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[thoughts] Faith That Works (December 6-12, 2004)

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  • Mark Roth
    ... I have no control over and hereby disclaim ads/links above. ... You might still be in time for my auction at eBay:
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 7, 2004
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      I have no control over and hereby disclaim ads/links above.
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      You might still be in time for my auction at eBay:
      http://www.anabaptistbooks.com/services/my-ebay/
      But you will need to hurry!


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      This edition goes out today to 3309 subscribers. Thank you!
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      A FAITH THAT WORKS
      (John 8:39; Hebrews 11:13-19; James 2:18-24)


      PROBING YOUR OWN HEART

      What does your life reveal about your spiritual parentage?

      Is your living energized by your faith?


      BUILDING ON SOME FOUNDATIONAL CONCEPTS

      Our spiritual parentage directs our living.
      Anyone can claim to be a redeemed child of God. But only the
      redeemed will live according to the life of the Father in the power
      of life in the Son. "Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now
      live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God"
      (Galatians 2:20). When God is our Father, our deeds demonstrate His
      life. Notice an extremely practical demonstration of this in
      Matthew 5:44,45.

      Godly faith produces godly perspectives and godly lives.
      Hebrews 11:13-16 shows what a living faith will do to your
      thinking and your living. Your relationship with God (faith, you
      know) will determine your values and your deeds. When your values
      and deeds fail to mesh with your declared faith, don't give up --
      go to God for renewal, courage, and grace. Of such "God is not
      ashamed to be called their God" (Hebrews 11:16).

      Works make visible the invisible.
      We live in an age when many declare that their faith is between
      them and God alone, insisting that nobody else can know their heart
      and their thoughts. They ignore that visible deeds give discernible
      form to that which they thought was hidden in their heart. This
      reality expressed in James 2:18 is not something to fear but
      something to embrace. Because of it, our lives can magnify the
      picture of Jesus and redemption painted by our lips!


      QUESTIONS AND RESPONSES

      Can faith exist alone?
      I don't know how many dead people you have seen, but I can
      declare with certainty that everyone of those bodies was in that
      state because its spirit had left it. We know such bodies must be
      disposed of because of their uselessness -- you know the other
      reasons also, I'm sure.
      God says faith is that way as well: "But wilt thou know, O vain
      man, that faith without works is dead?" (James 2:20). How foolish
      to insist on living by faith alone! While it is true that salvation
      is by faith alone because of Christ's redeeming grace, it is also
      true that we are saved unto good works (Ephesians 2:10; Colossians
      1:10; 2 Timothy 3:17). When the spirit is taken from a human body,
      the body dies. When works are taken from faith, faith also dies.
      No, faith does not live alone. It can't! "For as the body without
      the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also" (James 2:26).

      But faith really is more important than works, right?
      Wrong!
      You see, without works, faith cannot act. Think of your own
      body. You really cannot fathom being you without having it. What we
      sometimes call "the real you" (your spirit) gives life to your
      body. But without your body, how is the real you to make itself
      useful? Similarly, works and faith require each other: "Seest thou
      how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made
      perfect?" (James 2:22).
      We simply cannot say accurately and Biblically that one is more
      important than the other.

      But faith is required for salvation!
      True enough. But look again at the first part of James 2:22.
      How can faith *do* anything without *works*? Then look again at the
      second half of that verse. Works perfect faith! Does not that seem
      to suggest that faith must work if it is to bring us to salvation?
      James 2:24 does more than suggest that concept: "Ye see then
      how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only."
      The devils believe, tremble...and are damned. Their belief is
      incapable of working toward active, saving faith in Jesus. But you
      are different, so "work out your own salvation with fear and
      trembling" (Philippians 2:12).




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      Mark Roth




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