The Nature of Saving Faith

The-Nature-of-Saving-Faith--

Hey everyone! How are you? I hope all is well!

I want to share my sermon notes I recently preached on with you all!

It’s important we have a proper understanding of what saving faith is. Once we understand it let’s go and share the gospel with others!

The Nature of Saving Faith

1. Question: What must I do to be saved?

2. Answer: Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.

3. Problem: What does it mean to believe?

4. Difficulty: Faith is easily counterfeited

• James 2:19 …the demons also believe, and shudder

• Luke 8:13 And those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away

• John 2:23, 24 Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name, beholding His signs which He was doing. But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men

• John 8:30 As He spoke these things, many came to believe in Him …John 8:59 Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him

• John 12:42, 43 Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God

5. Helpful: Consider interchangeable terms.

1. COMING TO CHRIST

A. Used interchangeably

• John 6:35 I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst

• John 7:37 Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me

B. Used often

• Mat 11.28 come unto Me

• Luke 6:47 Everyone who comes to Me, and hears My words, and acts upon them

• Luke 14:26 If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own

• Isa 55:1 Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters; And you who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk Without money and without cost.

• Rev 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost

C. Meaning: to change locations [spiritually]

2. RECEIVING CHRIST

A. Used interchangeably

• John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name

B. Also seen in …

• Mat 10:40 He who receives you receives Me

• Rom 5:17 those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness

• Col 2:6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him

C. Receive as a …

1) Receptionist at a place of business

2) As a guest is received into the house

3) As a gift – that of eternal life

3. LOOKING TO CHRIST

A. Used interchangeably

• John 3:14, 15 “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness [that whoever looks shall live], even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; that whoever believes

• John 6:40 For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal life

B. Looking is also in reference to sanctification and glorification

• Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus

• Heb 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him

C. Meaning?

1) The eye of faith

2) Gaze of trust, confidence, expectation

4. COMMITTING TO CHRIST

• John 2:23 many believed in His name, beholding His signs which He was doing. John 2:24 But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them [Note: same Greek word in both places reveals the meaning]

5. CALLING ON THE LORD

A. Used interchangeably

• Rom 10:11 For the scripture says, Whosoever believes on him shall not be ashamed … Rom 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

B. Meaning? A desperate appeal

6. SUBMITTING TO CHRIST

A. Seen in

• Rom 10:3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

B. Meaning? To put oneself under the rule, authority and plan of another

C. We are to submit to the God-given righteousness – Christ

7. FLEEING TO CHRIST

A. Seen in

• Heb 6:18 … we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge

• Mat 3:7 … You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

B. Fleeing is in the backdrop of fear and danger

8. PARTAKING OF CHRIST

A. Seen in

• John 6:53 Jesus therefore said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.

• Heb 3:14 For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end

B. Meaning? Finding nutrition and life for the soul

Always, for God’s glory and our joy in Him!

Kevin Nunez

Jesus Wasn’t Afraid To Talk About Money

Jesus-Wasn't-Afraid-To-Talk-About-Money

Hey everyone! How are you? I hope all is well!

Today I want to talk about money. I will probably be talking about it for the next few days. I don’t want to talk about it in a health, wealth, or prosperity manner. I want to understand it from a Biblical perspective. I’m reading blogs and books on this topic and I’d like to share them with you! Any thoughts or comments feel free to share them with me!

Jesus wasn’t afraid to talk about money (WHY?)

Quick. Besides the Kingdom of God, what did Jesus talk about most often?

Love? Peace? The poor?

No, money. (That may be a shocker to you, it was to my mom!)

Jesus talked about money all the time. Look closely at the parables of Jesus and count the ones that refer to money,” says stewardship expert and author Dan Conway. “If you didn’t know better, you’d say that all Jesus cared about was drachmas, denarii, and the coins that belonged to Caesar.”

Keep in mind that there is a reason why Jesus speaks so much about money!

Not everyone agrees on how many parables are in the Gospels – since parables can be defined many ways as stories, pithy quotes, or proverbs – but most Scripture experts agree on roughly 40 recorded parables of Jesus. Of those, nearly half speak directly about money – for example, the pearl of great price, the lost coin, the silver talents.

Of the other parables, many also touch on material wealth: the Prodigal Son squandering his inheritance (Lk 15:11-32), Lazarus and the rich man (Lk 16:19-31), or the day laborers in the vineyard (Mt 20:1-16).

The use of money also occasioned many of Jesus’ teachings: the widow’s two coins (Mk 12:41-44); Caesar’s taxes (Mt 22:15-22); the rich young man (Mt 19:16-24); and Zaccheus the tax collector (Lk 191-10).

Then there are the famous quotes: “Where your treasure is, there also your heart will be” (Mt 6:21); “Take nothing for the journey, neither walking stick, nor sack, not food, nor money” (Lk 9:3); and, most famous of all: “You cannot serve both God and Mammon.” (Lk 16 and Mt 6:24).

(I desire to write brief blog posts on each one of those passages above in the future but if you’d like to read them yourself now the Scripture verses are stated. Open your Bible and read what God’s Word says.)

