Through Faith or By Faith

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast”. Eph 2:8-9 ESV.

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Faith is given to us by God. We don’t generate Godly faith. God disperses faith (Rm. 12:3).  It is His gift to us. We simply exercise it.

We exercise faith when we walk it out and through it. Faith is not the cause of our salvation. We are not saved by faith, but by grace. We are saved (justified) by the grace of Jesus Christ.  However, by walking through the faith given to us, we are being saved (regenerated) into the image of Jesus Christ.

Poor theology places the cause of salvation with our faith. Our response is not the cause of salvation; our response is the effect of salvation. In the words of cause and effect, our salvation is caused by Jesus Christ and our response is the effect of salvation.

If our faith is the cause of salvation, then we wouldn’t need a savior. However, since Jesus Christ is the reality of salvation, we either accept that reality or not. When we accept that reality, we begin to experience the power of salvation.

A good example is gravity. We acknowledge its existence and respect its authority. Just like your belief doesn’t cause gravity to exist; you simply acknowledge the truth and live life accordingly.

So walk your life through the faith God has given you. Be grateful for the grace He has bestowed upon you. There is nothing to boast about except what God has done.

Therefore, learn to live out your life with the faith He has given you. You will be pleasantly surprised by the outcome.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Director & Founder
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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What is Man…?

“…what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him”? Psalm 8:4 ESV.

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David wrote this Psalm most likely while gazing up into the heavens, viewing the moon and stars (v.3) that God set in their place. He basically asked: Why does God care for us? Why are we so important to Him?

There is much written about man achieving his human potential. Abraham Maslow gave us a list with self-actualization being the top motivational drive of a person. Yet God’s potential when unleashed is so much more. God’s potential for us is so much more than human achievement as the heavens are larger than the earth. When grasped, the vastness of God’s glory is exhibited through His work in and through us (Eph. 2:10).

The Bible indicates in Revelations (3:21, 5:10) about the New Age that awaits us will have us exercising leadership serving others. Jesus using a metaphor of a mansion with many rooms (Jn. 14:2) indicated that we have a placed reserved for us in the new heaven and new earth being prepared by Him for us. Paul likewise uses the metaphor of adoption (Eph. 1:5) that provides a more familial relationship with Jesus. We are included as his brothers and sisters in the Eternal Family. We are created and destined to lead and minister working in His Family business.

Our potential includes the merging of His spiritual DNA in us. This begins the embryonic process of transformation by Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit which Bible scholars call sanctification. The morphing of our character becoming more and more like Jesus’. This relationship between God and man is the perfect union that sets the standard of marriage today. Father God has chosen you and I to be betrothed to Jesus. We now wait and long for the wedding festivities to begin.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Director & Founder
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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Salvation: Relationship or Commodity?

“For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:2 ESV
“…so that he(Jesus) might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.” Ephesians 5:27-32 ESV

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Growing up in the 21st century within a capitalist culture is challenging for one to fully grasp the teachings of the Bible. Take for example the concept of salvation. Is salvation a commodity to be exchanged or a relationship to be experienced?

There are those who believe that upon repentance one receives salvation. We exchange our repentance for a one-way ticket to heaven. Then there are those who believe that salvation occurred approximately 2,000 years ago upon Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension. That upon accepting the reality of who Jesus is, we begin to experience the fruit of salvation.

I lean towards the second view. When we view salvation as a byproduct of our effort, we are treating salvation as a commodity. However, when we view salvation as an engagement, than we are treating salvation as a relationship.

The apostle Paul used the analogy of being engaged to Jesus Christ. In Paul’s time it was the man who selected his wife-to-be. He would work out the arrangement with the woman’s father. If the father approved, he gave his daughter to him. In a sense, the woman would wake up and discover who her husband is to be. She didn’t choose her husband. It wasn’t a decision she made. She simply acknowledged the reality that she was engaged to be married. Thereafter, she focuses herself in accepting the relationship of her husband-to-be and accordingly changed her thinking and behavior to that reality.

Salvation is likewise an engagement in a marriage relationship from a 1st century woman’s perspective. What saves us is not our decision. What saves us is Jesus Christ who became engaged to us before we even accepted that reality. When we wake up from our spiritual sleep, accept that reality, then we begin to experience the fruit of salvation. Otherwise, if salvation is a business transaction, a commodity that we acquire, then it has the weak link of a human decision. We will always doubt our level of repentance, faith, trust, or works. Or in other words, how good is good enough.

When I beheld salvation as a relationship and no longer a commodity is when the fruit of God became more active and the heart of God became more intense within my very soul. I for one am very thankful that Jesus Christ re-opened the door for us to have a relationship with Him, His Father, and His Spirit: The Triune God. How about you?

 

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Chair, Consultant, Encourager
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married