Conditional Faith (the faith that doesn’t save)

Exodus 32:8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them. They have made themselves a molded calf, and worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, ‘This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!’ ” And the Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and indeed it is a stiff-necked people! 10 Now therefore, let Me alone, that My wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them. And I will make of you a great nation.”

One of the frequent reminders God gave the Israelites and indeed as a reminder to everyone is that He saved them out of bondange in Egypt.  A simple concordance of Scripture will render many illustrations, many phrases of this fact.  It is repeated from Moses all the way to the last Apostle.

Some (most) of those freed by God from Egypt had a conditional faith. If God fed them, sheltered them, protected them from their enemies, gave them water, then they would believe He is God. Even the ultimate miracle of parting the Red Sea didn’t convince them, as the placed vain selfish conditions on God.

So when Moses didn’t return as they expected on the time of their choosing, Aaron and the Israelites decided to make a golden calf which they worshiped, they committed idolatry because they stupidly thought that God should of met every condition of theirs.

The same conditional faith is still in practice all across the earth.  If God is God He must adhere to a set of conditions. He must not impede on a sinner’s will is one of the main ones. He must save my family, my dead relatives must all be in heaven or He is not God to me is another condition.  Other conditions placed on God are health, wealth, and prosperity. God must cure every disease immediately, He must bless us with wealth and prosperity as a contingency to faith in Him.

The Roman Catholic Church places many conditions on God. Mary must be queen of heaven and must be Jesus’ right hand mediatrix, is one of the main conditions.  He must impart grace through RCC sacraments, He must overlook “lesser” sins, He must give all His authority to their pope, and He must claim the RCC as His founding.

The HUGE problem with conditional faith is it will NOT save a sinner!  It is a slap in God’s face to even place one condition at His feet.  True love is unconditional, not one condition!  So even the attempt or thought of a condition is stating that you do not love God, you love yourself as a god.

Did Jesus go to the cross with conditions on His mind? Not in the least!  He didn’t atone for sins hoping that 2000 years later you would turn to Him first.  He went willingly, unconditionally to atone for your sins!  Do not construct your own golden calf because God is not meeting your rotten conditions, He will not bow to you nor will He ever bow to you! He will not bow to your world religion either!

The God Almighty is in control. Despite any thought otherwise, He never gave up His authority.  Repent of your conditions if you placed any on Him.  It may explain why your prayers go unanswered.

God’s Sovereign Rule

Since the beginning, by the devil’s prompting man has always tried to assert freedom from God’s sovereign rule.  Terms are given to God on how He must act, how He must love, how He must not cross the boundary into man’s freedom, how He must just accept certain lesser sins in man’s eyes, and how He must conform and change and adapt to what sinful man would desire.

Psalm 2:4 He who sits in the heavens shall laugh;
The Lord shall hold them in derision.

God simply laughs at this attempt. He has been always in control. Any unbounded freedom we perceive is fleeting.  Man is free to pursue the nature they possess, whether sinful and fallen desiring sin or reborn and saved desiring holiness. God does not micromanage our actions or choices, but those actions and choices are never outside of His control.

We will not know all His workings and the depths of His counsel. Things like restraining evil, etc. are something by our finite minds cannot comprehend.  God knows every birth date and every death date, think about this!  Take as many vitamins as you wish, try to close yourself off to reality, but none of us will cheat physical death.  We can use the example of abortion, a murder of the unborn.  Is God not in control? Is He not making it manifest that man’s heart at the core is evil and that without His restraining hand on this evil, we all would be aborted?

The fear of God brings wisdom. This wisdom is to submit to His sovereignty and LOOK for His hand in everything.  He brings judgment onto this fallen world just as He is merciful and provides an abundance of grace and patience.  There is not one soul outside of His rule. To the unwitting eye, you might believe God is a bystander and is in only control of the good.  But ask yourself about the evil actions of man, how He is still in control based on the evil being snuffed out by judgment and restrained from continuing.

It is the devil which will whisper “you are a free agent, free beyond the control of God”. But he even knows this is a lie.  It doesn’t prevent him from spreading the lie though, he gets off on it when people believe this lie.

Make NO mistake, God is sovereign!  Every thought, deed, word, and action are never beyond His control as He works everything to the good of those who love Him.  Fear Him, praise Him, and more importantly SUBMIT and SURRENDER to Him! Lay down your arms, lay down your rebellion where you sought freedom beyond Him.  It is only then, you will hopefully realize you do NEED A SAVIOR, Jesus Christ to save you from this wretched rebellion!


Professing of Faith Amounts to?

2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.

