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Posts Tagged ‘salvation’

Heresy: Faith + Obedience = Salvation? No!

January 16, 2011 Leave a comment

I read in a so called “Christian church” bi-monthly newsletter recently that Faith + Obedience = Salvation but that’s not right if they mean “good works” when they say “obedience” which is what the article inferred! That’s heresy!

Repentance from Sins + Faith in Christ alone = Salvation

Some would argue that obedience is the same as repentance but they are different! Repentance accompanies faith and then they produce salvation which next produces OBEDIENCE. Faith produces works of obedience – not obedience producing salvation! Works demonstrate that the salvation was real and always come AFTER salvation for the believer in Christ.

The only thing obedient about repentance is that we need to repent before God but is that what this newsletter meant? If so, then ok. But if not, then I’m concerned. Faith + anything that you or I do as a “work” will not save us!

I’m not picking on these folks but it is an important distinction and you need to know the difference. I only point this out for your spiritual growth and not to pick a fight with these brothers/sisters. I have no beef with them personally but only want you to know the truth! Let’s pray that the Holy Spirit would reveal the truth to them!

It’s Jesus Only! Repentance from sin and faith in Him! That produces newness of life and good works/obedience follow!

-Mark (thankful that salvation is NOT dependent upon my good works – in fact, my good works are my problem because I need the righteousness of Christ and His good works!)

God is faithful to save our children!

October 26, 2010 Leave a comment

While I am often unfaithful, God is always faithful to do what He says He is going to do in His Word and by His Spirit.

We went to church tonight at a revival and the guest preacher began his sermon from I Thessalonians 4. The sermon was on the end times and was very good.

What was cool was that our family had read the entire book (merely 5 chapters) of I Thessalonians LAST NIGHT for our family devotion time! Then, we go to church, and our children had already studied the passage so the sermon had more meaning to them tonight! In fact, one of them prayed to surrender his/her life to Christ! Praise the Lord! He is faithful to fulfill His Word!

So, let me urge you: prepare your children for the upcoming sermons! If you know what text your pastor will be teaching from, then read over it and study it with your children ahead of time so that when the Word is preached, they will better understand it. Prepare your children and then trust the Lord to save them. He may save them DURING your family devotion or He may wait until later like He did tonight for our child.

For us, this was a great lesson in being obedient to God in teaching our children the Word and letting His Spirit work to save our children in His perfect timing! To God alone belongs all glory and praise!

-Mark (blessed be the Lord Who is faithful!)

Congressional Bullies

June 28, 2010 Leave a comment

I am as disappointed and upset about the BP oil spill as anyone, especially since I lived in Mobile, AL, for 20 years. I love that area and still have family living there. The area is devastated by all of this.

But after watching the Congress recently bully the BP oil executives around, I got angry. One governing official demanded that the head guy resign. Another official insinuated that in his culture, an executive would be considering suicide, or “haray caray.”

What struck me (among other things) is the lack of grace. But I shouldn’t expect people who have never been touched by God’s grace to be able to give God’s grace to others.

I’m not saying that BP should be given a free pass. Certainly not. They are responsible and this is affecting millions of lives. The leadership at BP is to blame. We all want the responsible parties to fix it.

But that’s just it for us spiritually. We are responsible for our sins but we cannot fix it. Only Christ can fix our sin problem! Praise His Name!

Learn this lesson. Like the oil spill, you are responsible for your sinful choices. And like the oil spill, you cannot fix the problem by yourself. You need Christ! That’s real grace that is found in God not mankind.

-Mark (thankful that Christ alone fixes what I cannot fix – my sin problem)

Can you “scare someone away from God”?

April 24, 2010 Leave a comment

I read a blog recently that someone said somthing like this: “We don’t want to scare anyone away from God with too much truth.”

What?

How can you “scare” someone away from God who is ALREADY away from God in the first place?

All people are born lost and bound for hell. Everyone according to Romans 3:2-26 is lost and God owes NO ONE eternal life:  “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”

In other words, God is gracious to give mercy to those who have faith in Jesus Christ alone for eternal life. Not everyone will be saved. Everyone is lost without His grace that is greater than all of our sins!

What’s wrong in our thinking is that we think God owes us eternal life but He does not owe anyone eternal life? In fact, no one deserves it. So all are lost and bound for hell except by God’s grace!

That ought to make us motivated to share the Gospel with others knowing that it is the good news of salvation for every type of sin. If that truth is told and someone rejects it as truth, it is on them – not on us who have “scared them away.” They are responsible for rejecting God’s truth.

I didn’t think up the Gospel. It’s God’s idea. It’s His truth. I urge you to share it with reckless abandon and without fear of scaring people away! What a lie from Satan! God is bigger than you and I and Satan and this world’s lies. No one can be scared away from Him WHEN He is drawing them to Himself (read Ephesians 1-3 by Paul and John 6:60-71 to see what Jesus said about those the Father draws to Himself).

Fact is we are all lost and when God draws us to Him, we cannot be scared away because it is His power not ours that saves! Think about that the next time you share the Gospel and/or biblically counsel. Be bold in Christ to share His truth!

And with confidence, we can share the Gospel because if God is drawing someone to Himself, there is no stopping it from happening!

-Mark (thankful I’m not powerful enough to turn people away from Christ IF He is drawing them to Himself)

3 in one day!

April 10, 2010 Leave a comment

We praise the Lord for the opportunities to share the Gospel with hurting souls in the Woodlawn area daily through Christ Health Center.

Under the leadership of Dr. Robert Record, Christ Health Center is doing amazing things in a needy area of Woodlawn. CHC needs your prayers and financial support.

TIL is thankful to partner with CHC in spreading the Gospel that Christ forgives sinners and empowers them to overcome sin daily!

In fact, Jason Cooke led 3 people to the Lord in just 1 day of ministry recently! We praise the Lord for His faithfulness and His fruit produced in Woodlawn!

This is what our ministry is all about. We want to make one thing clear: we want to see more souls in heaven with us and we make no apologies for sharing the love of Christ and His Word of truth with others on a daily basis.

Ready or not, here we come! We are ready to see God advance His kingdom in the Woodlawn, East Lake, and the entire city of Birmingham. Join us in ministering together!

-Mark (thankful for the fruit Christ is producing through Jason for His own glory)

You’ve got to read this – a FIRST for TIL and a RARE occurrence!

April 29, 2009 1 comment

You are NOT going to believe this!

One of our counselees led a young person to the Lord in our waiting room!

NOT a counselor but a counselee with whom we’ve been working for many months led a young person to the LORD.

How about that for God showing that He is working through this ministry for His own glory!

I don’t know of this EVER happening before at any ministry. Wow! Praise God for this counselee’s faithfulness to God. This just goes to show that counselees do NOT need a LABEL but need to be reminded that they are useful to the King of Kings! The label a counselee needs is not a psychological or secular label but the label of “Christian” or “evangelist”.

-Mark (simply amazed again at the awesome LOVE and power of God)

2 saved in 1 day!

April 29, 2009 Leave a comment

By God’s grace, He saved 2 people in our ministry in just one day of biblical counseling! This is a first for TIL!

Praise the Lord!

-Mark (a first for TIL as God continues to show off His glory to all of us!)