:5; Isaiah 43:1,2)

With love from a sinner saved by sovereign grace!

Bill

 

JESUS PRAYS FOR HIS OWN!

IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH

JESUS AND THE WOMAN AT THE WELL

John 4:20-24:  Our fathers worshiped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.  Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet in Jerusalem, worship the Father.  Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.  But the hour cometh, and now is, when true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.  God is a Spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

How do we worship God?  Jesus makes it quite clear: It’s not in a grandiose and splendid environment necessarily (The temple in Jerusalem or fancy church buildings), it’s not necessarily in a natural setting (in the mountains or the woods).  But if it’s real worship it will by necessity be in spirit and in truth (that’s indispensably important); and may be anywhere (the geographic setting is insignificant).

In John 3:1-21, Jesus gives his wonderful sermon to Nicodemus.  He explains the difference between  being born of the flesh and being born of the Spirit; (and, never the twain shall meet.)  That which is born of the flesh (also involving the birth waters) is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit (Born again) is spirit.  Jesus made it expressly clear what these things should mean to us.  “True worshipers shall worship the father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.”  Jesus, the Master of plain and explicit instruction has made it abundantly clear exactly what he means.  We (every one who would be saved) must yield to the wooing of the Holy Spirit; come in repentance to the Father; and cast ourselves by faith into the arms of Jesus Christ.  There’s no other way; because Jesus is the way!  Today, if we hear his voice!  Not tomorrow!  Today!

A simple message from a simple sinner saved by grace,

Bill

IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH

BLESSED ARE THEY THAT MORN?

Surely the above statement is a misprint!  Aren’t we to be happy and bubbly, seeking and getting good vibes, and all that stuff?  I don’t think so!  I think the problem is in  misunderstanding what Jesus means by “Blessed are they that mourn” in Matthew 5:4.

Jesus doesn’t end there: He adds “for they shall be comforted.”  Why, and from what shall we be comforted?  Can you think of anything for which Christians should mourn, and then be comforted in the world today?  How about the fact of the total depravity of the human race.  Immediately the “good vibe receiver”, and the misguided “positive thinker” object:  “O people are getting better and better right along.”  However, their objections to the contrary notwithstanding, newspapers and other news media report daily everything necessary to prove that total depravity is factual and real.  The fact is: apart from reconciliation to God through Jesus Christ, humankind has no hope.  The reality is that humankind is on a course of self destruction, and only the Second Coming of Jesus Christ will save us from running and finishing that course.  Jesus came and will come again, to “seek and to save that which was lost.”  Lost humanity, and a lost world in which “the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now” (Romans 8:22), point to the fact of humankind’s inability to be (in and of ourselves) anything but, totally depraved.  The intervention of the Lord Jesus Christ, who will come again to “Judge the Living and the dead,” is the only hope of humankind.

The comfort of those to whom Jesus is speaking in Matthew 5 (His disciples then and now), is their belief in him.  “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18).  Light has come into the world in the person of Jesus Christ, and we (believers) love the light more than the darkness.  The darkness, engendered by Satan, and perpetuated by those who are deceived by him is strong.  However, “All power in heaven and on earth” is given to the Lord Jesus Christ; and therein, is the believer’s comfort.  “Jesus shall reign where e’er the sun does his successive journeys run” (From Psalm 72 by Isaac Watts).  In that fact alone, do we take comfort.  “Praise Him, praise him, Jesus our Blessed Redeemer” (Fanny Crosby)!  Undoubtedly I’ll morn as long as I’m in this body; but the day of comfort and rejoicing is on its way!  “Even so, Lord Jesus, come!”

With love for all of you, from a sinner saved by grace,

Bill

 

BLESSED ARE THEY THAT MORN?

GRACE AND TRUTH

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.  John bare witness of him, and cried saying, this was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.  And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.  For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ (John 1:14-17).

The essence of grace and truth are found in Jesus Christ (The Living Word of God), and nowhere else.  You may find a hint of grace and truth, or a fragment of grace and truth in someone or something else; but, the very essence of grace and truth are found in Christ alone (Sola Christo).

The reason I stress that grace and truth are essentially found in Christ alone, is that there are so many looking for grace and truth anywhere and everywhere else.  In “vibes,” and in stirrings within themselves, in false ideas about religion, and many other things that can only be identified as “sinking sand,” in the light of Jesus Christ, the Rock, and the glorious Son of God.

We are saved by grace alone; and since Christ is the essence of grace, we are therefore, saved by Christ alone.  We are edified, and sanctified by God’s truth alone; and since Christ is The Way, The Truth, and the Life, it stands to reason that He is the basis of our edification and sanctification.  In John 17:17, Jesus prays to the Father: “Sanctify them (the Apostles and us!) by thy truth, thy word is truth,” and so it has always, and ever will be “Christ alone.”

Therefore, I submit to you, that it is indeed: By grace alone; through faith alone, in the Lord Jesus Christ alone, according to the truth of God’s Word alone.  Only on the basis of this, the gracious and true gospel of Jesus Christ, will anyone be saved.  I consider it the greatest of privileges that I may tell you all that, to the praise and the glory of Almighty God, who is the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Amen!

With love to all, and no apology to those who disagree, I am

A sinner saved by grace through the truth of God’s Word,

Bill

 

GRACE AND TRUTH