Lesson 6 -- second quarter 2005
April 10, 2005
© Copyright 2005, Christian Light Publications
Probing Your Own Heart
Are you sure of and secure in your salvation?
On what basis?
Building on Some Foundational Concepts
Faith, correctly placed, brings salvation.
Faith, no matter how noble or certain, does not of itself guarantee salvation. The solution to man's lost condition is not faith, but Jesus! It is not sufficient to confess and believe -- of that, Romans 10:9 leaves absolutely no doubt: "If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." Only those whose faith leads them to call on Jesus shall be saved (Romans 10:12).
Salvation has no social or cultural boundaries.
God's people must never, ever, allow any individual to be excluded from the Gospel because of social, cultural, or ethnic considerations. Since God has not established such a barrier to His redeeming grace, how shall we dare to? In God's eyes, "there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek."
One's salvation is dependent on others' faithfulness.
Everyone's salvation is a personal condition resulting from a personal choice resulting from a group effort (Romans 10:14,15). Before any "whosoever" can call upon the Lord unto salvation, the church must send forth those who will declare the message.
Saving faith is not natural to the human heart.
If faith which results in salvation were natural to us, we would not need senders and messengers. In fact, we wouldn't need God's Word. But since saving faith is not natural to our hearts, God has provided His Word and His people so that faith might come "by hearing...the word of God" (Romans 10:17).
Questions and Responses
What kind of shame is Romans 10:11 talking about?
This shame could be identified as sheepishness or humiliation. Those who have taken Jesus as Lord receive boldness and courage so that they need not experience any sheepishness or humiliation at identifying themselves with Jesus and in confessing Him with their mouths.
This shame also could be identified as disappointment or confusion. Jesus will not let us down if we believe on Him. His faithfulness and power will most surely lead to the fulfillment of the hope which He has put in the hearts of His people.
Which are more important: the preachers or the senders?
Is this not a question of the flesh? Why else should it matter to me which is more important, my assignment or hers? "They measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise" (2 Corinthians 10:12).
That said, having served as a "boots on the ground" sent one, I assure you that the faithful sender is no less important, essential, and valuable to the mission than the sent one. We are all "labourers together with God" (1 Corinthians 3:9). Mission work must be executed as a whole-body endeavor or it surely shall fail to achieve its full potential. God brings success to the faithful mission efforts of any congregation that is "fitly joined together" and knit into unity "by that which every joint supplieth" because of the coordinated, effective "working...of every part" (Ephesians 4:16).
What can we do to promote faith in another person's heart?
Consider again Romans 10:14 and 15. To promote faith in the heart of another you must be a sender or a herald ("preacher") or both. Otherwise, "how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?"
Having accepted the assignment of sender or herald, do not fail to consider Romans 10:17 as well. To promote faith in another, you must declare to them God's Word.
Also consider 1 Thessalonians 1:6. To promote faith in the life of another you must exemplify and demonstrate a faithful life of faith. If someone tried to follow Jesus by following you, would they succeed in following Jesus?
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