Thursday, February 26, 2009

Saved by Faith

God gave me his life-giving Spirit on March 27, 1977. It was on that day that I publically proclaimed my faith in Jesus and was baptized calling on the name of the Lord. My sins were washed away that day, not because of the flowing, clearing, cold water in that chest deep creek outside of Florence, Alabama; but because of the resurrection of Jesus. "My sins, which were many, were washed away and gone."

I died to sin that day. I certainly will never return to what previously brought me shame and death. That would be nothing less than rebuilding what was torn down. I will not rebuild what killed me. The works of the flesh are obvious, Paul asserts. I will not live in them and give life back to that old man.

I determined to put the new man on that day. As a student of Jesus, I had come to know what he is like. As a follower of Jesus, I have determined to live like him. Paul said there is no law against love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. He called living like that "walking in the Spirit." Those great characteristics are the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5). Any follower of Jesus will make every effort to live like him.

To be honest, though, even on this side of washing of rebirth, I'm still pitiful compared to Jesus. My best efforts fall woefully short of the mark. I couldn't be saved by my own human effort. I can't stay saved by my own effort either. My faith and Christ's love compels me to be like him; but I lose many battles in this war to do the right thing with my eyes, ears, hands and feet. I have a strong desire to do what's right, but my flesh is weak. Too weak to save. Thank you, Jesus. I am saved by faith. That's Life at Work!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Review of a Review of Dad's Lecture at FHU

Having listened to one my Dad's lectures at the 2009 FHU lectureship, John Mark Hicks had some great things to say about my dad on his blog. Thanks for that John Mark. You can read a brief history of John Mark's time at Magnolia Bible College in that post. I was a student at MBC during his time there and his classes were some of my favorites.

Lots of people say that they did not hear much about grace from the preachers of their youth. I did. I don't recall many of the sermons that Dad preached, though a few of his best from gospel meetings are still familiar; but somewhere along I learned two important truths about grace: God has plenty for me and I should have plenty for others. His lessons and his life wrote that law in my mind and on my heart. That's Life at Work!