The Only True Religion: Sola Fide

Many Christians do not want to have to learn church doctrine; they say it tends to complicate life. I think it tends to convict them of their own lives. One of the most important Christian doctrines is justification; in fact, it is so foundational that in my humble opinion it must be learned.

What is justification? The Evangelical Dictionary of Theology defines justification thusly:

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The Only True Religion: Sola Gratia

I often use the following illustration when trying to explain grace: if I was to gather a few of you and your children, and my wife Karen and I began handing each of you an elegantly wrapped present, and told you to please open them, what would the reactions be? How would the children react? That’s right, they would tear into their presents with great delight and expectation.

But what about the adults? What would the most probable reaction be, mentally and/or verbally? “What’s this for?”

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The Only True Religion: Solo Christo!

Do all faiths lead to heaven? Do we all worship the same God? When asked that question, our 43rd President George W. Bush said, “Yes, I think so.” Beloved, that is not a Christian belief, it is a universalist belief. It may be politically correct for the President of the United States to make that statement, but it is theologically incorrect.

Do I have to rely on a human mediator to get me into Heaven? Questions such as the ones I’m posing are tough ones to answer because we do not want to appear intolerant for fear of being ridiculed. Let me help you out. Always, as in all the time, turn to the Bible for the answers to these question. In his first letter to his beloved spiritual son Timothy, the Apostle Paul wrote:

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The Only True Religion: Soli Deo Gloria!

Faith is a tough thing. We’re going to look at faith more closely on Friday. The object of our faith at times is a moving target. As Christians we always proclaim faith in Christ, but when it comes to trusting the affairs of this world, are we willing to trust them to the sovereignty of God?

For God to be truly sovereign in our lives, He must be sovereign over all aspects of our lives. The Random House Dictionary defines as “a monarch; a king, queen, or other supreme ruler; a person who has sovereign power or authority.”

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The Only True Religion: Sola Scriptura

The Protestant Reformation was a movement that changed the face of Christianity. Why, who, and how of this period is much too in depth to be covered by this devotional. If you are interested in reading more about it I can recommend a couple of books, but I want to concentrate on the outcome. I want to specifically look at the five solas of the Reformation; the five “onlys”. The first is sola scriptura, only Scripture is the standard. If we cannot get past this only, then the other four do not matter.

The ultimate authority in Christianity, and therefore the only true religion, is the Bible as set by the early church. When Martin Luther was questioned by the Diet of Worms, he declared that his conscience was driven by the Word of God. This is what began the Protestant Reformation.

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The Real and Consistent Language of Faith and Love

We started this little series on standing for God talking of persecution. We shall end it talking of confession. This word confession is from the wonderful Greek word homologia and it means “confession, profession, acknowledgement, to openly express commitment and allegiance.” It comes from the Greek verb homologeo that means “to confess, acknowledge, agree, admit, declare.” This is the word used to describes Jesus’ words from the following:

    “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32-33)

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Compelled By The Majesty

Most of us will not witness to our lost friends, relatives, associates, and neighbors (think FRANgelism) because we are fearful of their response. This is understandable and natural. The problem is it is unacceptable; we do not have a have a choice whether or not we share the gospel. We are all called to give our testimony and tell the lost world of the One True Savior Jesus Christ. As has already been written, our only choice is to obey or disobey.

One definition of pantheism is the “readiness to worship all or a large number of gods.” This belief system is very prevalent and very politically correct. It is also from the pit of hell. We have to bring the truth of the One True God to a deceived world. Oh but Bro Dave that can be so hard; actually it can be impossible outside of the Word of God. The Prophet Isaiah wrote:

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Speaking So As To Command Respect

If you stand on the Word of God, you will, as in for sure, be persecuted. The hard part is many times it comes from other Christians and those close to you. You see, standing on the Word of God is almost always inconvenient and definitely culturally insensitive. Too many Christians would rather rationalize compromising God’s Word then be counterculture. The problem with that is Christians are supposed to be counterculture; that’s why Jesus called us salt and light.

It is important to remember though that we are to be peaceable in all we say and do. This is where it gets real tough for me as a Christian. I am by nature a warrior; that is why the Army was such a good fit for me. However, even in the midst of battle we are to conduct ourselves in a manner that brings glory to God.

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Tasks That Must Be Performed

Too often I deal with the Lord’s call on my life as though I have a real choice, or better yet, options in whether or not I serve Jesus. The fact of the matter is when we are called by Christ to serve Him, the only real choice we have is obedience and disobedience. We like to use the excuse of the need to grow more in Christ or not having the gifts to perform the tasks given us. The Prophet Jeremiah tried this approach with the Lord:

    “Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.’ Then said I: ‘Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth.’ But the Lord said to me: ‘Do not say, “I am a youth,” for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of their faces, for I am with you to deliver you,’ says the Lord. Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me: ‘Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out and to pull down, to destroy and to throw down, to build and to plant.’” (Jeremiah 1:4-10)

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A Bad Conscience In The Presence Of Truth

If you must take a stand for God, you must expect persecution to come. You cannot stand on the truth of God’s Word and all around you accept it peacefully, unless you are doing so in a “Christian ghetto” and even there pure aletheia truth is not always welcomed. And yet we do not have a choice of where we will stand for God; we can only choose to obey or disobey. David understood this calling very clearly.

    “I have proclaimed the good news of righteousness in the great assembly; indeed, I do not restrain my lips, O Lord, You Yourself know. I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart; I have declared Your faithfulness and Your salvation; I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth from the great assembly.” (Psalm 40:9-10)

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Don’t Kill The Messenger

Sometimes as we stand on God’s truth (actually more times than we care to experience), we the messenger receive much abuse for merely relying the message of aletheia truth. Yesterday, a dear brother in Christ sent me a very encouraging note; one I didn’t even realize I needed.

It never feels good to be hammered for speaking the truth, but nevertheless that will normally be the response in today’s world in which we live. Imagine being Elisha’s messenger in this story:

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