February 9th – Mere Belief Won’t Do

Yesterday, we were looking at that deadly virus attacking the Christian church, of confusing mere belief with Living Faith, or personal Trust.
Here is a picture. You have a severe pain in your gut: you go to the doctor. He diagnoses that you have appendicitis, and because he’s a doctor and you recognise the source of the pain, you believe him. (Boy, you believe him.) Then he says ‘Come into hospital today, and I’ll operate on you’, and you say ‘I’m not letting you put me to sleep and cut me open’. He would say ‘Why, don’t you trust me?’, and your answer would have to be ‘No’. So you believe that what he says is true, but you can still die of appendicitis. Merely believing doesn’t help. But the kind of belief which the Bible calls faith is a totally different animal. Faith in Christ produces a Christian life – it transforms, it changes, it creates goodness, and love for others. In short real faith brings ‘New birth’1 The deadly virus teaches that as long as you merely believe that you have your ticket to heaven; you are saved, you are fireproof. How you live doesn’t matter anymore. That’s why it’s so deadly. It mimics the simplicity of real faith, which is a personal, life-transforming transfer of trust, by substituting a mental nodding of the head and saying: ‘I believe, so what?’.
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.
All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature, and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ, even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2: 1-5
A prayer: Thank you Lord that we are your workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which you prepared in advance for us to do.
Now read Romans 4:18 to 5:11

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Thought 4 The Day

If you are not as close to god as you used to be, you do not have to guess who moved. (Anon)

Through the year calendar

May 2016
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