“I know I am saved because I love Jesus with all my heart”.  “I am God’s child because I was baptized”. “I am a Christian because I never miss church on Sundays”.  “I am going to heaven because I am a good person!”.  “I am a Christian because my pastor invited me to sing ‘Just as I am’ and come to the altar, I did so, and he told me I am now a Christian”.

Simple professions of faith such as the above really amount to nothing, I hear them all the time. Paul said to examine ourselves to deem if we are in the faith. The faith he speaks to is saving faith.

This should always be a thorough examination. Questions that should be asked in this test. What have you been saved from?  Have you been reborn, meaning has your life went from old desiring sin to new hating sin and desiring holiness?  What have you left to follow Christ? Have you been separated from the sinful fallen world, or are you going on as business as usual with your professing catch phrase “I love Jesus”.  Have you repented of sins and continuing to repent? Are you growing in the Spirit or are you an empty shell with a silly professing of faith?  More importantly do you really love God and His laws, and His children?  If so, how?

One can love an idea of something, but not the thing.  So someone can say “I do love God”, but merely loving the idea of God based on their terms they have given to Him.  A set of conditions God must abide by first to garner this love.  He must stay out of one’s life for example and only enter when called upon.  He must not be sovereign, in that man is in control of his or her destiny by religious works.  He must overlook some sins as no harm, no foul and see His commandments as subjective based on just trying to keep them.  And some believe He can only be loved if He found their church (although it is still lost) such as Roman Catholicism.  He can only be loved if He licenses idolatry and man’s tradition and religiosity and rituals.  This is not love at all, but lust based on conditions!

Has your life really changed?  If so, you will be able to do as Peter said, “provide the hope which in you”, seamlessly.  You will not say “my faith is between me and my God”, but openly declare His Good News and how He saved you from His own wrath on your sins!

I have witnessed some newborns really giving this examination thoroughly of themselves, and it is awe inspiring. They have asked “am I born again?” for example, and continue to ask because they wanted to make doubly and triply sure.  They have taken their new life in Christ serious as we all must do!  Leaving no stone unturned is their test, they grow closer to God.  Each we pass the test, the closer we get to Jesus Christ and His glory!  Don’t scoff at testing yourself, embrace it!  It might be a scary thing for the insecure in their world religion, but those set apart by God it is reassurance you are walking with the King!


When the Bottom Drops Out

John 21:28 “After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” 29 Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. 30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.”

Imagine the worst days you have had.  A dreadful financial problem, a shocking job loss, a relationship betrayal, a deadly health problem, or the shocking death of a friend or family member.  If you lived through days like this, you know the surreal bewilderment.  You are stunned and saddened so deeply you cannot even mouth the words.  Time seems to stand still during these days as your mind goes into a different overdrive and your heart is broken.  The bottom dropped out.

Now imagine living with the King of kings, Jesus Christ, the perfect lamb of God for 3 years. Day and night you are with Him as you witness His miracles, listen to His teachings, and get to know the Son of Man very personally.  He warns you that He will be put to death and also promises to rise again, but since He speaks in parables so often you do not know what this means.  He is perfect in every way, thoughts, deeds, actions, so you would never expect Him to be arrested, tortured, and put to death.

Then one day it all happens, just as Jesus told you. He is arrested, pushed around, tortured, mocked, and then put to a gruesome death. It sinks in at this point, this Perfect Lamb of God just died for all of your sins!  All those rotten sins you committed caused His death.  It wasn’t just bad luck that He was arrested and then put to death, it was you, yes you who caused His this.

God stops your mouth, puts you into a surreal bewilderment as you see each of your sins being imputed to Jesus on the Cross.  The bottom must fall out!

I spoke to what the Apostles must of went through, but I know from my own testimony that God puts us through the similar experience upon our rebirth.  He gives us eyes to see what actually happened and why it happened.  And we can only utterly grieve in silence for what we had caused by those rotten sins.  Any pride we felt before this point goes to the abyss.  With our mouths stopped once and for all, we see who our Savior is and what He did in our place.

After the bottom drops out, after we realize what Jesus did, who He is, and why He did this, we can only be thankful, eternally thankful to Him!  He died in our place!  He was our substitute on the Cross and suffered the wrath of God so we wouldn’t have to.

If you are still prideful in a religion of works, still trying to pay your sin debt, still believing you are sovereign in your choice over salvation, the bottom has yet to fall out.  You, like the many scoffers and mockers of Jesus during His day do not believe in His redemption, but the power of man over God.

Pray that God opens your eyes to see Jesus Christ and who He is and what He did!  That you see His redemption!  Without this sight, you will never see eternal life!


