Birthdays: Mason Flynn – May 16th ; Nicki Jones – May 18th
The Common Faith
“But you gotta believe” is the answer of the infidel. “God can’t save you if you don’t believe”. They cannot let salvation be of grace. They can’t breathe without free will.
The truth is God’s people will believe. They can’t live without faith. They are smothered without it. Every breath they take is punctuated with “the just shall live by faith.”
The faith of the justified is that “common faith” binding together every true believer. Titus 1:4… “To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior.” It is common in one sense only. It is found only in and exercised by those whom the Father sent the Son to redeem. It is wrought of God in the believer and is fixed on its object, the Lord Jesus Christ and his righteousness imputed as all the sinners’ salvation. All other faiths are counterfeit.
There are three qualities common in the common faith.
It sees no merit in the sinner. By nature, even God’s elect are all too ready to boast in their faith. This “common faith” looks away from the sinner to another for salvation. God given faith never commands the sinner to look to himself for any part of salvation.
It sees all merit in the Savior. God given faith looks only to “The Lord our righteousness” for all of salvation. The commandment is “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” Faith is the evidence, not the cause of salvation. Faith in my faith is a counterfeit faith and is deadly.
It is measured by the Spirit. (Romans 12:3)Faith is a fruit of the Spirit and is the gift of God. It was given the saints in the everlasting covenant of grace made before time and ratified by the blood of Christ in time. It is made known in time to the elect in regeneration and conversion under the true gospel and measured to every common faith believer as God sees fit.
May our prayer be, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”
--- Winston Pannell
Every believer is involved in many daily activities, some are necessary while others are frivolous. I suspect that like me, you sometimes neglect vital things - prayer, Bible reading, reflecting upon the goodness and greatness of the Lord - and your mind and energies are taken up with trivialities. Perhaps on occasion you murmur against God’s providence and maybe even doubt the reality of His grace and lose the joy of your salvation. When seasons of spiritual sadness occur, what is it that God frequently uses to restore our joy? Where does He direct our steps so that we will be refreshed? The Lord has graciously provided a place where we can meet with other believers to worship Him and be encouraged. It is when we join with our true family where the gospel is proclaimed that we realize the blessedness of the promise of Christ, "where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them" (Matthew 18:20). In the house of worship we meet in obedience to the Lord to extol His Name, hear the glad tidings of accomplished redemption and enjoy His presence. When we assemble together and honor the Lord, a wonderful thing happens to believers, we are spiritually uplifted. Certainly all who trust Christ worship privately, there is no question about that. I believe, however, that the most glorious times of worship are those we experience when we gather together to sing, read the Scriptures, join our hearts in prayer and then listen to God’s servant proclaim the gospel of the person and work of Christ our Lord. A worship service here is a foretaste of heaven itself where the people of God join together in never-ending worship and praise.
When David was unable to attend the place of worship and join others in honoring the Lord, he was so miserable that he even envied the birds that made their nests there. "My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God. Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God" (Psalm 84:2-3). Is it that way with you when you are unable to gather for public worship?