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Basics and Obstacles to a Biblical Worldview

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Theology in Small Bites

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#5 Saving Faith – Part I

In the last Small Bite, we took faith out of the realm of the mysterious and placed it into everyday life. In fact, every action is an act of faith. Thus, faith is not present without action. So, every act is an act of faith.

Also, remember that there are three components of faith: 1) an action taken, 2) upon knowledge with 3) an expectation of a result that is determined by reality. Reality intervenes because the expected result of an action does not always occur. For example, every trip in the car does not always happen as expected. The car may not start or break down on the way, or unfortunately, an accident may occur before we get to our destination.

Now, we are ready to look at saving faith. Remember that there are three phases of salvation: past (justification), present (sanctification), and future (glorification)—see the last Small Bite. But, in applying saving faith to the past, we must visit a new term, regeneration. This word is the major determining factor of saving faith, for all three phases of salvation.

Regeneration is the change that God creates in our soul. What is this change? It is at once both "simple" and "deeply profound." It is the change from our acting solely on our own knowledge to acting on the knowledge of God’s having revealed Himself and his plan in the Bible.

As a "simple" event, regeneration is two-fold. There is the 1) conditional change in the nature of our souls that 2) causes us to believe and accept this knowledge (the Bible) outside of ourselves, as an explanation of reality and a direction to be followed.

As a "profound change," regeneration is two-fold. 1) That knowledge is supernatural, as it is the revealed mind of God in the Bible. And, 2) we place that knowledge as the highest authority in our lives, that is, our minds are changed to trust this new knowledge.

Do you know how hard it is to change someone’s mind? Is there a stubborn person that you know? (Perhaps, yourself --- whoops, too personal?) Can you imagine getting inside that person and being able to change his or her mind? Not just change it, but to cause him to see that change as the most logical, attractive, and appealing decision that he has ever made? That the best thing that he can do is to change his mind. That is what God does in regeneration.

Our familiarity with Christianity and the words that come easily to us may obscure the "deeply profound" nature of this change. Ponder that change in your own life from the perspective of God revealing Himself to you and making that knowledge the most desirable thing that you could ever possess.

Today, we have only begun to examine the profound nature of saving faith. There is more, much more! But, I must keep these bites "small."


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