BY DAVID NIX -ANCHOR CHURCH IN SPIRIT LAKE
Many have confused ideas as to what constitutes as faith. They confuse feeling and faith, and are continually distressed and perplexed in mind: We are to accept Christ as our personal Savior, or we shall fail in our attempt to be overcomers.
It will not answer for us to hold ourselves aloof from Him, to believe that our friend or our neighbor may have Him for a personal Savior, but that we may not experience His pardoning love. We are to believe that we are chosen of God, to be saved by the exercise of faith, through the grace of Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit; and we are to praise and glorify God for such a marvelous manifestation of His unmerited favor.
It is the love of God that draws the soul to Christ, to be graciously received, and presented to the Father. Through the work of the Spirit the divine relationship between God and the sinner is renewed. The Father says: "I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people. I will exercise forgiving love toward them, and bestow upon them my joy. They shall be to me a peculiar treasure; for this people whom I have formed for myself shall show forth my praise."
There is a twofold situation here. We are pardoned for our sin and we are to show praise.
The Father sets His love upon His elect people who live in the midst of men. These are the people whom Christ has redeemed by the price of His own blood. Upon them is manifested the free grace of God, the love wherewith He hath loved them. Everyone who will humble himself as a little child, who will receive and obey the word of God with a child s simplicity, will be among the elect of God.
We are redeemed by the price of His blood and I'm to receive and rejoice in that. What do you understand here? Some have a tendency to say: "Just believe in Jesus and everything will be fine."
They emphasize that but what is the Bible trying to tell us? The joy we have the freedom from condemnation, what else is called for as a consequence of that? Rejoicing does not prove an awkward sense of being responsible. It is a joy.
It is the sovereign mercy of God that declares you and I to be among the elect of God. That sovereign mercy that I have been redeemed by the blood shed for me by Christ is then to be manifested to be saved as His obedient children. They have been redeemed and they are elected to be saved. People have said just believe in Jesus, there is nothing you can do. Is there anything you must do? Is there anything to do in this whole transaction? Do we just wait for magic to happen? Are we meant to do something? Am I waiting for the Lord to do something in me?
When you accept the mercy and appreciate that God pardons you, you are no longer under guilt and condemnation but does that mean I don’t have to worry about doing the things God wants me to do? How does that work together? All that we do is motivated by Him not me.
If Jesus has touched my heart in His mercy and kindness, then what will I do? I will be keen and diligent to do everything He says. It is generated within me but I can’t do it unless it is generated within me.
I must choose and decide I will stay with Jesus. I believe in Him as my personal savior as He has given birth to that and now by my faith I will show my works. Faith without works is dead. How does faith work?
Galatians 5:6 — "For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love."
Love is generated in the believer that takes him face to face with his deplorable condition and he sees himself so deplorably sinful and God shows Him His love. Peter deplorably denied his Lord and Jesus looked on him and said, I have not cast you off. When we come face to face with our sinfulness then faith is born by discovering that and letting it take its course. You can reject it and that is the part we must play. Are we going to reject it by not letting our sinfulness being revealed or are we going to let Him reveal it and open my heart to receive it and then it can happen? Can you see how important this is?