What are Works of Faith?

August 18, 2021 // 23 Comments

What is the relationship between faith and works? And are we saved by faith or faith plus works? Many people are confused about these things, and it’s not hard to see why: Paul: “We are justified by faith apart from works” (Gal. 2:16, Eph. 2:8-9)James: “We are justified by works and not faith alone” [...]

How does Faith Establish the Law? (Romans 3:31)

August 31, 2017 // 71 Comments

The Bible makes some interesting comparisons between faith and law: We are justified by FAITH, not by LAW (Rom 3:28, Gal 2:16) Abraham and his heirs are blessed on account of FAITH, not LAW (Rom 4:13-14) You can live by FAITH or LAW (Rom 4:14) No one who relies on the LAW is justified for the righteous live by [...]

The Prayer of Faith

July 13, 2017 // 253 Comments

 Much of what passes for prayer is wishful thinking. “Oh Lord, please heal Mary.” I’m sure you can, Lord. I just don’t know if you will. “I beg you to heal Tom.” But if you do, no one will be more surprised than me. You can pretty much guarantee these sorts of prayers won’t change anything because [...]

How do I know I’m saved?

October 13, 2016 // 108 Comments

“Are you saved? Are you sure?” These questions are sometimes used to scare people into signing up for works-based insurance. They also trigger salvation-anxiety. Yet the questions are legitimate. In scripture we are exhorted to examine ourselves to see whether we are in the faith (2 Cor 13:5). This does not [...]

Who is the Unworthy Servant? (Luke 17:10)

June 30, 2016 // 39 Comments

How do you see yourself? As a valued son or a worthless servant? As a beloved child of God or a mere minion? Jesus came to reveal our heavenly Father, so a good sign that you understand all that Jesus did for you, is you see yourself as God’s dearly loved child. But what are we to make of these words of Jesus: [...]

Is humanity righteous? (Romans 5:18-19)

June 27, 2015 // 111 Comments

If I gave you a million dollars, how would you react? If you were poor, you’d be thrilled. You’d thank me and tell all your friends how awesome I am. But if you were Bill Gates you might say, “Meh. Add it to the pile.” How you react to a gift reflects your need for that gift. Which is why I am dismayed [...]

Believing in vain (1 Corinthians 15:2)

February 12, 2015 // 42 Comments

“How do I know if my belief in Christ is in vain?” When a reader asked me this question recently, she was referring to Paul’s warning here: Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you [...]

God Believes in You!

June 24, 2014 // 71 Comments

Last night I caught my five-year-old son reading in bed when he should’ve been sleeping. I asked him to give me his book and he did, albeit reluctantly. I reminded him that it was late and he needed to go to sleep because he had school in the morning. Then I put his book at the end of his bed and turned to [...]

Questions ain’t questions

April 23, 2014 // 28 Comments

Growing up in Australia, I was used to seeing trucks from a company called “Soils Ain’t Soils.” Strange name for a company but I get it. They’re saying there are different types of soils, and some soils are better than others. The same could be said of questions. Perhaps you’ve noticed an upsurge in the [...]

Continue in the Faith (Colossians 1:23)

March 12, 2014 // 62 Comments

Paul tells the Colossians, “God will present you holy, unblemished, and unblameable—if you continue in the faith.” That doesn’t sound good. That sounds like Paul is preaching conditional salvation. He isn’t. You are one with the Lord, and what God has joined together, no man can separate. Paul [...]

Faith is a Rest

August 15, 2013 // 101 Comments

The gospel declares God’s grace comes through faith. So if you wanted to undermine the gospel, there are two ways you could do it: 1. attack grace – put price tags on it or obscure it by referring to it as a mere “doctrine”2. attack faith – either make it a work or diminish it, belittle it I usually [...]

Everybody responds

August 12, 2013 // 86 Comments

In the film The Wedding Singer, there’s a scene that captures the story of God’s relationship to us. A waitress called Julia is preparing for marriage but she’s marrying the wrong guy. We know it and eventually Julia begins to realize it too. What she doesn’t know is that the right guy is closer than she [...]