16 Jun 2004

Faith for everything or just for salvation?

Submitted by theshovel
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do u think it's possible for a saved person to sin without feeling bad about it? do u think faith in Christ for salvation is different than faith in Christ for our daily life? In other words must a lost person put his faith in Christ for everything or just for his salvation (taking care of his eternal soul)? Have you heard of (this teacher) ... would you say that faith says "thank you Lord Jesus"? GC

Hey GC,

It sounds to me as if you're trying to establish a logical formula for this miracle of salvation, for that is exactly what it is ... a miracle. Whether a believer feels bad about sin or not is usually judged according to whether or not one complies with the official expectations of the group that is looking for these bad feelings. You know what I mean? The fact is that a person doesn't have to be a believer to feel "bad" about sin, and I have to wonder how many moralistic unbelievers fare much better than believers according to many groups.

In other words must a lost person put his faith in Christ for everything or just for his salvation (taking care of his eternal soul)?

Now I realize this question makes a lot of sense according to the contemporary view of salvation, but it simply smacks of the elemental logic of the world that is so embedded into modern evangelism. Do you really think that faith is a substance that if deposited into the right place will result in a payoff? Instead of 'salvation' we could be discussing stocks, bonds and investments and simply replace the word 'faith' with the more accurate term 'speculation' ... and that would provide a better understanding of what we often mean when we say 'faith'. Are you following me here?

I know that what I suggest regarding faith totally goes against the contemporary mindset on it. I know how modern evangelism strains to make faith more sensible to a world that is devoid of faith. Unfortunately, the logic of a sensible God with sensible faith only makes it more and more evasive while giving the illusion of understanding. A "lost" person has no chance if it is up to him to deposit some quantity of faith in the right place, and only in the right place, for he is left in desperation for a MIRACLE!

And that is exactly what the good news of Christ is all about!! It is the call of he who has defeated sin and death and was raised to new life that when heard raises the hearer into that same life from the dead. What kind of a question is 'How much is necessary?' to the dead laying upon the cold slab? What does the dead one know about anything on the other side of death? It is only the religious mind that causes us (and I mean 'us', for I have put forth the exact same questions) to ask 'how much faith' is necessary? But don't you see that this is totally BOGUS?

Lazarus, having been called from his tomb, somehow MIRACULOUSLY heard ... and in hearing he came forth as called! 'How much did he have to believe Christ for?' was never a consideration, and if it had been he would have remained in the grave. Having been raised from the dead it could easily be said that Lazarus had faith in Jesus Christ for everything - as there was NOTHING ELSE in the tomb - so that deliverance from the tomb (i.e. "salvation") was equal EVERYTHING. But the questions we've gotten ourselves in a dilemma over is merely theological poo-poo.

There is no doubt that gratitude is embedded within the heart of one raised from the dead, however, the attempt to turn the reality into a formula only causes more confusion as we keep trying to find the "right" wording by which to understand the miracle of faith. And yes, I know of (teacher), and have enjoyed some of his writings, though I really don't keep up with his views.

Jim


Hi Jim I haven't been avoiding your e-mails. It's just hard to follow what you're saying sometimes. It seems like you never answer anyone's questions directly but I think I know why. I think you want to get beneath the surface of things which is good.

Hello GC!
Thanks for writing again ... I thought perhaps I may have sent you on your way, and I didn't want to do that. :)

Indeed I do want to get beneath the surface, after all, what good is it to concern ourselves with the superficial? Lots of so-called answers get passed back and forth in that realm, but the real questions are often never touched upon, even when the seeming direct questions are answered. I am fully capable of spewing out answers that might seem more direct, but I would rather challenge you to become fully persuaded in he who is the answer. In this way you might learn to challenge your own crazy thinking in view of the reality of Christ as I do my own. Know what I mean?

I guess what I'm getting at is if I trust Jesus to take care of my eternal destiny but fail to trust Him when He says in His Word to stay away from sexual immorality and put away lying would my lack of faith in His instructions prove that I have not been raised to life?

It might mean you're approaching the reality of faith as you would any law ... and not as the miracle that it is. Yes, I think you've bought into the common "Christian" lie that has only made "Christianity" another form of law. Your trespasses against these principles most likely prove that law does in fact stimulate sin. While you're pitting the reality of your new life against your inability to keep "Biblical Principles" you might ought to realize that you've probably fallen victim to the inevitable conclusion of attempting to justify yourself according to the law. Yes, I think it's that simple.

...if I trust Jesus to take care of my eternal destiny

What does this really mean? Do you think this is the definition of "saving faith"? Of course that also begs the meaning of "saving faith". I know this has got to rattle your chain but I think you need to reevaluate this whole concept of "faith and trust" as being something more akin to a formula that keeps forcing you to intellectualize a faith that will constantly elude your attempt to prove or disprove it.

No, I am not suggesting that you do not have faith, but that you have allowed the miracle of Christ to be redefined by a decision you made. Oh yeah, I also came to see faith this way, for I was trained quite well in this teaching. However, I ran into a big obstacle ... I had never made a definable decision to "trust Christ as my Savior" (at least according to what I was passing on to others). I ended up making one of those "just in case" fall back plans where I told God that I wanted him to know that I did trust Christ as my savior. The whole experience really shook me I can tell you that much. It also forced me to reevaluate the whole approach while slowly stripping away the formulas about God and about Christ and salvation ... leaving me with the reality of Christ.

Please feel free to question me regarding any of the above. :) I'll leave with you this much for now as I've got to get off the computer in a few minutes. I hope to hear back from you.

Jim

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