1 Jan 2002

Thoughts on our suggestions that faith is somehow a work

Submitted by theshovel
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Consider how you phrased this statement:

man can do nothing else to earn his salvation other than believe in the one who died for our sins

Somehow, I'm sure you would agree that believing is not something that EARNS salvation, but it ended up getting worded that way. For if believing is in any way connected with earning salvation then faith is a work and is no longer faith, and grace is no longer grace ... which means that He would NOT get all the glory.

I used to think that if I just worded my sentences about faith a little better that it would clear up any misunderstanding that I was suggesting that faith was a "work". But try as I may it always came out sounding the same. It turns out that the problem was not a matter of semantics, but in an underlying confusion based upon assumptions left over from the world's mindset and held strongly to by the "church".

The reality is that salvation IS by grace through faith and it IS those who believe who are saved. I think the confusion in this area comes from trying to retro-fit "faith" into the realm of understandable - into an "act". But it is a miraculous reality to believe in Christ because it goes against every fiber of our old life and mindset. The attempts to get a handle on faith have turned it into little more than an intellectual decision. In doing so, we have created a "faith" that is controllable and can be produced at will ... when WE think we need it. We are afraid that if we cannot control faith then we would be only robots. But this fear is unfounded because it is not built upon the grace of God but upon natural wisdom's reaction to natural wisdom. haha!

Jim

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Comments

I like what you have said here. For I have come to realize that faith is a miracle. All those years of struggling for no apparent reason were coming to a head in my life. For in the midst of the church[I.C.]I belonged to, I began uncontrollably desiring to shake off the yoke of slavery that was all around me. The impressions, thoughts,teachings and common understandings were confusing me! For I KNEW Christ to be miraculous![for the Spirit had shown me this] Yet all I could hear around me was human effort. Oh sure I [we] could play out our emotional -feel good mimics of true faith but, eventually I only ended up with nothing![thus my continual crying out for ONLY Christ to be my life!] Meanwhile all my peers were just THEN going down the road I had ALREADY traveled.[of experimenting with faith as a work] They were expecting me to join in the party and go with them on a dead journey that had NO LIFE in it! I had no desire for that. The more I resisted , the more I could see that I was NOT going to be accepted. Until I finally went to the Pastor to express my feelings. Guess what? He began saying the same stuff…..so there was only one more decision for me to make. I had to leave the very ones who seemed to love and protect me..the IC. Bondage is in the world and it doesn’t discriminate were and when it will attack. For it is built in to the world itself and is only earthly, of the devil.

“We are afraid that if we cannot control faith then we would be only robots. But this fear is unfounded because it is not built upon the grace of God but upon natural wisdom’s reaction to natural wisdom.” <-Jim well said! well said indeed! i enjoyed that very much!!  :) adam (luvin) ~ i enjoyed reading what you had to share.  :) for some reason when i woke up this morning, i was thinking about how easily i have always been affected by all that bondage (not just in ‘church’, but in everything around me and even within my own personal created bondages) and how i can eventually rebel against it - especially all the determinations of others to make sure i live up to the expectations of those ‘in control’. i could tend to be a people pleaser, with a strong need to fit in, to feel accepted, etc. yet i would soon be viewed as rebellious because i would eventually prove to not be able to live up to the expectations, (my own as well as others’) resulting in my no longer being ‘pleasing’ to much of anyone, which was interpreted as not being pleasing to god as well. with all of that kind of reasoning and bondage, it created so much contradiction, confusion, etc. within my heart and mind. it was always and continues to be so encouraging and uplifting to realize that it is christ who has made us new and always acceptable, pleasing and valuable always and forever more. being found in the beloved … in the eternal one … hid with god in christ jesus. i love that! it is refreshing to realize that we can give up the futile efforts to try to ‘prove’ ourselves to the world as being acceptable to god, because the world without god can not see it nor accept it without the new life of god giving them those miraculous eyes to see, ears to hear with the heart and mind of god. :)

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