on our legalism series – ‘how does faith work?’

I guess I need to get caught up…

I want to give you a summary of our message last Sunday, preached after my marathon across the mountains the day before. I am thankful for portable computing! I had my message all ready for printing and preaching before I left Alberta.

Our subject this week: How does Faith Work? The idea of the message was to impress on our people the fact that saving faith is recognizable. The proposition I was working on was this: Faith is seen in the fruit it bears. Faith is the life of heaven lived on earth. There are several ways the notion of faith is seen in the New Testament. First, we have faith as a noun. “The faith”, Jude calls it. He refers to ‘the faith’ as a shorthand for an objective confession that is the foundation of saving faith. Without it, you cannot be a Christian. Paul speaks about believing in the Lord Jesus and confessing the resurrection in the heart. John speaks about confessing the Lord Jesus as the Christ come in the flesh. From incarnation to resurrecton, and every aspect of the doctrine of Christ in between, this is ‘the faith’. If you won’t accept this, you cannot have Christ.

The next aspect of faith is faith as a verb. This is Hebrews 11 faith. Faith that trusts. Faith that trusts God’s promises, though invisible, though not yet reality. This is how our understanding of creation works: we weren’t there, but we trust God’s word. God made promises to Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, etc. and they believed God. These men staked their lives on the invisible promises of God. As a matter of fact, we who are called believers today must also stake our lives on God’s invisible promises as well. Faith is a verb. We trust God.

Last, we looked at faith as a work or as a way of life. This is James 2.18 faith. ‘Show me’ faith. How does James urge us to ‘show’ faith. By caring for widows and orphans. By keeping unspotted from the world. By bridling the tongue. By self-control. By being a doer of the word. Faith works by personal devotion to the standards of holiness God lays out for us in the scripture. Faith works by love (Gal 5.6) – love for Christ, first of all, and for the saints throuh Him. Those who claim that Christianity has no need to conform to standards of holiness have a low regard for the Christ who bought them.

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In our afternoon service, Rory preached on the subject of Paul’s conversion under the title ‘Getting to Know God’. Rory’s message described how Saul’s life was radically changed by the gospel and called us to know God as Paul did in order to experience the same kind of change for ourselves.

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Next week we have evangelistic meetings with evangelist Dan Manka. He has his family here to minister with us on Sunday through Friday. We are handing out many flyers for the meetings and hope to see a few new faces in the meetings. A few? Well, we hope to see many, but we are of little faith.

Regards,
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Comments

  1. clearly says:

    Don, thanks for addressing this issue. We live in a day where people throw the l-word at anyone who believes in holiness!

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