Friday, October 28, 2011

An Every-morning Invitation to "Breakfast"

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
The controversy has raged for decades, yes even thousands of years: are human beings saved from eternal death by faith alone or by works? Or by faith plus works? It began with Abraham when he took a second wife, Hagar, to supplement his "faith" with "works." