Saving faith is the permanent, ongoing trust in God that one day He will free me completely from all the consequences and effects of sin because of the blood of Jesus Christ. Saving faith itself is a gift from God and it involves 4 things.
With chapter 3 of Philippians, Paul begins a new but related topic. While his major concern is still that the Philippians sincerely embrace the gospel and so find eternal life, he now warns them against the false teaching of the Judaizers. While warning against legalism, Paul explains his view of his own “accomplishments” under the law.
Paul concludes this first section of the body of the letter by again encouraging them to persevere in the faith and telling them of 3 ways he hopes to communicate with them.
Why is God so difficult to believe in? We want control. We explain away His gifts and provision. We want a predictable god who doesn’t surprise us. The God of Scripture is complicated and does not answer all our questions. We are afraid the hope of the gospel is too good to be true. The truth is that God is really not hard to believe in. The problem is that it is our hearts that are fickle.
This introduction reviews the historical setting for the book, what we know about the author and his purpose for writing. We’ll also introduce the main theme of the book.
James 5:12-20 is one of the most controversial passages in the book. Are we praying for one who is physically ill or one whose faith is weak?
When Larry Alex Taunton of Fixed Point Foundation explored why many American college students are atheists, a “composite sketch” emerged — which I found I agreed with.
The Parable of the Talents is the last of three parables Jesus tells during a private discussion with the disciples about the end of the age. The parables focus on two themes: stay alert and persevere.
Since just what you would expect to happen in the Parable of the Sower & the Seed happens, this story must have sounded pointless to those who heard it without explanation. Why would Jesus tell it?
James 2:21-26 is the second half of the “problem” passage where it appears that the Apostles James and Paul disagree about how we are justified. The key to resolving the apparent contradiction is context. James and Paul are addressing two different questions.
James and Paul appear to contradict each other because they use the same vocabulary: faith, works and justification. Plus they both appeal to Abraham. But they use the same language in very different contexts to address different problems and answer different questions.
God has identified the real problem in our lives and the only solution. But we easily deceive ourselves. The real issue is how are you going to respond to this message? Are you willing to hear God out?
The poor believer will be exalted. The rich unbeliever will be humiliated. It may seem the other way around right now, but if you understand the gospel, it should change your perspective.
When did we learn that all hardship is harmful, that every unknown is dangerous, and that even the tiniest failure must be avoided? It is a logical conclusion if we alone are responsible for everything, but James would say otherwise.
Why would the God I’m counting on to me from my sin put me in a position where my faith is under fire? Is James serious about being joyful in the midst of hardships?