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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

The Gift of Christmas … We Believe (part 1)

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him…
John 3:16

Consider it done folks. Oh, not my shopping—still 22 days left. And no, my precious heirloom vase cannot be replaced. But sin has been paid for, completely, by the blood of the Lamb. (Jesus) offered for all time one sacrifice for sins (then) sat down at the right hand of God…because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy (Hebrews 10:12-14). Jesus Himself cried from the cross, “It is finished” (John 19:28). Done! Complete! Finis!

God loved and God gave. The onus then fell on whoever—man, woman or child—to believe. Once love got the ball rolling, once grace gave the gift on the cross, faith kicked in: For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).         

Many today say they have faith. But it is squishy spirituality that is rampant, not faith. And the complexities of cult theology are surreal—planets, space ships, aliens—really?

Many have adopted the faith-plus theology: faith plus works, faith plus goodness, faith plus the law. If I am good enough, if I do enough, if I keep the rules, are all words in their repertoire. Everyone will get to heaven by the way he or she chooses.

Wrong; it is through faith alone. Faith means I am persuaded. It means that God has opened the eyes of my heart with His gift of faith. It means I am confident in what Jesus did for me. It means I believe in Jesus. As Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

And so faith, aptly described as “living above see level”, is concrete to we who believe: Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1). Our faith rests on historical fact and on the truths in Scripture: The holy Scriptures are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus, (2 Timothy 3:15).

Thank You Lord. You gave Jesus to save us and Your word to rest our faith on.

Nancy P

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