The Just Shall Live by Faith

A Broadcast with R.C. Sproul

The Apostle Paul wrote the book of Romans to help establish Christians in their faith and their knowledge of the gospel. From his sermon series in the book of Romans, today R.C. Sproul reminds us of our need to know the gospel clearly and to remind ourselves of it regularly.

No, Hebrews 11:1 Isn’t Advocating Blind Faith

Many atheists play word games when it comes to defining the word “faith.” They’ll reduce all religious faith to blind faith and then subject it to ridicule. That’s an easy way to score rhetorical points, but it’s also an anti-intellectual way to shut-down a serious discussion. The majority of Christian theologians throughout the centuries haven’t defined the faith this way.

That doesn’t stop critics from trying to redefine faith. In my last post, I discussed how atheists co-opt John 20:29 as a proof-text that Jesus praised blind faith when he rebuked Thomas. We saw from the context of John that the critic is way off-base, but the skeptics have another go-to passage to show that the Bible praises blind faith: Hebrews 11:1.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Biologist and outspoken atheist Jerry Coyne provides a prime example of this when he writes:

“Faith involves pretending to know things you don’t. Behind it is wish-thinking, as clearly expressed in Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Another example of this attitude comes from the popular atheist YouTuber TMM, who says:

“Atheists will often define faith as something people have without any reason or evidence to support that belief. The reason why I think this is an accurate depiction of Christian faith is that this is how the Bible defines faith. Hebrews 11:1 explains that faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This passage explicitly states that faith is belief specifically in things that are not evident.” 

But is this really what the author of Hebrews had in mind?

Read on at: https://isjesusalive.com/no-hebrews-111-isnt-advocating-blind-faith/

Why Do People Completely Misunderstand the Word “Faith?”

Anyone who has been engaged in talking to people in our culture about the Christian worldview knows that many people misunderstand the word “faith.” I could go ahead and blame the media, pop culture, and the university for this widespread problem. But the reality is that it is incumbent upon pastors, apologists, and ministry leaders to teach and instruct Christians about the proper definition of the word “faith.” Yes, many Christians don’t know how to explain the word “faith.”

Some theologians and apologists have suggested that it might be a good idea to substitute the word “trust” in place of the word “faith.” This has some merit to it. Joseph Thayer says the following:

“To believe” means to think to be true; to be persuaded of; to credit, [to] place confidence in. [And in] a moral and religious reference, pisteuein [from pisteuo] is used in the N.T. of a conviction and trust to which a man is impelled by a certain inner and higher prerogative and law of his soul. “ (Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, 511).

Read more: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2019/08/15/why-do-people-completely-misunderstand-the-word-faith-3/

Galatians 3 – The Law And Faith

The Apostle Paul explains the reason for God’s laws, which makes God’s grace even more amazing.

By Faith or by Works

The Apostle Paul addressed a very big problem for the Galatians, but also for a lot of believers, and that was legalism. Just after they were introduced to the gospel of salvation by grace and not by works, some cunning Jews came in to subvert the gospel by adding works to it. Even though many of them had been eye witnesses of Jesus’ crucifixion, they were “bewitched” (Gal 3:1), and told that they needed to completed their salvation by keeping the law, however, trying to keep the law as part one’s salvation, makes it an altogether different gospel, and one that can’t save! He reminded them that “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness” (Gal 3:6). When Abraham believed God, God accounted that to Him as righteousness. Today, if we believe in Christ, we receive the righteousness of Christ (2 Cor 5:21). Paul’s point is, “it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham” (Gal 3:7). This same faith was opened to Gentiles who trusted in Christ, and thus “all the nations [were] blessed” (Gal 3:8c). Regardless of who you are or how many works of the law you do, “those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith”(Gal 3:9), but they’re not blessed by their works…but by their faith in Christ.

Read the rest: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/christiancrier/2019/04/19/galatians-3-the-law-and-faith/

We’re Called To Be Like Jesus

Ephesians 5:1 Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children

I remember growing up – always wanting to do what my father was doing. I remember going hunting with him when all I could carry was a toy rifle. We would sit for hours waiting for the squirrels to come out. I remember my first time out with my .410 shotgun and seeing the squirrel through the woods and waiting for it to arrive at the nut tree we were watching. I tried to do what my father would have done – as he watched me imitate him.

When I was growing up – I remember playing first base – pitcher – and third base (not at the same time – lol) and I remember trying to imitate Boog Powell – Jim Palmer and Brooks Robinson – three of my favorite players. On our home at the time there was a brick chimney and I used to bounce balls off of it and try to make great plays fielding the ball like they often did. I could always make up a game in my mind.

As disciples of Jesus – we are called to imitate Him! (not our parents or ball players or anyone else.

Finish Ray’s blog at: https://raymcdonald.wordpress.com/2019/04/11/were-called-to-be-like-jesus/

Do Paul and James Disagree on Justification by Faith Alone?

https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/do-paul-james-disagree-on-justification-by-faith-alone

Challenging Fear

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The man who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18

Most of us struggle with fear of one sort or another at one time or another—some mild, some serious, some healthy, some unhealthy and self-defeating.

Healthy fear is a self-protective mechanism. We rightly fear (or should) driving through a red light, or doing anything that could hurt us or others. Unhealthy fear is that which is caused by someone who hurt us deeply, and especially when we bury and deny it. This fear can become a floating anxiety and cause us to be fearful of everyday living, separate us from close relationships and cause loneliness, give us ulcers or other physical ills, or cause us to hide it and “protect” ourselves with anger.

Fears that are relatively harmless can often be overcome by doing the thing we fear and thereby reconditioning our response to the particular thing we fear.

Unhealthy or self-defeating fears need to be dealt with at their root cause. For example, a person who was abused or abandoned as a child may be fearful of being treated the same way as an adult. And, for some strange reason, unless he faces and resolves this fear, he will tend to either withdraw from close relationships or be attracted to people who will repeat the abuse or abandonment he experienced in the past. Sadly, the things we fail to resolve we are destined to repeat.

As today’s Scripture points out, “The man [person] who fears is not made perfect in love.” Thus, to be made perfect in love means we need to resolve any unhealthy fears. To do this these fears need to be recognized and if repressed, they need to be brought into the conscious mind so they can be confronted and resolved.

Look at the symptoms in your life. Do you avoid close relationships? Is your life filled with anxiety? Are you an angry person? Do you have any impaired close relationships? Is your marriage a wreck? If any of these apply to you, chances are you may have unresolved fear. So when you pray, admit these and any other symptoms to God and ask him to give you the courage to see the root cause of these—and to lead you to the help you need to overcome these. If the fears are buried, you may need qualified professional counseling help to overcome these. Speaking personally, buried fear was a major problem in my life until I realized that unless I got into therapy to resolve my fear, I would be running from love for the rest of my life.

As we resolve unhealthy fears, we open ourselves to love, and the more we are filled with God’s love, the less fearful we will be because perfect love drives out fear.

Suggested prayer: “Dear God, please help me to face the root cause of any or all fear/s I may have and lead me to the help I need to overcome them so I can be freed to know and experience your love, which is the ultimate protection against fear. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus’ name, amen.”

Comment: http://www.actsweb.org/daily.php?id=978