Faith is Not a Work

“In view of Paul’s emphasis on the inability of works if any sort to bring about salvation, it is perhaps unnecessary to labour the point that faith is not being depicted as a different kind of work. Paul is not saying, ‘To be saved by works is too hard, So God allows you to produce something easier – faith.’ He does not see faith as a merit at all. Rather it is the abandonment of all reliance on merit. Faith is the recognition that there is nothing in the sinner that can avail to bring him salvation. Faith is the casting of oneself wholly on God. Faith is the hand that reaches out to God for salvation. Faith is no more than the mean through which salvation is received.”

– Leon Morris, The Atonement, p.197

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God’s Wrath is Identical With God’s Love

“Some find a difficulty in that they see wrath as incompatible with the fact that ‘God is love’ [1 John 4:8]. They are so sure of the love of God that  they say that there can be no such thing as the wrath of God. But this is faulty reasoning. The opposite of love is not wrath. It is hate. We can say that, if God is a God love, he will not hate those that he has made, but we cannot say that he will never be angry with them. Indeed, the opposite may well be the case. The more he loves the more he will be angry with everything that mars the perfection of the beloved, that is with every sin. God’s wrath is identical with God’s love. God’s wrath is God’s love blazing out in fiery indignation against every evil in the beloved.”

– Leon Morris, The Atonement, p.174

2008 Reading

Here are a list of books that I am currently reading or plan on reading by the end of the year 2008. Several of these books I’ve already started reading and am slowly reading through each. After each title I’ll give a brief blurb why I am reading it, how much I’ve read so far, etc. (Click on the image of the book for more details about it.)

I’ve been reading through this with a group of men from my church, but the group hasn’t met for a while. So far we’ve gotten through the fifth chapter. It was partly because of the fifth chapter on reading the Bible and Christian literature that I was compelled to write this post. I’m not a huge fan of his writing style, but there are many truths that have provoked me and I pray that God may use this to grow me into a more godly man.

The Atonement is a book that I decided to read for a few reasons. I have resolved to read at least one book on the cross per year and this is that book. I need to meditate frequently on what God has done for me in Christ, so that I don’t wallow in condemnation of my sin, let my feelings inform me, or slip into legalism and self-atonement. I don’t ever want to forget that Christ died for my sins. I don’t ever want to lose sight of Calvary. I picked up this book while eagerly anticipating Shai Linne’s sophomore album with the same title. I wanted to prepare myself to hear the precious truths of what Christ has done on my behalf that I could not achieve. I just read chapter two on “Sacrifice” this afternoon and it was gold.

I’ve been reading through this book with my care group. So far we have read through seven chapters. Recently was I really encouraged and challenged by my friend, Michele, who was significantly impacted by the message of this book. She realized that she was “bought with a price” (1 Corinthians 6:20) and therefore she ought to glorify God in her body.

I borrowed this book from a friend a long time ago, but I didn’t begin reading it until recently. I figured since I’m 24 now it might be a good idea to start thinking about marriage. Hopefully this book will somewhat prepare me to love one woman as Christ loved the Church (Ephesians 5:25).

Another dating, relationship-type book. I’m reading this not only in preparation for marriage/courtship, but also to learn to apply the roles of biblical masculinity and understand biblical femininity. C.J. Mahaney endorsed this book at last year’s New Attitude. I’ve read the first two chapters and it’s quite different from what I expected it to be. The author not only uses scripture, but many times draws truths from other secular resources.

I plan on reading this in the summer. My pastor and several friends highly recommended reading this book. I’ve been wanting to read a puritan book for a while because I’ve never read through a whole one yet.

I plan on reading classic with another group of men. (Hopefully, this won’t fall off like the other group.) I’ve read through about half this book, but never finished it. (I’ve written a post on it before.) I think this book will be more profitable when I read and discuss it through with other men who are older and wiser than me.