Eternal Gospel

If He Does Not Look After Our Faith
2009-01-10 21:23
We are justified freely by faith in Jesus, who died for our sins, and we are saved without our effort by faith in the power of God, who raised Christ from the dead for our justification. But if we don't keep our faith, the righteousness we received without cost and the salvation we received without our effort will all be in vain.

When Jesus was in the world, he said to Simon, "'You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas' (which, when translated, is Peter)." (John 1:42). Although he received a name, Cephas (a Rock), which would be called later, Simon could not keep his faith by himself until he turned back from the flesh to the Spirit. If they are not set free from the flesh, they can wander from faith and can shipwreck their faith because they are mere infants in Christ.

Therefore, Jesus said to Simon, who later became Peter, "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers." (Luke 22:31-32).

In the gospel, Christ a righteousness from God is revealed from faith to faith. He is the author and perfecter of our faith, but he just helps us in our weakness and makes intercession for us. And so God refines and tests our faith as our own because it is treasure which God gave us through Christ.

Therefore, the Bible says about the testing of faith, "because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance." (James 1:3). And also, "These have come so that your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed." (1 Peter 1:7).

Therefore, the Bible teaches us how to keep the faith, "holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith." (1 Timothy 1:19).

If their faith is not combined with a good conscience, they consider righteousness and salvation as something to boast about and despise everyone and have an evil heart, and their faith will be shipwrecked in the end.

The Bible warns about it, "The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron." (1 Timothy 4:1-2).

And also, the Bible warns about those who wander from the faith, "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." (1 Timothy 6:10).

It is because such people are still in the flesh, not turning back from the flesh to the Spirit. Therefore the Bible says, "Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation--but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God." (Romans 8:12-14).

Someone said, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day--and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing." (2 Timothy 4:7-8). This is the man who was caught up to the third heaven.

This man Paul said, "Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you." (Philippians 3:17). And again, "Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith." (Hebrews 13:7).

But he said, "But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them--yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me." (1 Corinthians 15:10).

I am today also following his example. Thank you, Lord.
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