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The Difference Between the Faith of Demons and Saving Faith

The Bible declares that there are some people whose "faith" is on an equal level (or worse) than that of demons.  "You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder." (James 2:19) 

The faith of demons is but a mere belief in God's existence, not trusting in Christ to save them from sin (since Jesus never served as a mediator for demons), so there is no mystery that people with such faith are not justified.

True saving faith is a faith granted by God in which a person seeing the darkness of his own sin, casts aside his own righteousness, and trusts in the Savior to rescue him from God's wrath on account of his sin. Such Spirit-wrought faith binds us to Christ so that, in union with him, we participate in his righteousness, resting on the assurance of his mercy. 

When people, by God's grace, desire to be saved from sin it reveals they no longer have a love for it and want to be out from under its' tyranny, so seeing they cannot save themselves, they turn to Christ to rescue them from it. As such, they will not be fruitless believes, but because the Lord implants a new love of righteousness within, they will exhibit their faith by following and obeying their Master, Jesus Christ.  

Fri, 07/05/2019 - 10:49 -- john_hendryx

Christ as the Sole Foundation, as Beginner and Perfecter

by John Calvin

If these matters had in bygone ages been treated and dealt with in proper order, so many tumults and dissensions would never have arisen. Paul says that in the upbuilding of Christian teaching we must keep the foundation that he had laid among the Corinthians [cf. 1 Cor. 3:10], “beside which no other can be laid, which is Jesus Christ” [1 Cor. 3:11]. What sort of foundation have we in Christ? Was he the beginning of our salvation in order that its fulfillment might follow from ourselves? Did he only open the way by which we might proceed under our own power? Certainly not. But, as Paul had set forth a little before, Christ, when we acknowledge him, is given us to be our righteousness [1 Cor. 1:30]. He alone is well founded in Christ who has perfect righteousness in himself: since the apostle does not say that He was sent to help us attain righteousness but himself to be our righteousness [1 Cor. 1:30]. Indeed, he states that “he has chosen us in him” from eternity “before the foundation of the world,” through no merit of our own “but according to the purpose of divine good pleasure” [Eph. 1:4–5, cf. Vg.]; that by his death we are redeemed from the condemnation of death and freed from ruin [cf. Col. 1:14, 20]; that we have been adopted unto him as sons and heirs by our Heavenly Father [cf. Rom. 8:17; Gal. 4:5–7]; that we have been reconciled through his blood [Rom. 5:9–10]; that, given into his protection, we are released from the danger of perishing and falling [John 10:28]; that thus ingrafted into him [cf. Rom. 11:19] we are already, in a manner, partakers of eternal life, having entered in the Kingdom of God through hope.

Mon, 07/01/2019 - 14:43 -- john_hendryx

"Christians are Bigots"

Visitor
Christians are bigots. They tell gay people that their very identity is unnatural and that they should not live their lives based on their sexuality.

Response
Christians believe all people without exception are under the wrath of God for their sin, not just homosexuals. So no one is being singled out here. We were all born in sin. Which is why we must be born again. So when Christians declare homosexuality sinful it is no different than if they say fornication or adultery is sinful. All are summoned to come to Christ to be liberated from the guilt and power of sin. We all desperately need Christ. I am no better than someone who self identifies as a gay person and definitely do not deserve heaven more than he does.

Visitor
Other ‘sins’ are choices, you can choose adultery, fornication, murder, etc. Homosexuality is not a choice. These don’t even get a rating in the supposed 7 detestable sins. ( Proverbs 6:16-19). Live and let live, be accepting, loving and compassionate to everyone regardless.

Response
May I ask, can human beings be sinless? If not, why not? The reason is that no one can choose to live a sinless life. We are ALL born in bondage to a sinful condition we cannot deliver ourselves out of. We were all "born this way" which is why we all must be born again. Though our sins may differ, none of us are are any different than gay people in our condition. We are all sinners by nature, and that is WHY we need grace.

I would encourage you to do some self reflection to see whether it is possible to be sinless for human beings. If not, then you ought to rethink your above analysis.

Mon, 06/24/2019 - 13:03 -- john_hendryx

What is the Sinner's Initial Repentance?

Does Christ require the sinner to "stop sinning and you'll be pardoned"?, or something else?

When you trust in Christ for the first time, you are trusting in Him as a Savior FROM SIN, both its guilt and power. No one "just believes" in Christ's existence to be saved; we come to him, rather, to be rescued from sin's tyranny. We know we can do nothing to save ourselves from sin so we (by the grace of God) turn to Christ to be rescued from it. This demonstrates, without a doubt, that at the time you trust Christ you no longer want to be under sin's tyranny or dominion but want Christ to deliver you from it.

So in our initial repentance we are not called to "stop sinning and you'll be pardoned." No, rather its "Lord. I am a slave to sin, save me and break the chains of my sin and forgive. I have no hope without you" Thus, to want to be saved by Christ from sin already reveals a heart of repentance in it. Otherwise you would not want to be saved at all.

