12 AUGUST 2018   THE TRUTH IN CHRIST True Faith or False Faith? I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: And if in anything ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same. Philippians 3:14-16 Not faith within ourselves, as if we could in our own beings mentally initiate salvation. Nor is it faith in any work of God. It is faith in God himself! If I did not believe God to be as good as the tenderest human heart, the fairest, the purest, the most unselfish that human heart could imagine Him, yes, an infinitude better, higher than our imagined goodness as the heavens are higher than the earth—if I did not believe it, not as a mere mental proposition, but with the responsive being of my whole nature; if I did not feel every fiber of my heart and brain and body safe with Him because He is the Father who made me-—I would not be saved. For this faith is salvation. It is God and the man as one. God and man together, the vital energy flowing unchecked from the Creator into his creature—that is the salvation of the created. Even the poorest faith of this kind — faith in the living God, the God revealed in Christ Jesus—if it be vital, true (that is, obedient), is the beginning of the way to know Him, and to know Him is eternal life. False Faith Will Not Save If you mean by faith anything of a different kind than an obedient faith in the living God, that faith will not save you. A faith, for instance, that God does not forgive me because He loves me but because He loves Jesus Christ, cannot save me, because it is a falsehood against God. If the thing were true, such a gospel would be the preaching of a God that was not love, therefore in whom was no salvation, a God whom to know could not be eternal life. Such a faith would damn, not save a man, for it would bind him to a God whose love was not perfect and complete. Such assertions going by the name of Christianity are nothing but the poor remnants of paganism, and it is only with that part of our nature not yet Christian that we are able to believe them. Neither will a faith in a correct system of doctrines and ideas and scriptural interpretations concerning the things of God save me. Nor a faith in this church or that church. We must forsake such false faiths and receive the teaching of Christ heartily, not letting the interpretation of it attributed to His apostles turn us aside from the imperative of His words. I say interpretation “attributed” to His apostles, for what the New Testament writers teach is never against what Christ taught, though very often the exposition of it is by those who would understand, and even explain, rather than obey. We may be sure of this, that no man or woman will be condemned for any sin that is past. If he be condemned, it will be because he or she would not come to the Light when the Light came to them, because they would not learn to do as the Light instructs, because they hid their unbelief in the garment of a false faith, and would not obey an such talk of imputed righteousness, as if this makes them worthy in the midst of their unworthiness, because they prefer such religious jargon to confessing themselves everywhere in the wrong, and repenting. Is our faith true or false?             Extract from “Knowing the Heart of God”  by George MacDonald 1824-1905 edited by Michale Phillips - Used by permission.
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