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Archive for the ‘Faith and Works’ Category

Saving Faith?

Saving faith? Faith that saves is the acceptance of truth combined with love for God, and giving of one's self entirely to God. Therefore intellectual faith unaccompanied can avail nothing. Faith working through love is not mixing faith and works (Rom. 11:6); love is not a work, it follows. Now, will faith only save man, or must it be expressed? Faith remains faith-whether expressed or unexpressed. If God does not require an expression of faith, then man would be blessed upon faith only. But, if an expression of faith is required, man receives no blessing until such stipulations have been met. Some examples to substantiate this: see John 9:1-7. Jesus, after anointing the blind man's eyes with clay, gave a stipulation: "Go wash in the pool of Silome." He did this, and came seeing. In this instance, God required an expression of faith. But in complete contrast, in Matt. 9:27, Jesus asked the blind men, "Believe ye that I am able to do this?" They said, "Yea, Lord." Then he touched their eyes, saying, "According to your faith be it done unto you." In this case, Christ required no expression. But were these men healed upon different principles of faith? No. God's Son has the authority to require an expression of faith. But, faith is what God wants. Thus, faith remains faith. One more example will be sufficient: Note that by faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been compassed about seven days (Heb. 11:30). This marching cannot, as such, harm stone walls; but this marching revealed the faith of the Israelites in God. So God, after seeing this faith, felled the walls.

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A Faith that Works…Works!

Logan Summers
Midland, Texas

An entire warehouse for his boats, high-tech fish tracking radar, the best rod money can buy, and only the most premium of bait and tackle. Every year his fishing license would be updated. John had it all! However, John never went fishing. Sure, he showed pictures of his warehouse, and all the contents, to lots of people; he even had his license handy to show anyone who asked, but John never went fishing. In fact, John would only look at all of his gear, dust it off, but never once was it touched. He didn’t even know if the motors on the boats worked! How useful is that? To have a warehouse full of stuff that is never utilized or even touched? To update a license every year that is never used? What does it profit?

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Are We Rushing Through Our Worships?

M. Norvel Young
Los Angeles, California

(Ed. Note: The following article appeared in the Sept. 21, 1961, issue of the Gospel Advocate. We feel the thoughts therein deserve sincere consideration by many today.)

In several business meetings I have listened to varied suggestions on how the worship could be shortened–"use more trays" “use an auxiliary table in the rear," "omit a song," "cut the sermon," "omit all announcements." In all this thinking there seems to be the underlying premise that a shorter service is a better service–that efficiency means more efficacy.

Are we rushing through our periods of worship so that we may hasten to feed the poor, to preach to our neighbors, to lift up the heathen? No, we rush so that we can get to a tasty, sumptuous meal or so that we can watch our favorite TV program, or take a nap or read the secular paper, or play golf or go on an outing. If none of these attract us we may rush because we are nervous and have the habit of doing everything in a hurry.

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SACRED TRUSTS

Johnie Edwards
Bloomington, Indiana

From time to time God has entrusted men with various responsibilities known as trusts. Most banks have a trust department which takes care of the property of others and is held responsible for the use of such. Let's take a look at some sacred trusts.

The Gospel of Christ

God expects men to teach men. So Paul told the Thessalonians, "But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts" (1 Thess. 2:4). No doubt this is the reason, soon after Paul was converted, that 49 straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God" (Acts 9:20). Often we sing, "Into our hands the gospel is given" and as we sing this song we need to be impressed with the responsibility of "adorning the doctrine of God" (Tit. 2: 10) in our own lives. We are "stewards of the mysteries of God" and we must remember that "it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful" (1 Cor. 4:1-2). We betray the trust when we fail to teach others the pure gospel of our Lord.

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Hope: The Anchor of the Soul

Mike Willis
Danville, Indiana

"Hope" is the happy combination of desire plus expectation. Many of us desire things we never expect and most of us expect things we never desire. Hope, however, is the combination of desire and expectation. The Lord has given his people "one hope" (Eph. 4:4) which is described as. the "anchor of the soul" (Heb. 6:19). Here is the beautiful passage from Hebrews:

Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of the promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek (Heb. 6:17-20).

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