Thursday, May 5, 2011

It's the Beginning, Middle, and End

Some good teaching by David Paul Dorr  on "Justification’s Beginning, Middle, and End:
Most of us learned justification as the beginning of our relationship with God, saying “we trusted Jesus alone for our salvation; we were declared “righteous” in God’s sight, given the very righteousness of Jesus as a gift.”
But what if justification by faith has a beginning, middle, and ending? Meaning this: when we initially believe that Jesus is Lord and Savior and receive Him by faith we are in, what Douglas Moo, calls, “the initial phase of justification.” But our justification is proved true as we walk out our life by faith, all the way to our death.....
After some more good teaching from Galatians (read it at the link) he concludes:
So how do you know if you are a living a life of faith after beginning by faith? Look at the fruit of your life. If the fruit of your life is fear then you are not living by faith. If what is coming out of you is the works of the flesh: jealousy, envy, strife, hatreds, sexual immorality, impurity and other things like these — then you can know that you are not living by faith. But if the fruit of your life is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control as a whole, then you can know that you are living by faith.
These are not emotions. They are motives. If you are motivated by fear (If I don’t get life right then I won’t get the life I want) then you can must assuredly know that your initial faith is a of little use.. You are trusting the law, heaping condemnation on yourself.