“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no man may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, took the wrath of God against sin on the cross in our place, so through our faith in Him we might be forgiven of our sins and have eternal life with God. Faith plays a crucial role in the life and eternal destiny of every human being. Today we discuss our faith in Jesus Christ and God’s faithfulness toward us even when we are not faithful to Him. Pastor Mike Abendroth of No Compromise Radio is back with us.
We also discuss a movement within a certain sect of Roman Catholicism calling on Pope Francis to proclaim Mary “co-redemptrix” with Jesus Christ. But the group claims this will point people to Jesus rather than distract them away from the only one who can save us. We’ll discuss their argument in our final segment today.
Faith is the center of a Christian’s life. We open today’s program discussing what faith is and what it is not according to God’s Word.
- Not just intellectual assent or belief.
- Greek word “pistis”: “credence; moral conviction; constant certainty”.
- A noun and a verb
What are a few differences between our faith and God’s faithfulness?
- We will fail; He does not.
- We will waiver; He does not.
- He is sufficient; we are insufficient.
Some Christians believe faith is something we merely believe instead of something we believe and live. The writer of Hebrews ties in faith with Old Testament characters like Abraham and others, showing that a relationship with God is always centered on faith—believing and trusting in Him even when things around us might not make a lot of sense.
I am always interested when the conversation comes up about feeling, “experience,” and relevance in Christianity. It seems at times we have an internal battle between God’s Word (sola scriptura) and works or experience.
- Emergents (liberal Christians) go exclusively with what they “experience” or “feel”.
- Legalists (Pharisees) tend to discount “experiencing God”.
- Shouldn’t our experiences with God—those times He moved in our lives or times we look back on and remember He is faithful and true—lead us to a greater faith in Him?
- Shouldn’t what we learn from our experiences always line up with the Bible’s teachings?
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed [j]from faith to faith; as it is written, But the righteous man shall live by faith.” Romans 1:16-17
God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. Hebrews 1:1-2
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. 21 I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.” Galatians 2:20-21
That last part of the verse about Christ dying for no purpose reminds me of our program the other day critiquing The Shack. William Paul Young says substitutionary atonement is a false teaching and is actually anti-Christian.
- Young claims the doctrine of substitutionary atonement paints God in a bad light: a “child abuser.”
- His false doctrine actually paints God in a very bad light: That he would allow His Son to die a needless death.
- Young’s theology—like Rob Bell, Brian McLaren, and others shows their belief that man in his nature is good, not wicked or sinful as the Bible teaches.
- It eliminates the one thing a man must do to be saved; Confess (admit) and repent (change our mind about our sin)…
*Speaking of substitutionary atonement and the gospel, a sect of Roman Catholicism—The “Theological Commission of the Marian Association”—has publicly called on Pope Francis to acknowledge Mary as “co-redemptrix” along with Jesus Christ.
- What do they mean by “co-redemptrix”?
- Why is this in contradiction to the Bible?
- What is the danger in assigning that title to Mary?
Cited on today’s program: Luke 1:39-45
For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time. 1 Timothy 2:5-6