Faith is not something you work on, or work up!

Written by Jarrod J. Williamson, Ph.D.

When we get to know Christ, as is our privilege to know Him, our lives will be lives of continual obedience.

Many people are confused as torepparttar relationship between faith and works? Just how is one saved? “Believe in Jesus” isrepparttar 147088 common response. But how does one “believe” in Jesus? Is this an act of sheer spiritual willpower? Do you just force yourself to believe?

I remember asking this question, “What does one do to believe in Jesus?” I was told as a response, “Give your heart to Jesus.” “How do I give me heart to Jesus?” I asked. “Come torepparttar 147089 foot ofrepparttar 147090 cross,” wasrepparttar 147091 response. Frustrated withrepparttar 147092 metaphors, I asked “How do I come torepparttar 147093 foot ofrepparttar 147094 cross?” The circular answer was, “Give your heart to Jesus.” I am an engineer and like things concretely defined. Answering my questions with metaphors, much less a circle of metaphors, frustrates me to no end.

So, finally, after years thought, reflection, and advise from trusted counselors, I have come up withrepparttar 147095 following outline. Please forgive any theological nuances, as I am not a professional theologian.

1. All human beings (save Christ,repparttar 147096 Eternal Son of God) are born sinners with a sinful nature that separates us from God. Even though a baby might be too young to willfully sin, they are still born with a sinful nature. In other words, it is your sinful nature that gives rise to sins. You sins do not make you a sinner, butrepparttar 147097 fact you were born a sinner gives rise to your committing sins. As a result, we all need to be saved. This was accomplished through Christ's atoning, substitutionary death onrepparttar 147098 cross. (cf. Rom. 3:23 - 26)

2. Salvation is, and has always been, by grace through faith alone inrepparttar 147099 work and Person of Jesus Christ alone. I.e., salvation has always been throughrepparttar 147100 gospel. In OT times they did not knowrepparttar 147101 coming Redeemer byrepparttar 147102 name "Jesus Christ", but they knewrepparttar 147103 gospel in some form or fashion. (cf. Heb. 3:1 - 4:2)

3. Grace means "unmerited favor." Faith means "trust, based on evidence, that result in action." As forrepparttar 147104 relationship between faith and works, John Calvin hitrepparttar 147105 nail onrepparttar 147106 head I think when he said "It is faith alone that saves, butrepparttar 147107 faith that saves is never found alone." That, in my opinion, isrepparttar 147108 best one-line resolution between Paul (cf. Rom 3:20) and James (Jas 2:24).

4. Salvation consists of three things: (a) Justification, (b) Sanctification, and (c) Glorification. (a) Justification -- is going from being a condemned sinner to a saved sinner. It isrepparttar 147109 righteousness of Christ, none of our own, put to our account. In other words, it is Christ's imputed righteousness. It is obtained by grace through faith alone inrepparttar 147110 work and Person of Jesus Christ alone. It's function is to save us into heaven.

(b) Sanctification -- is typically called "spiritual maturity" nowadays. In short, it is growth in Christ, byrepparttar 147111 power ofrepparttar 147112 Holy Spirit, wherein, among other things, we overcome our sinful habits and we (hopefully) sin less and less as we become more spiritually mature. It isrepparttar 147113 righteousness of Christ, none of our own. In other words, it is Christ's imparted righteousness. It is obtained by grace through faith alone inrepparttar 147114 work and Person of Jesus Christ alone. It's function is to bring glory to God (i.e., "so that they might see your good works and glorify your father in heaven.").

Memorizing the Word of God

Written by Barbara White

Are there benefits to learning Scripture verses by heart today? In this instant worldrepparttar thought of memorizing scripture verses may seem a little outdated.

There are many ways of making scripture part of your life and that is what is important if we want to have strong spiritual roots, and grow a deeper relationship with God. Having Christian music on inrepparttar 147087 day is a good way, even better worship music. Many of our worship songs are taken straight fromrepparttar 147088 Bible, and are a great way of immersing our soul and spirit in God.

There was, however, a time in my life when I spent a lot of time and energy memorizing verses includingrepparttar 147089 Bible reference before and afterrepparttar 147090 verse.

These were my reasons atrepparttar 147091 time 1. If God's word is living and active and powerful, then why not make it a deep part of me. 2. If I was sharing my faith then God's word has way more impact than my words. The Bible has far more credibility and more than my opinions, and people could go back and read it for themselves. 3. It was a tool that I wanted to develop skill in. See 2 Timothy 2 v.15 4. I could bring to mind verses that were particularly meaningful or encouraging at times when I felt disheartened. 5. I memorized verses that God had used to speak to me about specific things that were going o in my life atrepparttar 147092 time.

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