If you see faith as merely a belief in God's existence then YES faith precedes repentance, but if you define faith as trusting in Christ as Savior from sin, then while faith and repentance can be distinguished, they cannot be separated.

Consider: For what purpose are you coming to faith in Jesus if not to be rescued from sin?

NOTE: Christ intended to pardon us prior to both our faith and repentance, so neither faith nor repentance are actually the originating cause of our pardon. Pardon was purchased in Christ's redemption for us. The application of our redemption is when the Holy Spirit brings us into union with Christ's death and resurrection. He regenerates us, our faith and repentance springs from our renewed heart which issues from God's grace alone.

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Fri, 06/21/2019 - 12:02 -- john_hendryx

Myth: Christians Think They are Better Than You

It is a myth that Christians think they are good people, entitled to sit in judgment over others because they are morally superior. On the contrary, a true Christian knows with certainty they are NOT good, that they are no better than anyone else... that they are rebel sinners who justly deserve God's wrath ... and that's why they need a merciful Savior who, in spite of themselves, forgives them, adopts them as His children and gives them a seat at His table.

So if a Christian points out that you need a Savior, it isn't because he hates you, or thinks he is better. No, it's because he loves you and is just like you. He shares a common humanity with you and is a sinner like you and wants you to know God's love and forgiveness in Christ.

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OBJECTION

We are better than the world we are children if God, we are a royal Priesthood we can come boldly to his throne, we have been made righteous we have been cleanse we have been given a new heart a new nature, we have been given the Holy Spirit, we are now called saints, we are set apart for a great purpose, we now know the mind of God through Christ because he reveled himself through him, a son is better than a slave, not because we chose him but because he chose us. God has called us to be a light and guide for them to our father, and invite them to know Him fear him, to honor Him, Respect Him. We fall short of his glory yes but we have been given a real hope we are Harold’s of the the good news. Christian never deny the titles and the blessings And the identities that Christ has given his children, never be ashamed of being adopted by your father.

ANSWER

Mon, 06/10/2019 - 12:51 -- john_hendryx

Pluralism as Dogma

by Tim Keller & Charles Garland

About every other week, I confront popular pluralist notions that have become a large part of the way Americans think. For example, pluralists contend that no one religion can know the fullness of spiritual truth, therefore all religions are valid. But while it is good to acknowledge our limitations, this statement is itself a strong assertion about the nature of spiritual truth. A common analogy is often cited to get the point across which I am sure you have heard — several blind men trying to describe an elephant. One feels the tail and reports that an elephant is thin like a snake. Another feels a leg and claims it is thick like a tree. Another touches its side and reports the elephant is a wall. This is supposed to represent how the various religions only understand part of God, while no one can truly see the whole picture. To claim full knowledge of God, pluralists contend, is arrogance. When I occasionally describe this parable, and I can almost see the people nodding their heads in agreement.

Fri, 06/07/2019 - 11:26 -- john_hendryx

Recommended Expositions on Romans (MP3 Format)

The following are some expositons on Paul's Epistle to the Romans that we highly recommend.  

Exposition of Romans (MP3 Series)
by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Exposition of Romans (MP3 Series)
by Sinclair B. Ferguson

Exposition of Romans, 6-16 (MP3 Sermon Series)
by Voddie Baucham

Exposition of Romans (MP3 Series)
by Edward Donnelly

Expositon of Romans (audio series)
by R. C. Sproul

Exposition of Romans (MP3 Series)
by Thomas R. Schreiner

Exposition of Romans (MP3 Series)
by Steven Lawson

Exposition of Romans (MP3 Series)
by William Still 

Exposition of Romans (MP3 Series)
by Eric Alexander

Exposition of Romans (MP3 Series)
by J. V. Fesko

Thu, 06/06/2019 - 17:36 -- john_hendryx

The Secularist Dilemma

Modern society tends to be deeply incoherent. On the one hand our culture demands justice for the oppressed and impartial benevolence toward all. On the other hand it teaches that no one has the right to declare right and wrong to anyone else, as secularism asserts that every person must determine his or her own moral values. This is cognitive dissonance. It demands moral behavior of others and yet insists morality is relative. The idea undermines itself. The promotion of universal justice, human rights, self-sacrifice, a commitment to human dignity and considering the poor can only coherently make sense in a world where morality is objective and whose source is God.

But the inconsistency does not end there.  Their view of the world also forces them to pretend in many other areas as well. 

----The Secularist Dilemma ---
There is no meaning, but let's pretend there is.
There is not objective morality, but let's pretend there is. 
There are no voluntary choices, but lets pretend there are. (since choices are hardwired)

The Christian view makes more sense of the real world we live in because we do not have to pretend thee is meaning, morality and real choices.   The reason there appears to be objective morality, meaning, logic, responsibility, and coherence is because there actually are such objective things in reality.  

Tue, 06/04/2019 - 17:50 -- john_hendryx

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