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Grace, Faith & Works

What does God require of us? Are we saved by the grace of God regardless of how we live? How are we judged by God? Do our works matter or do we simply claim to have faith in Jesus and that is enough for us to be with God forever?

Many people will make their statement of faith like this: I'm saved and you can't make me doubt it! Is faith the firm belief that Jesus has already saved us?

Confusion abounds about this topic. Study to find answers about what grace, faith and works are, how they work together and what is necessary to please God in this life. This is vital understanding.

Spiritual Light

Spiritual Light is the result of four visitations from the Lord over a period of 4 years. Four fundamental truths of the faith Starting with a discussion of the 3rd commandment, marriage and "taking the name of the Lord" and then wonderful insight into Christ's sacrifice this book reveals desperately needed understanding that dispels the confusion about conversion, baptism, salvation and works. This book is available on-line and at cost price from our eBay storePurchase at cost on ebay. Check out the eBay store for other good gospel materials and music.

Gospel Tract #

Trials Are Opportunities

"Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then am I strong." (Paul, in 2Cor.12:10)

The divine secret of the all-sufficiency to which Paul testified is to cease trusting in our own understanding and ways. When we reach this place, we will stop looking for sympathy, for we will recognize our trials as the very conditions of our blessings; and we will turn from them to God and find strength and great peace. "For", as the apostle courageously said, "I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom.8:38-39).

The overcoming of temptations and trials builds great confidence in God. Then, should we not rejoice in them? Every trial, every problem, affords a glorious opportunity to learn of the high calling to which God ever calls His own. We all have many opportunities to prove our faith in God's promises, for God often determines that we must suffer for a season that we might be made perfect. Oh, how the true measure of our faith is brought out as we struggle through dark nights of sorrows and pain! When we are tried "so as by fire", we learn to look to Him who has promised, "When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee, and through he rivers, they shall not overflow thee. When thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned. Neither shall the flame kindle upon thee." (Isa.43:2). Through all our trials He will walk beside us, however dark may be the night.

Beloved, God proves us to see who we are, whether we are as the wise man who built his house upon the rock, or as the foolish man who built his house upon the sand. Each trial that God sends us is an opportunity for advancement into a greater knowledge of Him; and if we are wise, then we will see our trials as stepping stones to a higher plane in the life of the Spirit. Knowing this, Peter joyfully counselled, "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you; but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings." We must endure the refiner's fire in order to attain to His standard - holiness - which alone fits us for the Master's use. Peter, that dear old fire-tried apostle, desired "that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor at the appearing of Jesus Christ" (1Pet.1:7).

We should always be thankful for the guiding Hand that leads triumphantly in the confidence of right, even though that Hand at times may lead "through the valley of the shadow of death". If we will only trust at all times, we will be able to say, as the Psalmist David said, "I will fear no evil, for thou art with me". Yes, reader, God will bring you through every battle victoriously and make you more than a conqueror. You need never be troubled nor fear defeat as long as you obey the invisible One, who directs and sustains all His tried people.

There is a glory in suffering for righteousness' sake that shines through us ever more brightly as we patiently endure these trials of faith with our heads raised toward the heights of perfection, "Looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith." Without a strong hold on our dear Savior, we shall utterly fail, for without him we are helpless to master our trials. We know he is our strength; therefore, let us take courage, especially when we feel cast down and weak. At times during our trials we may feel as mournful Job felt when, in deep grief and pain, he lamented, "Behold, I go forward, but I cannot perceive him; on the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him. He hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him. But he knoweth the way that I take. When he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold."

"Though he slay me, yet will I trust Him"

There are so many trials we must face as we make our pilgrimage here, and fear at times grips ours hearts as we face these tests of our faith in Jesus. Paul counsels us all with these words: "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man. But God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what ye are able, but will with the tempta tion also make a way of escape, that ye may be able to bear it."

We may be assured, my brother and sisters, that during our earthly pilgrimage, every trial we encounter is designed by no one but our God, and that there is a purpose in every one of them: to teach us unshakable confidence in God's faithfulness. Trials are only preparation for the blessings to come! The word of God forever heralds the truth that man must battle for his crown; and, friend, only those who experience the discipline of trials here in this world will win the crown of eternal life. Faith that cowers under tests fails to accomplish its divine purpose and remains weak and unsteady - a continual source of disappoint ment in one's contact with God; and, the knowledge of God which that trial could have brought is lost. A calm sea never made a skillful mariner.

"The Lord trieth the righteous", David wrote (Ps.11:5). Trials are not only heaven's trademark, but God's greatest compliment to His earthly children; and, the strongest faith always receives the most trying tests. What a glorious opportunity we have - to be matched against "powers and principalities" in spiritual combat, with confidence in the power of God! New converts should be taught not only to expect trials of their faith, but also that it is God - not the devil - who sends them. There is peace in understanding that our faith must be tried, and that when it is tried, it is being done by God! From those trials we are to learn our most precious lessons, lessons custom designed by the Father to match our faith, so as to enhance our spiritual development.

By acknowledging God's providence in our trials, we experience the deep peace that comes in the midst of this training in perfection, through which God seeks to conform us to the image of His Son, useful and profitable in His service. Beloved, if you do not know the sweetness of bearing burdens and the joy of overcoming trials, then perhaps you need to humble yourself before God, "casting all your care upon him, for he careth for you." There is a peace that comes with obeying this exhortation that is unattainable by any other means.

Now, suppose the engines in our airplanes were not tested before they took to the air. Would you want a maiden flight? I doubt it. Even so it is with us. Jesus will not take that much-talked about trip in the air with anyone who hasn't had the ground test. The test of our faith is the discipline of God, the method He uses to correct, mold, strengthen, and perfect us. These tests are manifold, puzzling, and painful, but we have one great consolation; that is, they are all to last only "for a season". Yes, thank God, the testing time is short compared to eternity with all its enjoyments.

The Bible relates stories of many whose lives seemed to be one extended test of character and faith, Abraham, Joseph, Jeremiah, and Daniel, among them. They offer sufficient proof that "whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth." At the same time, such lives show that it is possible to pass through every trial with integrity and grace. Surely we, even more than those Old Covenant men and women of faith, can be "kept by the power of God through faith" and earn our place among the righteous. May God help us to obtain more of this "like precious faith", so that when he comes we shall not be found wanting.