Monday, December 28, 2009

Faith in Jesus Christ: A Gift from God Himself

I am Reformed in my theology. I identify myself with "Calvinists." I believe in "Total Depravity" and "Irresistible Grace," ... and the other three points of historic Calvinism, "Unconditional Election," "Limited Atonement," and "The Perseverance of the Saints." I believe that justification, the legal and binding proclamation by God Himself that all who trust in Jesus Christ are right with Him, i.e., righteous by imputation, is "by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, by the hearing of the gospel alone, for God's glory alone."

I believe that the nature of man (generic for all humanity), is from birth, totally depraved and "dead in trespasses and sins" (Eph. 2:1). And unless God Himself intervenes in our lives we cannot believe (Mt. 16:17; Eph. 2:4-10; 2 Thess. 2:13; Jn. 3:5-7). And furthermore, man, being dead spiritually, separated from his Creator and blinded by "the god of this age ("world")," (2 Cor. 4:4), gravitates easily toward worldly logic that produces such ideologies as atheism, agnosticism, communism, Islam, Roman Catholicism, Mormonism, evolution, hedonism, and liberal religion.

I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Lamb of God, the Messiah, and my Substitute, taking upon Himself the wrath of God that I so richly deserve. I believe that Jesus Christ fulfilled the Law of God, the will of God, absolutely. And that His fulfillment of God's law and His will is credited to all who "call upon the name of the Lord" (Roms. 10:9-13); His righteousness is written down on my heavenly account in such a way that I am given credit for His perfectly fulfilling God's will just as though I had done it myself.

These truths that I hold, I hold solely on account of God's grace. My faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord is not something that I had to "work up," or conjure up, faith is a gift from God. "To the praise of the glory of His grace." I could not have believed without God giving me faith and light and life. This why athesits, agnostics, Muslims, and cults of all stripes do not believe.

Faith is substance and solid. Faith is evidence, not something based on mere evidence. Faith itself is evidence. The very fact that any believer has faith is evidence of God's revelation of Himself to that believer. (Heb. 11:1).

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