Hanging Your Hat

1 Peter 1:3-5 ESV

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

What is Faith?

What is faith? It is trust, confidence, devotion, commitment, conformity, loyalty, faithfulness, and trustworthiness. It is a gift from God, and it means to be persuaded by God as to the will of God. It involves us hearing God’s voice whereby we embrace God’s preferred will, i.e. what he chooses for us.

Therefore, if we believe in Jesus with God-given and divinely persuaded faith, which embraces the will of God for our lives, we are going to follow in the ways of God and not in the ways of the flesh. We will repent of our sins, we will submit to Christ as Lord, and we will walk in obedience to our Lord.

Many people are claiming that “faith” is enough and that they don’t have to repent, obey, or submit to God. But that is a distorted and humanistic view of the meaning of faith, for what they are talking about is human faith, not the faith from God which submits to God’s will.

Understanding that our faith is a gift from God, i.e. that it has its origin in God, and not in ourselves, and that it is divinely persuaded as to the will of God helps us to get a more biblical perspective of what it means when we hear: “By grace we are saved through faith.”

We grow in our faith, too, through our submission and surrender to Christ, through obedience, and through daily dying to sin and self and walking according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh – all empowered of the Spirit of God who dwells within us (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9).

And faith is also not a one-time experience in our lives. It is ongoing and it is something that must persist in our lives to the very end of time if we are to be assured salvation from sin and eternal life with God. For, it is those who are believing (present tense) in him who will not perish but who have eternal life with God (John 3:16; Heb 3:6-19; Heb 4:1-2, 6-7, 11-13; Col 1:21-23).

He Has Caused Us

If our faith in Jesus Christ is genuine faith, gifted to us of God, and divinely persuaded of God as to the will of God for our lives, then we are born again of the Spirit of God. And, if all this comes from God, then we don’t define what it looks like. God does!

So, the inheritance that we receive from God is also according to the will of God and according to his requirements, i.e. his conditions. And, that inheritance is undefiled (pure, unadulterated, and unpolluted by the world). So, what this means is that it is not of the flesh of man.

So, it is by God’s power that we are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. So, that means that our faith is a gift from God, our salvation is a gift from God, and it is only through the power of God that we are able to continue in faith unto salvation.

This does not mean God does it all and we do nothing! It just means that we don’t do any of this in our own flesh, but only in the Spirit of God and as empowered by God’s Spirit. We still must surrender to the will of God and obey the will of God if we want to have that inheritance (1 Jn 2:3-6).

For, our salvation is also not a one-time quick fix and then we are good to go until we die and go to heaven. We are saved (past), we are being saved (present), and we will be saved (future) when Jesus Christ returns, and our salvation is complete.

So, if it is by God’s power that we are being guarded through faith, which is of God, for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time, when Jesus returns, then this is all going to be according to the will of God, and not according to the will of man/flesh.

To an Inheritance

Many people are claiming that inheritance for themselves based on a false premise of the meaning and origin of faith. Again, if the faith we need to be saved from our sins comes from God, then it will submit to Christ as Lord, it will repent of sins, and it will walk in obedience to the Lord’s commands.

They are also claiming that inheritance for themselves based on a false premise of what it means to be given the Holy Spirit as a seal guaranteeing what is to come.

For, we are not given the Holy Spirit on the basis of human faith which does not submit to Christ as Lord or surrender to the will of God or turn away from lifestyles of sin or walk in obedience to our Lord’s commands. For, God gives the Holy Spirit to those who obey him (Jn 14:15-17; Ac 5:30-32).

Also, the promise of that inheritance has conditions set by God. And they are that we must be obeying the Lord’s commands, we must remain in the faith, and continue in it until we die, and we must walk (in conduct, in practice) according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh (Rom 8:1-17; Rom 11:17-22; Heb 3:6-19; Hebrews 4:1-2, 6-7, 11-13; Col 1:21-23).

For, the Scriptures are clear on this subject. If we do not deny self and daily die with Christ to sin and follow him in obedience, as our life course, but we continue living in sin, doing what we want, then we don’t have eternal life with God, and it will end in death (hell) for us (Gal 5:16-24; Eph 5:3-6).

We must realize that faith is as God defines faith, not as man does, and thus it submits to God and it obeys him. We must also realize that faith is not a one-time experience, but it is present tense and it must continue to the end. So, our inheritance is conditional upon those things.

Also, we must realize here that God is going to judge all of us by our deeds. If we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we are going to reap death. But if we sow to please the Spirit, then from the Spirit we will reap eternal life. So, don’t “hang your hat” on a promise unless you are willing to follow the conditions attached to that promise (Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; 2 Co 5:10).

Come and See

An Original Work / May 20, 2013
Based off John 1:35-51

John, the Baptist, called of God to
Make straight the way for the Lord,
Told his disciples about Jesus,
So two of them followed Him.

One of them who followed Jesus
Told his brother, Simon Peter,
Who then he brought to the Savior,
Who had told them, “Come and see.”

Jesus Christ, our Lord, Messiah,
On his way to Galilee found a man, Philip,
So he told him, “I want you to follow Me.”

Philip then found his friend,
And he told him, “We have found the one
The prophets spoke of – He is Jesus!”
Philip then said, “Come and see.”

Jesus saw the man, Nathanael,
While he sat beneath a fig tree,
Even before Philip called him,
So Nathanael did believe.

Nonetheless the Lord said,
“You believe because of what I told you.
You will see much greater things than these
If you will Come and see.”

Jesus’ calling to each one of us.
He tells us to believe in Him
As our Lord and Messiah,
And to follow where He leads.

He says we must turn from our sins,
Die to sin and self each day,
And put on our new lives in Jesus;
Bow before Him; humbly pray.

11 thoughts on “Hanging Your Hat

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