Will Your Self-Righteousness Save You?

Luke 16:15, “And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.”

The Bible is clear, a sinner in the eyes of God will not garner up the perfect righteousness in order to appease or propitiate His wrath on their sin. Adam and Eve found out immediately, there was nothing they could do to rectify what they had done. God laid down the terms, a Redeemer would be needed to remedy this rift now between man and God.

But that doesn’t stop sinful man and world religions. They continue to attempt to reduce the standard set by God, perfection and spotlessness and set their own standards God must comply by.  If He fails to accept these subjective sinful standards, faith in Him cannot be garnered. Who is behind this wicked, wretched mentality? Satan himself, as he continues to influence the depraved nature of man and the attempts to reduce God and His power and His standard.

If we could by our own righteousness save ourselves, Jesus would of never needed to leave His throne and die in our place. There are some wretched false teachers out there who would have you believe that Jesus died as a billboard display or as an example of what we must do. They claim His atonement was not an atonement, but a meaningless display. They would have you believe there was no redemption, as you will redeem yourself. They would have you believe the perfection standard of God’s holiness should be tossed aside, and the subjective relativistic standard they set is the new standard of holiness.

Some believe upon their supposed justification, they can remain sinless in an unglorified body. Paul makes it abundantly CLEAR that while we are in our fallen bodies, we will all fall short of the perfection needed. And that the ONLY way to contain the righteousness NEEDED for salvation is by the person and work of Jesus Christ. A sinner is saved ONLY by faith alone in His righteousness, His perfection, His cleanliness which by Romans 4-5 state THEN is imputed/credited as our own righteousness.

Is salvation a license to sin? No!  It is freedom from its penalty, but gives no such license. However, it also is an acknowledgement of who the saved sinner is NOW a slave to, that is to Christ and His righteousness.  In short, we will stumble, we do not seek to stumble, a new creation in Christ desires NOT to sin but IF we do, we repent, we confess, we give thanks again to Jesus Christ and His payment for that sin.

Being a “good” person will NOT save you! Being better than the worst criminal, will NOT save you!  Those IN Christ, meaning His children are IN His Kingdom now because they have been FORGIVEN once and for all time, which is the Good News!  Jesus died ONCE in our place, believe in this and that He rose so that you too shall rise, and you will be saved from God’s pending wrath and an eternal hell away from Him!


A Mark of a Christian

1 Timothy 1:15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.

One major mark of a Christian in my view is the ability to submit to the fact that we are sinners, defective in every way.  That we have a past we realize was infinitely less than the holiness of God, of which we sadly and morosely regret, and that we admit and confess to our despicable sins.

The mark shows that you actually realize what Jesus saved you from!  Sadly some struggle here.  Whenever I hear the righteous indignation “how dare you expose me as a sinner”, it raises a red flag.  A Christian embraces this.  Like a prisoner who has been pardoned and released, we cannot hide the fact that we sinned against an eternal holy God who if He handed out His justice, we would not be able to take another breath.

A personal testimony does not shy away from this embracing and confession of our sins. Because we are indebted to our Savior, Jesus Christ, it is in joyful thanksgiving we are willing to tell anyone and everyone the how, why, and what He saved us from! That is God’s pending wrath on our rotten despicable sins of which He unconditionally bore the weight of on the Cross and cleansed us from.

A recovering drug addict or alcoholic knows the drill if they have been treated, they are told they need to first acknowledge the problem or the problem will never go away.  It is only then they can begin the road of recovery.  The same goes for those added to the church Jesus Christ is building. The very first thing God enlightens us in is who we are in His light.  And I can speak from my own experience, I did NOT like what I saw, I dreaded it, I was completely ashamed for what I had done, and those sins Jesus died in my place for.

By stating the sins God saved you from, you give glory to Jesus Christ!  If you find yourself in pride, pray for humility to be able to confess these sins openly and publicly.  Again, it gives total glory to Jesus Christ!

If someone saved you from a burning car wreck at great cost to themselves, you surely would laud this person and tell everyone what they did for you. Do the same for Jesus Christ!  Tell the world what He saved you from!  And make sure ALL the focus is on His salvation, and not on you. There is nothing to boast about. You did not make yourself worthy, so don’t fool yourself. Jesus did not save you because you were somehow better than your neighbor either!  He saved you out of pure grace and mercy, nothing else!

John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.

If you are still cringing and hiding your sins, you are still in darkness and do not want the light acting as a disinfectant.  You’d rather be more important in the eyes of the world, than in the eyes of God.