Found To Have A Faithful Heart Activates Justification
February 8, 2014
We are not justified by God if we have not been forgiven by Him. And to be forgiven by Him we must believe in His Son’s work for us on the cross. (John 3:14-18) This belief must be genuine and provable through our deeds. (Acts 26:20 // Ja. 2:14-26) These deeds must be deeds of repentance (Luke 13:5 // 2 Cor. 7:10), which means contrition over one’s sin and a turn from following Sin to following Christ with whole-hearted allegiance. (Luke 3:7-9 & 14:33) This is the True Gospel and it must be believed and adhered to. Whatever a person believes that is contrary to this Message, is to disbelieve or to believe in vain (1 Cor. 15:1,2), either way incurring upon oneself damnation. (John 3:36 with Gal. 1:6-9)
When Abraham was considered righteous before God, we are told that it was because he fully, and without wavering, believed what God told him. (Rom. 4:20-22) This faith of his made him righteous before God because he used obedience to God to complete his faith. (Ja. 2:22) We are told that we must believe with this same kind of faith. (Rom. 4:23-25 // Gal. 3:6-9 // Ja. 2:20-24) This is the faith that truly trusts and does so with loyalty and increasing maturity. (Eph. 4:13,14) This is the kind of faith that is faithful to the Covenant which God has made with us through Christ.
Moreover, this true and saving faith is that which God looks for in order to come into covenant relationship with a person. As Neh. 9:8 says of Abraham, “You [Lord] found his heart faithful to You, and You made a covenant with him…” God does not activate His Covenant with those who are disingenuous. He does not entrust Himself to those who believe with incorrect motives, who believe in some half-hearted way, or who believe without separating themselves from uncleanness. (John 2:23-25 // 2 Cor. 6:17,18) God only accepts a person whose heart is genuine and who He sees is ready and willing to follow the orders of Christ –that is, of His Spirit and of His Word. (Luke 8:15,18,21)
This is not to say that a genuine heart cannot later turn away, for just as a bride whose heart is genuine in her wedding vows and who can, after being disillusioned with married life allow her heart to grow cold, so a person married to Christ can become unfaithful to Him. For, because of the Lord’s patience, as well as His gift to us of free choice, and because of good that comes during those years, and because of other reasons He alone knows, God does allow this to happen. (1 Chron. 28:9 // Luke 8:13,14 // John 15:6 // 1 Cor. 3:16,17) Therefore, someone whose sin debt God has cancelled (forgiven / pardoned) can be a debt He reinstates, this being a consequence of neglecting to live in line with the Truth. (Mt. 18:32-34 & 24:45-51 // 2 Tim. 2:5,12)
Being forgiven, justified, and saved for eternity does depend on this: That we walk in faithful, whole-hearted allegiance to the Truth.