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IN TOUCH WITH GOD   by Edward Heppenstall

Fellowship With God FEBRUARY 10


Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? James 2:22.

It is easy to repeat the words "Jesus is Lord." But the gospel requires more than the formation of words, more than the ability to repeat so many texts from memory. Take the rather mischievous word "surrender." To say "I surrender" or to sing the hymn "All to Jesus I surrender" can sound like a way of relaxing one's way into the kingdom of God.

We speak of "letting go" and "letting God." But Christians are forged on the anvil of commitment rather than by any method of passive relinquishment. Decision is a much-abused word. If it comes easy, it is most likely to be false. Deciding to live for Christ is no easy matter. It involves the most ruthless examination of oneself and an equally total commitment. It is a very personal affair.

True Christians are lovely in their lives, kindhearted, generous, just in their dealings, honest to a penny, and in their allegiance to God and to His will, true as steel. No teaching of religion, no preaching of the gospel, can be more pernicious than that which puts obedience and disobedience on the same plane, truth and falsehood in the same company of saints. To believe there is no connection between faith and good works, between truth and conduct, is to make of no consequence either the discovery of Bible truth or the saving work of Jesus Christ. What we believe and what we do relative to the truth of God's Word are united in any genuine faith. No man who trusts in Christ has the license to break the law of God. Not thieves, not killers, not adulterers do we want in life; but virtuous, honest, pure, and unselfish Christians. And this does matter. It makes all the difference in the world, in the home, in the church, and in the community.

Our eternal destiny is bound up with a faith-love response that we give to the truth and to the law of God. We are Christians by faith only when we become God's man, God's woman, when the sovereign rule of God becomes effective in our lives. This is what salvation by faith alone means—the indwelling life of Christ, who keeps God's commandments.

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