Fruit produced from our faith is necessary (Ephesians 2:8-10.) It would appear from Scripture (James' epistle and John's first epistle, for example), that obedience is a validation of one's salvation. I highlight "a validation." Some appear to be obedient but are not since they do not love, and love if the fulfillment of the law. In Jesus' first recorded sermon (Matthew 5-7) he reveals the intent and scope of the law and obedience to it, in that one can abstain from certain outward sins, and still commit those sins in his heart. The end of that sermon is about obedience and disobedience, which is a mark of a true believer, and is illustrated by the house on the rock or sand. I thank God that He causes us, by the Holy Spirit through the Word, to be grieved by our sins and to desire to confess our sins (1 John 1:9). It seems that the true believer will never be satisfied with disobedience or partial obedience, but will deeply desire to be obedient (Romans 7) and will continue to battle, since God's Spirit resides in him, and He is the Holy Spirit (underlined: "Holy".) The root of faith will, by God's work in His child, produce the fruit of faith. The fruit will point to the great Gardener, God Himself, and thus He will be glorified (John 15:8).
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The Battle toward Obedience
To follow up a previous blog about my disappointment of an instance at the latest National Prayer Breakfast:
I would hope that conservative-leaning people are willing to do and say what is right (and to call out wrong, even in one's own camp), not simply what is politically advantageous. I would hope that liberal-leaning people are willing to support and pray for our President and all others in authority (even who are not liberal-leaning.) I would hope conservative-leaning people will pray for liberal-leaning people in authority (and not with imprecatory prayers.) I would hope that politically-independent people (including me) would do the same as stated above.
It seems that either people are cheerleaders and damage-control agents, or on the opposite side of the spectrum, political hit men. My desire is for us to call out wrongs (in any Party or politician) and to give credit for what is good (by any Party or politician.)
I am very concerned that many Christians have unwittingly added to their Christianity some form of political-national-territorial-celebrity-if I win I’m right-god, and that wrong is suddenly acceptable, marginalized, and normalized.
It seems that some conservative-leaning friends could not make friends, and actually civilly converse, with liberal-leaning friends if their life depended on it (and vice versa.) That is unfortunate. What also is noteworthy is that some who lean the same way can't stay friends because one or the other is not allowed to disagree with anything about a candidate or policy. Perhaps they were not friends to begin with. "A friend sticks closer than a brother." (Proverbs 18:24)
I always post what I mean, but sometimes I post something to see how people will react or not react. It seems to distinguish between friendships, false friendships, and acquaintances (I can bear the first and last). Ironically, sometimes those who engage strongly in opposition are actually my better friends, so don’t let the vigorous exchanges mislead you.
For the record: I’m not a fan of Jon Stewart, and disagree with him on many things. I thought the sign was funny and poignant.
I want to be a friend, but also want to keep and gain friends who will support and pray for our President (not only attack him), but also who will not worship him and excuse everything he says and does. Be a discerning, godly, and fair American, but be a follower of Christ first.
Let’s pray for our leaders, and also hold them accountable - not prey upon those who do so.
Is it true that our President, Donald Trump, asked for prayer for the "Apprentice" (with Arnold Schwarzenegger) television ratings last week?
If so, was this sincere, or another dig and stunt?
This was at the National Prayer Breakfast?
Is nothing sacred?
I expect better.
I hope I have been misinformed or that I misunderstand.
(Even so, let's still do 1 Timothy 2:1-2.)
My Reaction to Super Bowl 51
My Reactions to Super Bowl 51:
Steve Battaglia: pastor, broadcaster