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The Future must not belong to those who slander the Prophets of old (and won’t!)

 

By Curtis Dahlgren

“People love new things like Snap-chat and computerized eyeglasses. But they want to know that some things will remain exactly the way they were when they were children . . [like] college students protesting injustice while getting incredibly drunk.” – Joe Queenan (Wall Street Journal, 11/22/14)

[NOTE: Once again, this isn’t the column I’d planned to write. This isn’t a column for everyone. But it should be a column for YOU! I stumbled upon a column on my desk I had forgotten that I posted nearly 10 years ago (8-27-06). The original title was “Amazing Grace: Charlie Darwin nominated for a ‘Darwin Award'”]

“O Lord, grant us a faith that keeps us, not a faith we have to keep.” – author unknown

THE “PASTOR” who wrote that prayer, bless his well-meaning heart, must have gone to the Karl Marx school of post-graduate theology (“God grades on the curve, and gives out social promotions automatically”). Maybe he just never read past the first half of that sentence in Ephesians 2:8: “For by grace are you [being] saved through faith . .” Two verses later it says that God created us for “good works” (we’re just not supposed to “BOAST” about it, v. 9). Yes, Grace is amazing, but it’s high time, I say, that we defined accurately the word grace in “Amazing Grace.”

No one in the Bible ever said, “I am saved” or “he is saved” or “she is saved.” The correct translation in Ephesians 2:8 is ‘BEING’ saved – as we are all a work in progress – and even the apostle Paul admitted that he could fall away if he let it happen (I Corinthians 9:27). Therefore, let’s define a few words, because WORDS MEAN THINGS!

I. “FAITH”

A. Faith is something you “keep.” -Rev. 14:12

B. Faith is something you “obey.” -Acts 6:7

C. Faith is something that determines how you live. -Romans 16:26, 1:17, 20

D. Faith is a fight! -I Tim. 6:12, 1:18-19

E. Faith is something for which we “contend.” -Jude 3

F. Faith is something to which you ADD. -II Peter 1:5

II. “Grace”
A. Grace is for obedience to the FAITH. -Rom. 1:5

B. Grace is not a “new testament” invention. -Genesis 6:8, Exodus 33:12, Jer. 31:2

C. Grace is for “service.” -Hebrews 12:28, Ephesians 3:8

D. Grace is something from which we can fall. -Hebrews 12:14-15

III. “WORKS”
1. Good works do not circumvent “faith”; they SHOW faith. -I Thes. 1:3, II Thes. 1:11, James 2:17,18 and 26

2. Works do not substitute for “faith”; they REQUIRE faith. -Hebrews 11:7-8

IV. THE “LAW”
A. “No new commandment wrote I unto you, but an old commandment which you had from the beginning.” -I John 2:7

B. “My righteousness shall not be abolished. Listen to me, you who know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law.” -Isaiah 51:6-7

C. “Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God, AND THE FAITH OF JESUS.” -Revelation 14:12

D. “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the…

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 if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.

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