“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).
Our confidence of faith which is “the evidence of things not seen” is NOT simply because we believe. It is that we believe WHAT GOD SAYS IN HIS WORD. Faith is the gift of God (Eph. 2:8-9), and it comes to us in the power of the Holy Spirit by hearing the Word of God (Rom. 10:17). Multitudes of people believe things that simply are not true. Those who believe that salvation in any way, to any degree, at any stage is by the works of sinners or conditioned on sinners truly believe they either are or will be saved, but it is not true. Their faith has no substance in reality and only evidences that they are still lost. They do not know the way. Those who have faith that they can establish their own righteousness before God have no hope of salvation, “for Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth” (Rom. 10:4). “To every one that believeth” what? That Christ is the only way of salvation; that His blood alone cleanses us from ALL sin; that His righteousness imputed alone justifies us before God; that He alone gives life to dead sinners by the Holy Spirit; and that He alone is able to
save us completely and bring us to glory by His grace and power. This is God’s Word, and God’s Word is the foundation of true God-given faith. God’s Word always points us to the Lord Jesus Christ for all salvation, forgiveness, righteousness, spiritual and eternal life, and glory.
--- Pastor Bill Parker
An ignorance of Christ's righteousness, and a supposed preparation for acceptance with God in a righteousness of our own, is the general creed of the present hour. The great mass of those who profess the Gospel, if engaged at all in a concern for salvation, is prosecuting the hope of acceptance, partly by the deeds of the law, and partly by the grace of Christ. But, this is neither law nor Gospel. It is not the law, for a curse is pronounced upon “every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them,” (Gal. 3:10). Neither is it the Gospel, for there we are expressly said to be saved “by grace through faith, and that not of ourselves, for it is the gift of God, and not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:8).
--- Robert Hawker
IN SEARCH OF THE SHEEP
“For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search My sheep, and seek them out. As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out My sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day” (Ezekiel 34:11-12). The Shepherd does not go forth in search of the lost sheep in order to make them His own. They are His already, therefore He refers to them as “My sheep.” The Lord’s sheep were His before they became lost for they were given to Him by the Father in the election of grace. They remained His even when they became sinners due to Adam’s transgression. The good Shepherd said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand” (John 10:27-28). These did not suddenly become His sheep upon hearing His voice and following Him. The Shepherd called them unto Himself, they heard His voice and followed Him because they were already His sheep. On the other hand, those who die in unbelief do not become goats by their refusal to believe on Christ. Their unbelief is conclusive evidence that they were never His sheep. “But ye believe not, because ye are not of My sheep, as I said unto you” (John 10:26).
--- Pastor Jim Byrd
TODAY’S RELIGION QUESTIONED
If you are serious about the salvation of your soul, then you must question the religious climate in which we live. Men claim to love God, yet they are ignorant of His holy character. Men boast of loving Jesus, but they have no idea of who the Lord Jesus is. They profess to be saved, but they have no real understanding of salvation by grace, effectual blood redemption or imputed righteousness and their salvation, they say, is conditioned upon their so-called “freewill.” I admonish you to put every religious word under the microscope of the Word of God which will expose error and will, in the hands of the Holy Spirit, “make you wise unto salvation.”