Obedient faith or disobedience

There are some bizarre definitions of faith in the world. One of the most prevalent seems to be that one only believes in Jesus, and that automatically confers salvation on that person.

Not even John the Baptist, however, agreed with that prevalent idea. In John 3, in a discussion by John with his disciples, the cousin of Jesus said, “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him,” (John 3:36 NASB). Continue reading “Obedient faith or disobedience”

You people of little faith

Just before Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount, his disciples were with him (Matthew 5:1). From at least that point until Peter confessed Jesus is the Christ his disciples were constantly present. They heard lesson after lesson and saw miracle after miracle. So, why on three occasions in the book of Matthew did he accuse them as being people of “little faith?”

In Matthew 8, Jesus had been teaching people in Capernaum and then “got into a boat.” God’s word doesn’t say why Jesus got into a boat, but what happens afterward is good evidence why. Jesus was asleep when a storm developed and threatened to toss everyone overboard.  The disciples woke the Master saying, “Lord, save us! We are about to die! (Matthew 8:25 NET). Jesus said, “Why are you cowardly, you people of little faith?” Continue reading “You people of little faith”

An unfair advantage

Every nurseryman knows which species cannot survive in close proximity to another. The most obvious example is shade. A large tree will take up all the sunlight in a given area, and leave none for the plants surrounding it.

Sedum can grow quickly, seemingly when you turn your back for a second, and literally run over plants nearby. My saxifrage didn’t stand a chance. The sedum had the advantage of rapid growth, and choked out the saxifrage.

In a few situations where I was discussing the Bible with someone who did not share my faith, the other party complained, “This isn’t a fair debate. You had formal training, and I don’t know that much about the Bible.” Continue reading “An unfair advantage”

Faith By The Book

by Barry Newton Dictionaries typically reflect a particular culture’s usage of words. In contradistinction to modern nuances and meanings, what if a dictionary were to roll back time to reveal Biblical usages? What light might such a manual of words cast on this essential biblical term? Faith: Trust. Confidence expressed in reliance. Nature of faith Each situation determines the appropriate response of faith. Where unconditional promises have been offered, possessing faith merely requires believing (Gen. 15:5,6). In other contexts, such as where a command is given, to have faith necessitates expressing belief through the suitable behavior (Heb. 11:7,8; 2 Chron. 20:16,21; Rom. … Continue reading Faith By The Book