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Thursday, February 26, 2009

With The Heart

Saving faith must include commitment, repentance, and consistency in obedience. My question would then be what motivates these things if not the study of God's Word? Jesus said, "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed, and ye will know the truth and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:31, 32). And yes, with the heart man believeth unto salvation, but should confessing with our mouths precede an understanding of the Gospel? Faith comes by hearing and how shall they hear? I would not even trust preaching alone. The Bereans' response to the preaching of Paul was to search the Scriptures daily whether those things were so (Acts 17:11). Where is the perfect balance between obedience to the Scriptures that admonish us to study, love, meditate upon, and memorize God's Word, the very foundation of faith - and the type of easy believism that may at the very least be leading some Christians to live less than fulfilling, holy, and temporally victorious lives, growing in grace and in the "knowledge" of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ? Salvation is a free gift of God received only by true repentance, faith in Jesus as the Messiah, and is a faith unmediated by the church according to Luther. I don't however; believe that it was Luther's intent to deny the importance of biblical scholarship or the responsibility of the individual believer to know (study) the Word of God. Why else would he deem it so important to translate the Bible into German? Luther believed we can learn about God only through divine revelation and Scripture therefore became increasingly important to him ( Your quotation of John 6:47 is apropos, and John 14:21 goes on to say, "He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him." I am convinced there are many individuals at the local bar who approached an altar at some pint and repeated the sinners prayer and are thus convinced they shall rule and reign with Christ upon his return and live in the presence of God throughout eternity. But the Apostle Paul was concerned bout us keeping, holding onto, and remaining in faith: "Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme" (1 Timothy 1:19, 20).

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