Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Path in the Son

“I know, O LORD, that a man's way is not in himself, nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps” (Jeremiah 10:23).

Many today make the claim that they want to be like Christ, but not many will choose to devote their heart, mind and soul to walking in His footsteps. They are not willing to deny their own knowledge and devote their lives to walking down the path that God has chosen for His children. God’s path is different and unfortunately not many choose it: “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:14). It is a path of self-denial and sacrifice, but also promised success. But many want the success without the sacrifice. These are people without faith who are not truly convinced that Jesus’ path can still lead to success in this present age.

Walking in the path of God’s Son is a choice we must make daily (Joshua 24:15). It is a daily decision to not give in to the temptations that try to pull us away from where that path leads. Those who choose to stay on their own path of sin cannot expect God to save them from this deadly choice of paths (Isaiah 59:2). God’s new covenant makes it clear that His power to save people from their sin is in the gospel (Romans 1:16). Walking in God’s path is a choice to accept His covenant of forgiveness. It is a path designed and defined by God that will lead us to the forgiveness of our sins.

God’s love for us is proven by His desire for us to be on the right path (1 Timothy 2:4) and He loves us enough to give us an opportunity to change the path we are currently on. It is clear that choosing any other path makes us opposed to God (Colossians 1:21). We cannot show our love for God if we stand opposed to His mind. Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15). And although we may have chosen the wrong path, God still wants our forgiveness: “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8). Christ died for us that we might change the direction we are headed and find His path to forgiveness.

The path of the world leads to an unwanted destination, death (Ephesians 2:1). Any path not blazed by God’s Son is a path of destruction. Satan has devised and disguised his path so that we might think we are on the right path. He had Saul (before God gave him the name Paul) convinced he was on the right path. But God came to Saul in a great light and showed him the error of his ways (Acts 22:8). In ignorance, Saul stood opposed to God. The path he was on was leading him away from God and to death. But God gave him the opportunity to change the path he was on (Acts 22:16). God sent Jesus to help you change the path you are following. If you are following the path of man’s philosophy, there is time for you to make a change and walk with Jesus in the truth of the gospel.

In His Grace,

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

One Faith

One Faith
“There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all” (Ephesians 4:4-6).

It is not surprising to know that in the world there are many different so-called “faiths” because the world doesn’t understand the “mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16). The world’s idea of different faiths contradicts the teaching of God’s inspired word: “Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10). Division occurs when we place our faith in the logic of man’s opinions rather than the wisdom of God’s truth (John 17:17).

Faith is “conviction” of truth and it is “impossible to please God” without it (Hebrews 11:1, 6). It is not a system of beliefs in what we consider to be truth. Truth is not only in God’s word rather it is God’s word (John 17:17). Faith is being convicted of the truth portrayed through the inspired Scriptures and adjusting our lives accordingly because of the faults revealed in us through the perfection of God’s Son. Truth will never change for it is eternal (Matthew 24:35). Jesus spoke truth for the faithful to hear and live within its guidelines (Matthew 13:9) and He taught people to abide in truth to live (John 15:10).

In the world-defined faiths we see many different levels. There are those who have “head” faith. In other words, they know the right words and maybe even where they are found, but they never put this knowledge to work in their lives. They talk a good talk but their walk is different from their words. Jesus spoke to the Pharisees about this kind of faith: “This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me” (Matthew 15:8). People of the one true faith take truth seriously and apply it sincerely.

Another faith defined by the world is seen in “heart” faith. These are the people who go to services to feel “warm and fuzzy” but have little desire to study and grow in God’s word. They are not clearly defined in what they believe and usually fall away when the trials of life come. We can recognize this faith because this kind of person usually jumps around from congregation to congregation looking for the sermon that makes them feel good only to leave still wanting (2 Timothy 4:3). True faith strives to please God not self.

God has called His church through the distinction of true faith in His gospel (1 Thessalonians 2:14) to “proclaim the excellencies of Him” for His calling us out of the darkness of ignorance (1 Peter 2:9). His voice is made distinct through truth (John 10:4) and we have responded to His voice through obedient faith in His commands. We have surrendered the imperfect fleshly desires for the desire of the perfection of His will. We are faithful sheep who have given our hearts to our Lord, the Good Shepherd, who we know is the only One who can lead us into eternal life. This is the faith rewarded by God.

In His Grace,