Monday, 16 November 2009
Christians have a right standing with God by faith. Faith is both objective and subjective, that is, it is as much about what we believe as believing itself. Who and what we trust is as important as the fact that we trust. Sometimes the 'who and what we trust' is referred to as 'the faith'. Jude, the brother of Jesus, refers to it as 'the faith delivered once and for all to the saints'.
What I find remarkable is how many people seem to be willing to push the boundaries of this 'faith delivered to the saints'. Folks who call themselves Christians, even evangelical Christians, seem quite cavalier in what they dismiss or distort in the Bible. They boldly champion 'beliefs' that plainly conflict with clear statements of gospel faith revealed in the Bible.
For example, we find people claiming to be Christian who 'believe' that God is all love and has no wrath, despite the Bible's unequivocal and regular statements about God's wrath and judgement. Some claim there is no hell, others that all will be saved. Some suggest that there is saving truth in other religions, even in no religion. Some evangelicals believe and teach that homosexual stable partnerships are acceptable to God. All these 'beliefs' fly in the face of 'the faith' as revealed in the Bible.
The question is just how often can one 'believe' what is contrary to the Bible before these beliefs constitute 'unbelief' and make one an 'unbeliever'.
Many seem blithely prepared to believe and advocate what the Bible condemns and risk perdition. They seem willing to drive close to the edge and even with wheels spinning over the edge. Theirs is a foolhardy faith, a profligate faith. It is an irresponsible casino faith that gambles recklessly with the most expensive chips of all, their own souls.
Saving faith is not faith itself, not even faith in Christ since we are all too accomplished at creating Christs that suit us; it is faith that submits to the Christ revealed in the Bible and what God has revealed in Christ. It is faith in 'the faith delivered to the saints.'