The Nature of Saving Faith. By John MacArthur
(This is a personal plea today, so bear with me and I will return to the usual stuff tomorrow. Thanks!)
“Sinners today, you see, are hearing not only that Christ will receive them just as they are, but also that He will let them stay that way. Many erroneously believe that they can come to Christ, receive absolution from their sins or forgiveness, be granted the gift of immortality, or heaven, and then walk away to continue living life anyway they please, even Choosing… as one well-known Bible teacher, author and theologian says, quote: “To leave God out and live according to the old nature.””
“….multitudes approach Christ on those very terms. They think there’s no real price to pay. They respond eagerly when offered forgiveness. They respond eagerly when offered the prospect of heaven, victory over death. They have no sense of the severity of their guilt before God. They have no desire to be freed particularly from sin’s bondage and they certainly have no overwhelming desire to obey Christ. And I’m convinced that such people are deceived by a corrupt gospel. The faith they are receiving and the faith they are relying on is only intellectual acquiesce, or maybe emotional grasping of something or someone to solve their problems and it will not save. Yet this is the most common form of evangelism. And many are preaching this kind of weak deceptive message.”
And, sadly, many are living that deceptive message….
There are some people who are quite close in my life who desperately need to HEAR this truth and take it to heart. To them I beg….please take it seriously, for you are in dire need of genuine repentance and salvation. The unsaved he is describing in this sermon could have your picture attached. Perhaps people outside your close proximity think you’re “good to go”, but I tell you the truth: You still live like you did pre—”conversion”, and it shows objectively regardless of how you may talk about Jesus when in the company of others who do, and I do NOT want you to hear “I never knew you!”.
When the behaviour is the same, the lies, broken promises, self centeredness, selfishness, pride, obfuscations, worldly focus and seeking after the approval of the world in lieu of the approval of the Master, the heart growing colder and more obscure…the conscience being so dulled that truth makes little impact upon you…you are clearly still lost. And that breaks my heart. I can only imagine what God feels as you go about your daily routine, hiding behind His name in public, and behaving like you never met Him when the spotlight of the world is no longer upon you. The truth is that to claim Him in your current state is a form of blasphemy…His new creation is totally different than the perishing one He saved…to live and behave as you are, still, is to call Him a liar. And you are not the exception to what He says in His word. His word never changes, what He does in an unregenerate heart never changes, and He has not changed His mind about that. God never changes, nor does His word. To claim Him, while in reality acting the same as you always have in word and deed, is abominable.
Yes, we all still sin, but we who are in Christ are HIGHLY aware of doing it, we despise our sinning when we do, we confess it as sin and repent to God, and we are quick to apologize to any we may have hurt by our sin…we do not continue in it and dismiss it, or ignore it, or make excuses for it, or call it something else! Or do you not believe that the reality of whether one is genuinely saved or not is shown by how you behave and the things you seek? Well, God says it is. Both in the living and in the sensitivity of conscience toward sin and righteousness and how they are handled. Like the sheep and the goats, your eternal status is clearly shown by what you do and do not do!
Please stop adding to your condemnation. 😦
Please surrender to Christ today. And when Christ makes a new creation of you, you shan’t have to tell people He has, it will be unmistakable and wholly seen by all! Then your tree will actually have new fruit, and it will be beautiful and will please the Master and King, and you will have “the word of your testimony”!
“To say you believe and don’t obey is to say you don’t believe, because if you’ll believe, you’d do what you believe. You act on what you believe, is that not true? What you believe to be true is what you…is what governs what you do. To say you believe and you don’t act is totally contradictory. Paul says in Romans 6, it’s so wonderful that when you were saved you took yourselves from being servants to sin and by God’s grace you have now become the servants of righteousness, obedience. In fact, in John 3, I believe it’s right at the end of the chapter, verse 36, “He who believes in the Son has eternal life, but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life.”Belief and obey used interchangeably. You believe, you obey. You don’t believe, you don’t obey.
Look at Titus, I just have to show you Titus 1:15 and 16 because it’s so important. And we’ll wrap this up. Titus 1:15, “To the pure, all things are pure. But to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled, they profess to know God but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.”
“…Paul is saying, “Look, the people who profess to know God and make the claim but deny Him by what they do are detestable, disobedient and worthless because they’re lost.” They’re unbelieving. Their mind, their conscience is defiled. Disobedience proves disbelief. Obedience proves faith.”
Indeed, it does.