“It is not faith that saves, but faith in Jesus Christ: faith in any other saviour, or in this or that philosophy or human conceit (Col. 2:16, 18, 1 Tim. 4:1), or in any other gospel than that of Jesus Christ and Him as crucified (Gal. 1:8, 9), brings not salvation but a curse. It is not, strictly speaking, even faith in Christ that saves, but Christ that saves through faith. The saving power resides exclusively, not in the act of faith or the attitude of faith or the nature of faith, but in the object of faith; and in this the whole biblical representation centres, so that we could not more radically misconceive it than by transferring to faith even the smallest fraction of that saving energy which is attributed in the Scriptures solely to Christ Himself.”
Author Archives: fpsammy
“Saying the words, “I received Jesus” means nothing until you answer the question, “As what?””
Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.“
“I confess to you, that if I can but live and die serving and honouring the Lord Jesus Christ, it will make no difference to me whether I am eaten by Cannibals or by worms.”
—John Paton, a missionary to the cannibal people of New Hebrides—
“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
“‘His mercies … are new every morning’ (Lamentations 3:22–23). Why are they new every morning? Why does God do it that way? It’s not because yesterday’s mercies were bad or weak. It’s because they were yesterday’s. Yesterday’s mercies were for yesterday’s burdens. Today’s mercies are for today’s burdens. They are new every morning. They are like the manna in the wilderness: you can’t keep it overnight. Enough comes for each day. You live on God day by day, or you don’t live on God.”
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
There is, therefore, knowledge and knowledge —knowledge that resteth in the bare speculation of things, and knowledge that is accompanied with the grace of faith and love, which puts a man upon doing even the will of God from the heart: the first of these will serve the talker; but without the other, the true Christian is not content.
“Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart”
Taken from John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress. Faithful’s Discourse With Talkative.
Last eve I paused beside the blacksmith’s door,
And heard the anvil ring the vesper chime;
Then looking in, I saw upon the floor,
Old hammers, worn with beating years of time.
“How many anvils have you had,” said I,
“To wear and batter all these hammers so?”
“Just one,” said he, and then with twinkling eye,
“The anvil wears the hammers out, you know.”
And so, I thought, the Anvil of God’s Word
For ages skeptic blows have beat upon;
Yet, though the noise of falling blows was heard,
The Anvil is unharmed, the hammers gone.
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”
Commonly attributed to John Clifford
They say that living by faith is like driving with your eyes closed, only opening them periodically in your moments of doubt. They say you miss a lot — it’s dangerous to you and those around you.
Such a living would indeed be dangerous. But that’s not living by faith at all.
Living by faith is more like driving blind. Insisting that you can see only makes things even more dangerous. Living by faith is first knowing that you cannot see — knowing that you have absolutely no idea what’s ahead. But living by faith is also living a trust — the trust that God can see and that You can depend on Him for being your eyes. Living by faith is driving blind but driving sure because even if you don’t know what turns and bumps are up ahead, God does. To trust and to make Him your eyes can only but guarantee you the only ride to life.
“For we walk by faith, not by sight”
—2 Corinthians 5:7—
“In the presence of this gracious gift of faith [Eph. 2:8-9], God justifies us “by his grace” (Rom. 3:24; Tit. 3:7) and forgives our trespasses “according to the riches of his grace” (Eph. 1:7) and saves us “through the grace of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 15:11) and “makes all grace abound” to us for “every good work” (2 Cor. 9:8) and makes his grace sufficient for all our affliction (2 Cor. 12:9) and enables us “by the grace of God” to work harder than we imagined we could (1 Cor. 15:10) and grants “grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16) and gives us “eternal comfort and good hope through grace” (2 Thess. 2:16), so that in the end “the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thess. 1:12).”
It was and is all grace — never ever let that slip off your heart and mind.
Quote taken from God is the Gospel by John Piper, p.36
“[The] Church is still alive; an unbroken spiritual descent connects us with those whom Jesus commissioned. Times have changed in many respects, new problems must be faced and new difficulties overcome, but the same message must still be proclaimed to a lost world. Today we have need of all our faith; unbelief and error have perplexed us sore; strife and hatred have set the world aflame. There is only one hope, but that hope is sure. God has never deserted his church; his promise never fails.“
—J. Gresham Machen—
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
“Though committed by a finite person, in the confines of finite time, sin is nevertheless still deserving of an infinitely long punishment because it is a sin against an infinitely worthy God.”
It does not matter if the sin is murder or cheating or stealing; it does not even matter how much sin one has committed. All sin, big or small, many or few, will lead to death — not because all sins are the same in their effects, but because all sins are acts against God.
“For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all.”
Because one God said all.
Christians who have been raised in a Christian home or a Christian school have often struggled with reconciling their “second-hand faith” with their Christian lives and the question of “Is my faith really real?” can haunt and devour many, many believers.
Timothy probably shared the same struggle with his own faith, to which is why Paul writes to him these words:
“Timothy, I believe with all my heart, that your faith, even though it’s rooted in your mother’s and grandmother’s faith, is sincere (anupokritou)—authentic, really yours. You are your own man. You are not mama’s boy. You are not gamma’s boy. Your faith is yours, even though it was first your mother’s and grandmother’s.
Don’t feel less authentic because of that lineage. My ministry, my service to God, is also from my parents. I, too, have been deeply shaped by my lineage. Don’t begrudge this family influence, Timothy. Glory in it.”
Just because your faith is of second-hand does not mean that it has to be of second-rate.
Incomplete quotation taken from John Piper’s paraphrase of 2 Timothy 1:3-5 in the book Entrusted with the Gospel, p.21.
“Before we can pray, ‘Lord, Thy Kingdom come,’ we must be [first] willing to pray, ‘Lord, my kingdom go.'”
There is no room for two kings in a kingdom. No two lords can sit at one throne — someone must surrender.
“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”
At once they left their nets and followed him.
A powerful story is told of the bombing raids of World War II where thousands of children were orphaned and left to starve. After experiencing the fright of abandonment, many of these children were rescued and sent to refugee camps where they received food and shelter. Yet even in the presence of good care, they had experienced so much loss that many of them could not sleep at night. They were terrified they would awake to find themselves once again homeless and hungry. Nothing the adults did seemed to reassure them, until someone thought to send a child to bed with a loaf of bread. Holding onto their bread, the children were able to sleep. If they woke up frightened in the night, the bread seemed to remind them, “I ate today and I will eat again tomorrow.”
“Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. I will not leave you as orphans. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.”
Jesus, the Bread of Life
Quote taken from John 14:27, John14:18, John14:27a || Story told in Dennis Linn’s Sleeping with Bread, (New York: Paulist, 1995),
Ralph Wood, professor of theology and literature at Baylor University, once asked a group of seminary students to compare two individuals: the modern, astute collegian who insists that sin and the fall of humanity are fallacies invented by the superstitious, and a primitive young man in a remote village whom you find in the woods sacrificing a chicken on a makeshift altar. “Which man is farther from the truth?” he asked.
The students hemmed and hawed but hesitantly agreed that the pagan boy, however crudely, understood something the other did not.
There is a need in our lives for atonement. There is a need for blood.
“Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.“
Hebrews 9:22, ESV