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|Fellowship With God||FEBRUARY 8|
SALVATION BY FAITH ALONE
He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life. John 3:36.
The gospel meets us at every turn with an imperative demand for faith. Our very life and salvation depend on the exercise and response of faith. Why does God make our fate depend on faith? Why can we not have salvation without it? Why is it we cannot please God without faith?
Let us bear in mind that we can expect no miracles from God for our salvation regardless of our attitude. God sincerely and spontaneously seeks to communicate not only salvation but all spiritual gifts. But even God Himself cannot give us what we are unable to receive. The reception of any spiritual gift needs a hand and a mind to take it. The goodness of God meets the freedom of man. God will not force the gates of the mind. He will not force His way upon the man who chooses to walk in darkness.
Faith is the instrument of the mind that receives the gift of God. There is nothing unreasonable when God insists that the reception of His gift of salvation needs a corresponding attitude on our part called faith. Once we admit that faith is the hand by which we receive from God, then God's demand for faith becomes wholly reasonable, because it is grounded in our free will.
We can enter into the world of music, art, medicine, only by an attitude of mind that desires to receive what these areas of life have to offer. The very desire to be loved means that we are prepared to receive that love. In our salvation Christ is everything--our wisdom, our righteousness, our sanctification, and our redemption. Salvation means a lifelong reception of all these things.
This in turn often requires sacrifice. When Christ enters our lives, evil tenants must leave. Christ dwells with the holy, but not with the impure. If we wish to have Christ dwell in us, then we must part with those guests who are enemies of Christ. He knocks at the door of our heart. Let us not say we have faith if we keep the door closed. Christ reveals to us whether we have true faith that accepts Him. At that point we are to give up everything that is contrary to His life and character.
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