So Great Salvation [4]   Leave a comment

So Great Salvation

So Great Salvation

So what makes us think we can escape if we ignore this great salvation that was first announced by the Lord Jesus himself and then delivered to us by those who heard him speak?” Hebrews 2:3

In the previous post So Great Salvation [3], we have seen the work of the Spirit to convict souls of sin and the necessity of repentance. Now that the sinners acknowledged their sins and repented, they need to live by faith in the Son of God alone.

Paul said: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Gal 2:20

Paris Reidhead probably showed different stages of this salvation to emphasize the necessity of each. It is important to note though that all these stages can happen instantly. A soul can be awakened, convicted of sin, repent and have faith in the Son of God all in one go.

Our next theme is now FAITH.

But it is impossible for a sinner to live by faith in the Son of God unless there has been conviction of sin and repentance. How can a soul rely on the Son if there has not been initially acknowledgement of sins?  This is another plague in our churches.

If we ask a Romans Catholic “Do you have faith in Jesus? Do you believe you’re a sinner and He died for your sins?”. Of course they will say!

This is an intellectual belief. The Catholic priests have such a sincere but dead faith. Dear readers, this is also the case in many of our churches. Many left a religion and joined Christ’s church without genuine fruits of repentance. Last year while making a shortcut through a Catholic church’s yard, I passed before its door and for the few seconds I crossed, I heard the priest say eloquently that it was vital to have faith in Jesus.  Faith in Jesus is preached in Catholic church as well as in protestant churches. I was invited to the first communion of a relative and given a leaflet. That child made a fantastic confession of faith towards Jesus. I was left benumb when I read on top of a leaflet a verse quoted from Ephesians 5 which said not to worship idols and yet I saw on tables several statues of Mary.

So you see genuine faith in Christ must be preceded by acknowledgement of sin otherwise it is a dead faith. Is not it this acknowledgement of sin which will make the depraved soul realize his need of a Savior?

John the Baptist said to the Pharisees:

You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee and escape from the wrath and indignation [of God against disobedience] that is coming?Bring forth fruit that is consistent with repentance [let your lives prove your change of heart]” AMP

In the NLT it says: “You brood of snakes!” he exclaimed. “Who warned you to flee God’s coming wrath? Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones.” Mat 3:9

The modern John the Baptist would have probably said to church members “Why are you in the pews? Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Don’t just say in your heart that you were baptized, did good deeds and live a good life.”

The devil knows more about Jesus’ sovereignty than us but that did not and will not lead him to repentance. James said: “You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God.Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror.” James 2:19

Having faith in Jesus without repentance is therefore a devilish “faith”. It is subtle because those who believe in Jesus only with their mind but without change of heart are still sinners.

These people agree with sermons and what God said in His Word but there is no fruit of repentance. It is like saying “I know Jesus is God and that He hates promiscuity, but nevertheless I still do it“.

Paul said that it is by believing in our heart that we are saved.

And that message is the very message about faith that we preach: If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.” Romans 10:9-10

Don’t be surprised, most sinners know their sins and know who Jesus is. This knowledge of sin in the mind is necessary but not enough to lead to repentance. When we love someone, all our being is involved. It involves our intellect and heart. Our physical actions and what we say are means to demonstrate this love. It is the same for repentance, our heart must be involved in it. What we confess and what we do are these fruits of this repentance. Our allegiance to Christ is demonstrated by these.

Do you understand dear readers that it is impossible that someone who genuinely claims to have faith in Jesus to continue live in sin? There must be fruits of repentance.

Paul said “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.” 2 Tim 2:19

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Posted January 11, 2014 by Cedric in Theology

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