SPOTLIGHT: When we see such majestic things before our very eyes, is it just amazement that takes place or do we realize this all was created by the God of the Universe and it is by FAITH in HIM we are amazed? There is a difference between amazement and faith. God isn’t just interested in creating a mind boggling experience, HE is after our obedience.
NOTE THE DIFFERENCES CONCERNING FAITH AND EXPERIENCE!
Paul David Tripp noted the following:
- You can be amazed by the grand sweep of the redemptive story in Scripture and not be living by faith.
- You can be amazed by the labyrinthine logic of the theology of the Word of God and not be living by faith.
- You can be amazed by the great worship music you participate in every Sunday and not be living by faith.
- You can be amazed by the love of your small group and not be living by faith.
- You can be amazed by the wonderful biblical preaching and teaching that you hear and not be living by faith.
- You can be amazed by the grace of the cross of Jesus and not be living by faith.
Hebrews 11:6 reads, “But without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please HIM; for He that comes to God must believe that HE is and that HE is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”
Faith! Let’s examine that again!
Examine Galatians 5:4-5: “For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace.”
Notice how God is telling us that FAITH is the key. Keeping the law and looking to it to make us righteous will not ever work. Keeping rules, being religious is not going to cut it!!
FAITH is the key. Hebrews makes much of this for us. And, it is NOT just a learned or perhaps a mental assent to some doctrines and teachings either.
FAITH IS A LIVING, VITAL, ACTIVE, POWERFUL TRUST, CONFIDENCE, RELIANCE UPON, DEPENDENCY UPON, AND JUST PLAIN TOTAL BELIEF IN JESUS CHRIST AS MY HOPE, MY RIGHTEOUSNESS, MY LIFE, MY ALL IN ALL.
Trying to change our sinful habits and heart attitudes with just plain old determination of the mind and thoughts is called “Moral Deism”. We use special programs and courses to make things work.
IT WON’T WORK! WHY? FAITH COMES FROM OUTSIDE OF US AND INTO US BY GOD HIMSELF, AS HE AND HIS WORD by the Holy Spirit, CALLS US TO HIMSELF AND THE GOSPEL MESSAGE.
That is why it is called being “born again” or the “new birth” or the “new creation.” We can’t make such spiritual and miraculous things like that just happen through our will power. It really is a relationship that takes place between the sinner and God! And when I say God, I mean the Triune God, the Father, the Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit which is ONE God existing in three divine beings totally unified and never separated for one moment, and co-substantial and co-equal in all things.
This relationship is established by the presence of God coming to reside in our very innermost being (Heart, Soul, Spirit, the very core of our being). Our body, is the place that the “sin” abides and it is called the Flesh (Sarx or Sin). We, the new person created by God through His word and Spirit, are separated now from that Flesh. But, that flesh still gives us many problems as it uses the Law of God to condemn us, shame us, make us feel guilty, seeks to undermine the work of God in us, and also makes us insecure and causes us to think we may not even be saved because we sin against our Lord God at times.
But, we know Justification has taken place via Grace, because we receive the Holy Spirit and HE makes sure HE establishes that relationship with our spirit and confirms we are the sons of God. Also, we have received Christ Himself and the Father who comes and dwells within us, and we in God! It is an on-going vital relationship. It never ceases or stops. Even our stumbling into sin will not stop the Love of God which is in Christ Jesus. Sin, Satan and the System of this world can never take away what God has ordained and accomplished in our lives. We are secure in HIM! He keeps us. We do not keep ourselves for we are not able to do so!!
His is not satisfied with the wonder and amazement we have in our minds. He is not going to let it all stop there. He moves on to establishing His life-altering rule in our hearts, our souls and our spirits as He conforms us into the image of His Son. He matures us into His design for His children in this life and the next. From regeneration to glorification, it is ALL about HIM and HIS work in us!! Amen!