March 9, 2009

To Examine Our Faith

Jesus said that He came to give life to His sheep by giving His life for them, and that He came to give life more abundantly (John 10:10). Only those who continue in His word will know the truth and be set free from their sins (John 8:36). So we can realize that it is absolutely essential to continue in the word and teachings of Christ. That is the only way to freedom. Satan lied to Eve in the garden and made her think true freedom was found in doing whatever she desired to do, but that was a deception (see Genesis 3). It is the same lie we all believe whenever we follow our own will instead of God's will revealed to us in the Bible.

1 Samuel 15:23
records the words that Samuel said to King Saul when the king did not do what God had commanded,
"For rebellion* is as the sin of divination, and presumption* is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has also rejected you from being king."

*[rebellion = the action or process of resisting authority, control or convention; e.g. against parents; in this case it is against God's word.]

*[presumption = carries the idea of assuming something is right or OK without a proper basis for it; e.g. I may make decisions based on what I personally think is right for me, but fail to decide based on what God says is right in the Bible.]

Rom 1:5
through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations,...

The gospel always brings about obedience in the lives of those who believe it. Obedience to the law of God does not save anyone, because it is the obedience of Christ that saves all who believe the truth (Rom 5:19). But our obedience to Christ is the essential fruit and proof of true saving faith, without which there is no salvation (James 2:14).

Faith in Christ always produces obedience from a genuine heart of love for God and for others. The New Testament tells us we must examine our faith (2 Corinthians 13:5). It is possible to genuinely love someone and still question the sincerity of their faith, just as the apostles did in order to help the early Christians. It is not an unloving or judgmental thing to do, but is necessary because it helps people become more assured of the gospel and their own salvation. The moment we think we are not in need of being tested is the very moment we are most blinded to what we actually do need. If you are not sure about whether you are truly born again and saved for eternal life by the grace of God in Christ, then it would be best to go to Jesus now in prayer and plead with Him to show you Himself through the Bible and ask Him to make your faith genuine and lasting.

4 comments:

Laurie Lynn said...

Hi.
I noticed your comment on 22 Wors about what you thought you'd do when you grew up and what you actually do.
Anyway. I noticed you wanted to live in the country w/ a sweet wife and also get high! (Well you didn't say that, but I assumed as much since you wanted to grow you own!)
That sounded a bit like my dream once too! Okay, I admit that marijuana should be legal (I have MS and I hear it works wonders)

BUT is God so good to transform our minds and redeem us?!

Congrats on learning Spanish!
There is opportunity to speak it where I live, (restaurants, some Spanish speaking residents etc.) but not much, though I've often thought it would be a helpful language to know! My friend's daughter has a passion for the Spanish language and has devoted much time (college Master's degree) and now works where she can use the language, though not as glamorously as once desired.

God's grace astounds me!
His plans so far outweigh our feeble dreams and schemes!
May He direct your steps and lead you in His love!
Laurie

Laurie Lynn said...

Sorry for the typos! I published without editing! (blush)

Laurie Lynn said...

Oh heavens! Let me make a clarification! When I said "that sounded a bit like my dream once too" I was NOT talking about the taking a wife part! (That was probably obvious, but I thought I should clarify.)

Penn Tomassetti said...

Hi Laurie,

Thank you for your comments... and I understand.

Although I usually respond to new commentors much sooner, I have had some rough weeks this month, so sorry for being so long.

Nevertheless, thanks for stopping by and sharing! I've met people with MS before, and understand what you must be dealing with. Although it would be great, whether or not med. weed gets legalized, you still have Christ who far surpasses whatever gain or comfort we find here on earth.

May the Lord bless you and strengthen you!
Penn