Our good works are the inevitable fruit of our union with Christ, not the root. We do good works not in order to be saved (or find acceptance with God) but because we are saved. But it is also true that faith without works is a dead faith. In his epistle, James asserts that a faith devoid of works is lifeless, akin to a body without a spirit (James 2:26). This stark metaphor captures the reality that genuine faith, when united to Christ, must inevitably produce good works as a natural consequence of that union.
Reformation Theology Blog
In the Sermon on the Mount, Christ warns against hypocrisy in judgment (Matthew 7:1-6). His exhortation to first remove the plank from one's own eye before addressing the speck in a brother's eye serves as a profound reminder to approach judgment with humility and self-awareness and the recognition of one's own sins and weaknesses when addressing the shortcomings of others.
Humanity's primary issue in relation to God stems from the pervasive presence of sin, which manifests itself in two distinct ways: sin's guilt and sin's power. Sin's guilt refers to the culpability that every individual bears before God due to their transgressions and disobedience (Rom. 3:23), while sin's power denotes the enslavement and dominion of sin over human lives, leading to a perpetual state of moral corruption and spiritual death (Rom. 6:12-14).
Visitor's Question: Why does the Bible condone genocide? Was that just the Old Testament "god" who demanded that? It is clear that in the book of Joshua, God commanded the Jews to utterly wipe out people groups that inhabited Canaan. If this is so, why didn't Jesus denounce him? Christians often try to avoid this question, it seems to me.
Westminster Larger Catechism
Q. 34. How was the covenant of grace administered under the Old Testament?
A. The covenant of grace was administered under the Old Testament, by promises, prophecies, sacrifices, circumcision, the Passover, and other types and ordinances, which did all fore-signify Christ then to come, and were for that time sufficient to build up the elect in faith in the promised Messiah, by whom they then had full remission of sin, and eternal salvation.
Rom. 15:8; Acts 3:20, 24; Heb. 10:1; Rom. 4:11; 1 Cor. 5:7; Heb. 8-10, 11:13; Gal. 3:7-9, 14.
John 3:5-6 (ESV) - "Jesus answered, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.'" Jesus teaches that to enter the kingdom of God, one must be born again of the Spirit, implying that our NATURAL BIRTH into this world leaves us in a fleshly state, separated from the life of God.
This momentous event, as recounted in Genesis 22, is rich with typological significance, revealing profound truths about the nature of God's redemptive plan. When Abraham was commanded to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice, he obediently and faithfully journeyed to Mount Moriah, prepared to obey the will of the Lord. This account serves as a poignant foreshadowing of God offering His only Son, Jesus, as the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of the world (John 3:16).
The doctrines of "Union with Christ" and "Federal Headship" are deeply rooted in the Bible and have profound implications for our understanding of salvation, sanctification, and our identity as believers. By delving into these rich concepts, we can glean insights into the mysterious workings of God's redemptive plan and the blessings that come from our union with Christ.
In the present age, the people of God around the world find themselves facing seemingly insurmountable challenges, not unlike the beleaguered defenders of Helm's Deep in the famed Lord of the Rings saga. With the world engulfed in turmoil and unrest, it is natural for believers to feel vulnerable and powerless. However, we are reminded that God often allows His people to experience profound weakness, in order to reveal His infinite power and bring about His ultimate glory.