There is a subtle form of error that is always seeking to find its way into the beliefs of God’s people. I will call it “sneaky subjectivism.” The dictionary defines subjectivism in this way: “a theory or doctrine that limits knowledge to subjective experience or that stresses the subjective elements in experience.” Faith becomes what one feels rather than what one believes. It becomes what one does in faith rather than what one believes by faith. The faith that God gives as a gift does not call upon us to do something to make what Christ has done effectual but rather believes what God has said of Him. In faith I am not to do anything to Christ or with Christ but to believe what He has done for me. I am to believe what God has said. Faith is sometimes described as believing that God will do what He has said He will do. That is surely one element of faith. But it is not the first or chief part of faith. Faith is believing that God has done what He says He has done. It is believing that in the matter of our total salvation Christ has accomplished it and in His own words, “finished” it. The gospel does not call upon us to do anything with Christ or to Christ. The gospel we are to believe is a declaration, the testimony of God, concerning His gift to us in Christ. By God-given faith we believe the record or witness of God that He has given unto us eternal life and this life is in His Son! By faith we look to Christ and what He accomplished for us before we were even born. He saved us before we were born, before we believed or “felt” anything! This is an objective work, a work outside of us by a Person other than ourselves and therefore all the glory goes to Christ alone. The gospel declares that it was God who laid our sins on Christ. (Isa. 53:6) It pleased the Lord to bruise Him. (Isa. 53:10) God made Him responsible by making Him our Surety. God charged Him with the sins of His people and held Him accountable for them in His cross death. Confidence or assurance in any and all works of the flesh AND OF THE MIND are just subtle trustings in our works rather than what Christ has done. When our Savior accomplished our salvation through His death on the cross, we were not there. Nothing we do now can alter, add to or make effectual or better what He has finished. It is His experience that saves, not mine!
CHRIST OUR REWARD
"To him that worketh is the reward NOT reckoned of grace, but of debt" (Rom. 4:4).
To the laborer in religion, what he merits or earns can never be called a gift, a favor, or mercy; it is an obligation owed to him. If work is involved at all in our salvation (regardless of the degree of work), it is a debt and NOT GRACE AT ALL. It is not that the believer does no good works, but that he does not work in order to obtain life and salvation. We work because we love Christ Jesus, not in order to be justified.
I am thankful for my family and friends. I love and cherish them all. At the same time, I pray for grace and strength from God to never let these relationships keep me from believing and obeying His word.. I know this, the fear of man easily and firmly traps us.” (The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe. Proverbs 29:25) The greatest snare or trap is the fear of lost favor and approval. Christ warned that those of our own household and those of our circle of friends may make themselves our enemies because of our following Christ and His word. I also know this, that it is impossible for us to be honest with ourselves in these matters unless the Spirit of God show us and help us. There is only one path the child of God can take and only one way he can know the right, it is the word of God. Not what I want it to say because my friend or family thinks that’s what it says, but because that is what it says. The cross which we are called upon to bear is related to this very thing: “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26-27) I pray that I might be found believing the truth and identifying with those who rightly divide the word of truth. To follow the truth of God is to follow the Son of God. If doing so, family and friends forsake us, we have this promise: “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.” (Psalms 27:10)
Faith, dear reader, is neither encouraged nor discouraged by anything we find in ourselves; it is neither encouraged by our graces nor discouraged by our sinfulness; for faith LOOKS OUT OF SELF UNTO ANOTHER. Nothing will afford such encouragement to believing prayer as a sight of the LAMB on His mediatorial throne (Revelation 5:6). No matter how desperate may be our case, how often we have failed and fallen, how low we have sunk, it is ALWAYS the believer’s privilege to turn unto his Redeemer and say, “Look Thou upon me, and be merciful UNTO ME, as is your way unto those that love Thy name” (Psalm 119:132).
OUR GOD RULES He ruleth by his power for ever; his eyes behold the nations: let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Psalms 66:7 There are three things that are obvious in this verse. First, God rules. He rules over all things and all...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
THE SERVANTS OF GOD There is a good picture of the servants of God who labor in the gospel ministry in Genesis 24. There, Eliezar, Abraham’s servant, is sent to find the bride for Isaac. This is exactly what those who are called of God...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
THE CONSCIENCE PURGED When the Holy Spirit shows us the necessity, the beauty and the sufficiency of the death of Christ, we repent of our own foolish works of self-righteousness, we forsake every other way of seeking to please God, we look to...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
AFFLICTED BUT DELIVERED Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all. Psalms 34:19 I must confess that one of my often repeated phrases of these days is, “there’s always something!”
THE END OF SELF What a great mercy from God it is when He brings us to an end of ourselves. It is always a good thing when were are made to see ourselves for what we really are. Self-righteousness is always a thing that must be repeatedly put to...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
“BUT THE SHEEP DID NOT HEAR THEM” Sometimes I forget that it is not up to me to keep the Lord’s sheep. As an under shepherd of some of Christ’s sheep I cannot but be jealous over you with a Godly jealousy, watching over...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
PRODIGAL SONS Every child of God is a prodigal and a rebel by birth, by nature and by works. All, apart from restraining grace, will in their rebellion go as far as they can from the Father’s house. They will associate with and join...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
LIVING For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Philippians 1:21 To find out what it is to “live” we have only to hear the words of Christ: “And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
WHAT DID OUR SUBSTITUTE DO? Long before the law was given by Moses, our whole race fell when Adam fell in the garden of Eden. Adam, a representative man, sinned against God and in him “all sinned.” (Rom. 5:12) This is why...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
NO SORROW LIKE CHRIST'S Christ the Messiah, using the prophet Jeremiah, calls upon men to look at Him as He suffers on the cross. "Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which...[ abbreviated | read entire ]