Mammon is a word from the ancient world. In Greek, it was mamona, meaning wealth or riches, in the personalized sense, even as the riches were taking on a personality their own. Mammon meant wealth idolized and sought after. It was also recognized as something that could debase and dehumanize. Mammon could truly be a god, a false one.

“Jesus, time after time in the Gospel, calls his disciples’ attention to the use of money.”

Money is an important part of life. (Jesus thought so. I think so. Do you think so?) Ken Untener of Saginaw said in the reflections on stewardship, “Money speaks the hard language of real life.”

How do we pay the light bill? The car needs repair. The mortgage is due. Gas prices keep rising. It was the same in Jesus’ day. (Surprising to you? It shouldn’t be!) There were taxes, both government and religious. Food had to be bought at the market. People had to have a place to live and clothes to wear.

And people always like those extras – like a fancy dress or a bracelet from the caravan. (Today, it’s SUVs and HDTV.)

The late Richard Halverson, a chaplain of the U.S. Senate, in his book, Perspective, wrote,

“Jesus Christ said more about money than any other single thing because money is of first importance when it comes to a man’s real nature. Money is an exact index to a man’s true character.”

Did Jesus spend so much time talking about money because having money was wrong? (Many people especially Christians tend to think that way!)

Since many wealthy people – both in Jesus’ time (See Lk 8:3) and today – followed the Lord and did good things with their money, it seems that Jesus had other concerns with money. Concerns about human nature.

Jesus’ messages about money seem less to do with “too much” than with “too little.” Throughout the Gospels, Jesus is concerned with people having too little of what they really need. That meant health for the sick, welcome for outcasts, food for beggars, and protection for women and children.

But Jesus’ concern also included those who had too little of what really matters – the Kingdom, in which everyone has a close relationship with God and with others.

And Jesus saw that money and wealth often cause a poverty of character, a lack of what really mattered. That is why – when the rich young man “went away sad, for he had many possessions”- Jesus said “it will be hard for those who are rich to enter the kingdom of heaven.” It’s also why he told us to “give to the one who asks of you” (Mt 5:42) and that we would be judged by the measure, the generosity, by which we give (Mt 7:1).

What we do with wealth – whether that be a plenitude of money, power, talent, influence or anything else that comes to us through the grace of God – shows where our heart is.

“In the United States and other nations, a dominant secular culture often contradicts religious convictions … (and) frequently encourages us to focus on ourselves and our pleasures … many of us also have been adversely influenced by this secular culture.”

This is the very danger Jesus recognized when he told us to store up “treasures in heaven” rather than “treasures on earth” (Mt 6:19-20). If we focus only on our wealth, on getting more and not losing what we have – that wealth can take on a power of its own, just like the false god Mammon.

Instead, as good stewards, Jesus calls us to focus on God – and to put our wealth freely at his disposal. If we do, our hearts will still be with our treasure – but that treasure will be with our true and eternal treasure: God.

Any comments or thoughts please feel free to share, thanks!

Sources:

Patricia Kasten, The Compass.

“Good Steward” columns by Dan Conway; The Little Burgundy Book on stewardship; and “Stewardship A Disciple’s Response”

Always, for God’s glory and our joy in Him!

Kevin Nunez

Who’s Really at Work?

Who's Really At Work?

Hey everyone! How are you? I hope all is well!

Yesterday I wrote on ” Work Out Work In,”

work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

Philippians 2:12-13 ESV

I found a solid sermon by C.J. Mahany on that passage as well so you can watch/listen and be edified!

“Who’s Really at Work?” | Philippians 2:12-13 | C.J. Mahaney from SGCLouisville on Vimeo.

Feel free to leave a comment on here on what God spoke to you as you heard the sermon.

Always, for God’s glory and our joy in Him!

Kevin Nunez

You’re On the Planet to Make God Look Good

makegodlookgood

Hey everyone! How are you? I hope all is well!

Today I want to share a short video from John Piper on the supremacy of God in all things!

The title of the blog post can make you squirm because you are probably thinking to yourself, “gee no my life is messed up, I can’t possibly make God look good.” But remember the gospel and also the work God is doing in you,

“For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.”

-Philippians 2:13 ESV

Tomorrow I will write and comment more on the verse below so stay tuned! Let’s hear Pastor John Piper share on how we make God look good in our lives.

Everything in your life. Everything you say, everything you do, think, you feel, all the relationships you have, it all has to do with God.

God has ordained your existence and everything you do, everything you say, you feel, everything you think, and all the relationships you have been ordained so that they may make God look good.

You are on the planet in order to say things, do things, think things, feel things, be in relationships, in such a way, as to make Jesus Christ look like he really is namely supremely valuable!

Do I devote my life, down to the details, the way I study, what I eat, what I drink, what I wear, how I do my hair, what movies I watch, what websites I go to and how long I stay there, what car I drive, where I live, how I do my work, where I work, what jokes I tell and like to hear, what kind of language I use, who my friends are and why, and how I spend my leisure time. Are you asking how  do all those things spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all people? How do I do all those things so that I make Christ look really great? So that I do it in a way that communicates He is more valuable to me than all those things, than anything else!

Something to think about, right?

Always, for God’s glory and our joy in Him!

Kevin Nunez