Saturday, July 26, 2014

Faith Alone

Scripture Reading: Habakkuk 2:1-20
Look at the proud! They trust in themselves, and their lives are crooked; but the righteous live by their faith. (Hab. 2:4 NLT)
“One small step for man, one giant step for mankind”—Neil Armstrong.
“Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”—J.F. Kennedy.
“Give me liberty, or give me death”—Patrick Henry.
“Old soldiers never die, they just fade away”—Douglas MacArthur
“Here I stand”—Martin Luther.
     Most Americans can identify with these famous quotations. The men played a significant role in changing the pages of history. Some spoke in the midst of war; others in more peaceful times.
     Lesser known but just as powerful are the words spoken by the prophet Habakkuk in 600 B.C.
“The righteous will live by faith.” These words were echoed by the Apostle Paul in Romans 1:17 and 3:11. They were quotations taken from the Old Testament.
     The great reformer, Martin Luther, discovered the truth, “The just shall live by faith,” as stated by the Apostle Paul and Habakkuk and made them the core of his reformation theology. The doctrine of justification by faith alone sets Christianity apart from all other religions of the world. All other religious beliefs have “works” as a major tenet of their teaching concerning eternal life. Last week in an address given to the inmates, children, and volunteers at the Angola State Prison in Louisiana, Governor Huckabee said, “It isn’t how much good you do that will get you into heaven, and it isn’t how much bad you do that will keep you out of heaven. It all depends on what you do with Jesus Christ that God sent to redeem mankind on the Cross.”
     Salvation is the gift of God and there is nothing we can do to earn it, nothing we can add to it; all we can do is receive it by grace through faith—period. Paul said it best in Eph. 2:8,9, “For by grace are you saved through faith, and not of yourselves, it is the gift of God not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
     Write a short version of your salvation by faith alone and share it with an unsaved friend.

Prayer: Dear Lord, I thank you for the gift of salvation that comes through faith alone.

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