Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Importance of Basing our Faith on Truth

Those of you who read this blog often know that I often post excerpts from Valley of Vision, a book of Puritan prayers and devotions.  I usually post them without comment, but today I'd like to take a closer look at part of one that I read the other day.

Here's the excerpt with my comments in italics:

It is not feeling the Spirit that proves
   my saved state but the truth of what
   Christ did perfectly for me;
It's important to focus not on our feelings but on the truth God presents to us. Feelings can be deceiving and although they are God-given, they should not be depended on to know the truth.
All holiness in him by faith made mine.
   as if I had done it;
This is a crucial point in the Christian faith. The Bible teaches that the righteousness of Christ is  transferred to our account. Our own righteousness is not sufficient. We need to have God's own righteousness applied to us. 
Therefore I see the use of his righteousness,
   for satisfaction to divine justice and making
      me righteous.
It is this righteousness, the righteousness of Christ attributed to us, that satisfies a holy God. When divine justice investigates me to determine my state, God finds me perfectly righteous, not because of my own goodness, but because of Christ's righteousness given to me.
It is not inner sensation that makes Christ’s death
   for that may be delusion, being without the Word,
Again, it is not our feelings that accomplish these things, but our belief and trust in the promise of God that makes it real, no matter how we feel.
   but his death apprehended by my faith,
   and so testified by Word and Spirit.

We need to understand that truth comes first. God has acted on our behalf and He has told us about it in the Scriptures. Based on His promises we accept God's offer of forgiveness and the transfer of righteousness. Our feelings are a result of the fact that God's promises are sure and His Word reliable. The facts come first, then comes the faith in those facts and finally the feelings come line up with the facts.  That's the biblical order.

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