From the desk of  ...  Preston H. Hazzard, Sr.  ... My Daily Blog    


Contending for the Faith
A Saving Faith
Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 1:00pm

"Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits.   (Matthew 7:15-20)


The greatest tragedy that can befall someone is to think he’s saved, only to discover after death he’s not. We’d all like to believe the claims of those who say they’re Christians, but Jesus gives a harsh warning because He knows many will be deceived. They’ll sit in churches week after week, professing that Jesus is the Son of God, but will never really enter into a personal relationship with Him.

Intellectual faith isn’t the same as saving faith. It’s not enough to know facts about Jesus or to believe He died and rose again. Even demons believe that.

“You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder”.  (James 2:19).

Salvation involves more than knowing: it requires trusting that Jesus paid the penalty for your sin, receiving His forgiveness, turning away from old sinful ways, and entering into a relationship with Him. What matters is not what we say with our mouths, but what we mean in our hearts.

Although you probably won’t understand all that happens at the moment of salvation, when Christ becomes your Savior, He also becomes your Lord. As the Master of your life, He then has a right to govern what you do. His Holy Spirit (the 3rd person of the Holy Trinity) takes up residence within you when you are saved, and that means you will change. He continually works to remove sinful attitudes and behaviors, replacing them with His spiritual fruit.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”   (Gal. 5:22-23)

We recognize a person’s salvation not by his profession but by fruit. If you’re truly saved, your character will become more Christ like over time, and your desire will be to obey Him. This does not mean you’ll never sin or stumble, but the overall direction of your life will be one of obedience.


Source: Adapted from a devotional at http://www.intouch.org.

Note:  All Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB), with links to the www.classic.biblegateway.com


  "Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong."  1 Corinthians 16:13  

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"Saint Pete", Sr.

 

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