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Cashing the Check

06/01/2012

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by: Robert Duffrin (@bob_duffrin)

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Hebrews 11:1 (KJV) Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Hebrews 11:3 (KJV) Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

Ephesians 2:8-10 (KJV)
[8] For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

One common answer that I have received when pointing out the flaw of works’ righteousness to Catholics, JW’s, and Judaisers is that in their performance of works for salvation they are “cashing the check” for salvation.

The problem remains that Eph 2:8-9 clearly identifies FAITH as the necessary “cashing of the check,” and clearly distinguishes that from works. True, works are a necessary evidence (or “fruit”) of faith, but the motive for these works being FROM salvation– as opposed to FOR salvation– is an essential distinction.

For instance, bad people can still do good things, but as a result of bad motives. Is there a fundamental difference between a child telling his parents he loves them out of genuine affection for them, as opposed to saying it as a tool to manipulate them into getting his way? Of course there is. The actions are the same, but the motives are different.

Matthew 7:21-23 describes this. (KJV) [21] Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Furthermore, Isaiah 64:6 tells us that we all have become unclean, and all of our good deeds are like filthy rags before Him. Gal 2:21 asserts that if righteousness came through works then Christ died needlessly.

Gal 3:24 clearly states that the Law is a tutor to lead us to Christ. It is in that context that we see our desperate need for a Savior, and in response to the gospel that we would cry out to Him in repentance– not in trying to make a deal with Him, but in gratitude that He would stand in our place.

Romans 5:7-8 7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

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Thoughts 5/26/12

05/26/2012

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I have not been very committed to this blog over the past year. My heart, at the outset of creating this was to inform and help both old and new Christians alike become aware of what is going on in the world concerning our faith. I was always taken off track…continuously, it seemed, whenever I was thinking of a topic of discussion. Statements such as, “Eh, no one reads it anyway so what’s the use” or “Who are you to say what someone should believe” consistently popped into my head. Enough is enough. The spiritual warfare has been acknowledged and it’s time to get to work praying through those diminishing thoughts.

My Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and His accomplishment on the cross is worth much more to you than to keep the wisdom He’s given me to myself.

I was part of a group today that witnessed to, get this, Jehovah’s Witnesses. Heath from Burnbrothers Ministries put the call out to those that would take part in witnessing to the witnesses last month. I’ve always wanted to take part but was usually out of town as the witnesses’ convention is always held on Memorial Day weekend and we’re out of town. It is typically held at the Resch Center in Green Bay, WI and 5,000-6,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses attend to get an update on their newest teachings and whatnot. I saw thousands of people walk by us. We had two gentlemen take turns open air preaching with three others initiating conversations with them as they walked by us. I arrived a bit late and got to the meeting place just as Heath was finishing up the prayer before the workers went out. Initially I was pumped! Let’s tell them the Gospel of Jesus Christ!!! How could they not listen? Want to take a guess at how many of them tried to talk with us? You guessed it. Zero. Zip. Nada. Not one!

I was floored. I stood there and watched dozens of witnesses walk by. Most just ignored us and carried on conversations with who they were with. Others mocked, shook their heads or stared in disgust. One young girl in her twenties plugged her ears with her fingers as she walked by. Unbelievable. I couldn’t help but think, “Are these people from the same group that goes out of their way to knock on my door at times to give me a little paperback booklet???” Yes they are. They even claim to be “Christians”!!!

We weren’t there to mock them or belittle them. We love them. As Paul states in 1 Timothy 2:3-4 “This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (ESV)” He desires all to be saved. That certainly does not imply that all will be saved but we must obey the words of Christ in Matthew 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” If He desires them to be saved, we must desire them to be saved. His burden for the lost becomes our burden for the lost. The lost can not be saved without hearing the gospel of Christ Jesus, plain and simple. Seeing these people walk by us, one after another and not care to say a word to us about the hope they have within them made it blatantly apparent to me after a while. They have no hope within them to tell us about. Without the Spirit of God living in them, they have no hope. I could see it in their eyes. We are saved by grace alone, though faith alone, in Jesus Christ- alone. There is no work we can do to gain favor with God. It has been done for us, the only way it could have been done, through the work of God the Father, Creator of heaven and earth, sending His Son to earth in the flesh, fully God and fully Man, to bear the Holy wrath of God on the Cross as a propitiation for our sin. He was crucified and died on the cross, buried and was resurrected on the third day. After a short time, He ascended to Heaven and sits at the right hand of God Almighty. Amen.

I honestly don’t understand the Jehovah’s witnesses. It’s ok. I don’t understand a lot of things, actually. I see the world from a Biblical Worldview and many things in this world I will never understand. Father, I pray that eyes are opened to see and ears are opened to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ and that they would believe and repent of their sin today. I pray your name is glorified through them being saved, Father. In Christ’s name. Amen.

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