Saturday, September 10, 2011

Salvation is of the Lord, Part 9 of 9

But what saith it (faith)? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed,” Romans 10:8-11.

Two verse later we also read: “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved,” Romans 10:13. This passage, quoted from Joel 2:32, demonstrates that the nature of salvation has not changed from the Old Testament to the New Testament eras. Both before and after the cross men are saved by faith. Faith speaks a different language than works. Why? Faith is a heavenly language and works is earthly. Faith is Christ speaking peace through His ambassadors to a hurting and lost world that is literally Hell-bent on saving itself. Faith transforms sons of Adam into sons of God by virtue of regeneration as the indwelling Holy Spirit comes to abide in us. Faith accomplishes what works cannot because faith’s hope is Christ; the hope of works inevitably falls on the worker. Works are a service performed to gain or retain wages; grace is a free gift given soveriegnly by the Lord to whom He wills, Romans 9:13.

He has chosen to bequeath this priceless treasure of Christ’s life to those who recognize they don’t deserve it and know they have nothing to offer in return. When we come to God with empty hands, offering nothing but imploring His mercy He will fill those hands with Himself. The law busies a man with religious activity that often transforms his worldviews into monastic asceticism. Such cut themselves off from the world because music, movies, hobbies etc that are secular become unclean. Instead of a suppliant and brother you become a judge. Christians ought to be humble, open, approachable, loving and nonjudgmental toward those outside. Those outside God judges, 1st Corinthians 5:13. They don’t need a judge; they need to see the love of Christ calling them to be reconciled to God, 2nd Corinthians 5:20.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith,” Romans 1:16-17.

We see that God’s plan is to save those who believe. This belief goes beyond mere head knowledge. Mental assent and genuine faith are different animals. Genuine faith should invoke pleasures, interests and pursuits opposed and contrary to our former life. Christ said that a chief evidence of our discipleship is that we love one another, John 13:35. God intends to use the transformed lives of His children as lights and witnesses to everyone around them. Through us the world glimpses Jesus Christ; in us the world should find a rationale for living and a mindset contrary to the world system Satan offers. In us the world should see God’s wisdom being demonstrated; a marvel even the angels watch, Ephesians 3:10-11.

Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures,” 1st Corinthians 15:3-4.

I wanted to give the gospel one final time to remind Christians what we are saved by this message; it is what we ought to be preaching. It is the word of faith the Philippian jailor was saved by, Acts 16:31. We must clearly preach the word of God: who Christ is, what He has done, and why it was necessary. Only then can someone accept the message of the gospel and believe in the One it proclaims. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth,” 2nd Timothy 2:15. We are to study prayerfully the word of God and listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit as He speaks through Scripture and other believers to give us a right understanding of God’s word.

This is so we do not use the Bible as a weapon to win our personal doctrinal wars but as a sword that cleaves to the soul and spirit of man to prepare them for the work of the Holy Spirit. It is shameful, utterly deplorable, how many men have exploited God’s word to teach doctrines that are not compatible to the biblical message. Some do so in ignorance; others do so for greed or malice. Some do so because their belly (their ambition and ego) compel them. We must rightly divide the word, brethren. I leave this study with a stern and final warning, praying that I have made clear the nature of the gospel and what is needed to be saved. Don’t just read and dismiss this warning, if you do not agree with my views. May God speak to you through the message.

I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed,” Galatians 1:6-10.

If the gospel was clearly given, which I have endeavored to show that it was, any perversion of it warrants the condemnation Paul warns of here. Not even angelic messengers are given license to tamper with the gospel’s message; any who claim to are not servants of Yahweh, but of His adversary. It is not how much you believe, but what you believe. Where is your faith? In what have we believed? Is it a strong enough foundation to risk our eternal welfare on? More so, are you willing to wait until you die to find out? Christ said that if you come to Him in faith you are saved, and remain saved; He keeps you, John 6:37. This, my friends, is the good news of the Christian gospel. God bless.

Read Part Eight?

1 comment:

  1. Great article, Ian.

    Newton's law, that what goes up must come down, expressed the only part of the law of gravitation needed to survive on this planet, but what causes gravity is a very complex subject. In a similar way, the gospel expresses what we need to understand to be saved, but the basis for our salvation is far more complex. Just as we can take advantage of gravity with out understanding it all, we can receive salvation without understanding it all.

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