One of the key teachings in Christianity is that salvation is a result of our faith in Christ and what He has done on the cross, not our ability to obey and follow God (Rom 3:21-22, 4:24-25, Eph 2:8-9). It’s referred to as the doctrine of ‘justification’. However the life of a Christian is bombarded with challenges and situations that can test our faith, that can rock our assurance in what Christ has done and will do for us. So how do we ensure that we stand up against the doubt that will come our way? How do we allow the assurance of our salvation to remain firmly rooted in our hearts?
The answer is to give glory to God no matter what life throws at us. Does that mean when shocking things occur we give glory to God? No, we don’t give God glory for sinful things or situations as a result of sin. Rather we give God glory by trusting in Him despite the shocking and awful things that happen. This illustrates that we know God has things in control, that He is working in all things for the good of those who love Him (Rom 8:28). This will highlight to others that our faith is grounded in who God is and what He has done in Jesus and not what life’s circumstances delivers. Continue reading
It’s a new year and we all have our goals we want to achieve. However how common is it to start out full of steam only to realise after a few weeks that old habits have re-established themselves, old patterns of living have once again become engrained.
I must say I have been thinking a little over the year that was and what I can do differently going into 2013. One area that God has convicted me on is serving Him more faithfully and effectively at home and church. My secular work has been taking up a lot of time and energy and I feel I need to re-establish some boundaries so that I allow God to work more effectively in my life. I am sure I am not the only one with this problem. How do we prevent this from continuing to happen, ensuring that we are effective tools for God to use within our families and church? We are saved by God to be effective workers for Him (Eph 2:10). Continue reading
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In reading through Andrew’s recent blogs on identifying sin and replacing it with righteous and pure thoughts and actions, I am reminded of 1 Corinthians 1:3-11 and the critical need to support and encourage one another in our walk with Christ. Thank God we are not to walk this journey alone! This world will often trivialize sin and tempt us to take the easy option, so we must encourage one another to focus on what is pure and honorable and just and lovely as it says in Phil 4:8.
Let me be frank and honest here though. Andrew rightly said we should hate and detest sin as it goes against God’s very character. However, in actual fact, there are times, if we are honest with ourselves, when we “want to sin”… we want to take the so called easy option, to make the choice that we think will bring us more satisfaction. As appealing as it may be for many of us to have lots of chocolate or ice cream, afterwards our actions often lead to guilt and a stomach ache. We feel unhealthy and our bodies don’t feel like they are working at their best. This is what it is like with sin… It’s appealing, but always leads us feeling guilty and broken. We are never fulfilled in the long run. We may have short term satisfaction, but always long term decay and unfulfilment. Given the enticing nature of sin, we need to be honest about our struggles with God and when appropriate with others, followed by how God blesses us as we choose to trust in Him rather than continue to feed our sinful appetites. To keep from others how God impacts and liberates our lives robs them of the hope and comfort that God has given us.