Peter exhorts the people of GOD to “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15). In order to be able to do that it is necessary for a believer to know why and WHOM he believes. We live in a time when it is quite common to hear professing Christians confuse a belief in GOD with having a hope in CHRIST. No spiritual light at all is necessary for men to believe in GOD.“The devils also believe, and tremble.” (James 2:19) Only a fool will say there is no GOD. (see Ps.14:1; 53:1)
True saving faith in CHRIST is more than a simple agreement to some terms or an acknowledgement of ones sins and adherence to some creed or confession written down by men. It is more than the repetition of some prescribed prayer or formula that well meaning “soul winners” have concocted. It begins with a revelation of light and life in the heart, brought about by the quickening work of the SPIRIT of GOD. The gift of faith is manifested in true believers as they hear the gospel and delight in it. Saving faith is not a momentary work, but the life long vocation of the SPIRIT in the children of GOD; as HE works in them both to will and do of HIS good pleasure. HE writes HIS law upon their heart and leads them into all truth. They are made new creatures without human effort, yet it is this transforming work which evidences itself in them as they are made in the likeness of CHRIST and led to perform works of righteousness.
There is nothing more assuring in an uncertain world than a dose of certainty. Luke speaks about such things as he begins his gospel record. There are definite truths which the people of GOD embrace which set them apart from common men who have no knowledge of CHRIST. Our perfect knowledge of these truths is not yet fully realized but these things are the very foundation upon which our confidence and hope in JESUS CHRIST is built.
- The true and living GOD who inhabits eternity has designed and ordained the redemption of a people in JESUS CHRIST, HIS only begotten SON. (see Mat.1:21, John 3:16)
- This same JESUS being ONE with the FATHER is not ashamed to be called GOD. HE is the total revelation of all that the FATHER intends HIS people to know about HIM, neither is there salvation in any other name. HE is an absolute, sovereign GOD who holds sway over every aspect of the universe, both seen and unseen. (see Heb.1:1-14; John 1:1-14)
- Man’s sin and his willful disobedience to GOD has separated him from the favor and enjoyment of his CREATOR. Not only temporarily but eternally. He is born into a state of condemnation and cannot escape from it by his own power. His sin has robbed him of spiritual light and life and plunged him into a state of spiritual darkness and death. Apart from the mercy of GOD being extended to him, he will physically die in his sin and will taste everlasting destruction in the pit of hell. (see Rom.1:18-2:16; John 3:18-20; I Cor. 2:14)
- JESUS CHRIST is the SAVIOR of sinners. HE came to give light to those who are in darkness; call the unrighteous to repentance, and to set them free from the principle (law) of sin and death. HE has purchased an eternal redemption for HIS people by HIS perfect obedience to the law, by HIS death.as an offering for their sin, and by HIS resurrection from the dead giving evidence of HIS triumph over death as a man. (see John 12:46; Rom.5:8)
- In order for a man to enter the kingdom of GOD, he must be born again. GOD who is rich in mercy does indeed regenerate dead sinners and awakens in them the light of life that they may both hear and believe the gospel. This is an activity which is entirely the work of the HOLY SPIRIT. The moment of the new birth cannot be discerned by men, but the evidence that it has taken place can be known by the activity of men calling upon the name of the LORD for salvation. Although the beginning and the end of this faith is the gift of GOD, those who have been given this gift exercise faith as though it was a product of their own will. In fact they are made willing by the power of GOD and gladly embrace HIS word in such a way that it is impossible to determine that they do not do so simply according to their own desire. (John.3)
- When the SPIRIT of GOD produces the new birth, the result is obedience to the precepts of the gospel by those who are born again. This obedience is the result of GOD’s grace and not the cause of grace being bestowed or earned. The obedience of GOD’s children is imperfect as long as they live in this sinful flesh yet they are considered as perfect in GOD’s sight because of the imputed perfect obedience of JESUS CHRIST. They enjoy the blessings of GOD regardless of the physical circumstances they are placed in. GOD works all things for their good and never forsakes those who are the apple of HIS eye. The scriptural exhortations and warnings about disobedience are placed before them as a lamp unto their feet and a light unto their path. (see Phil.2:13; Jer.31:33; Heb.13:31;James 1:18; II Thes.2:13; Rom.8:28)
- The LORD JESUS CHRIST will return to earth in the same body in which HE left it. HE is presently interceding before the throne of GOD in that body for those who call upon HIS name. HIS presence there is a most effective intercession. When HE returns to the earth in the final day HE will raise the dead bodies of HIS elect children from the dust of the earth and cause them to live again in bodies which are incorruptible and immortal. (see Heb.7:25;I Cor 15:51-3)
“So shall we ever be with the LORD. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”
(1 Thess. 4:17-18)mam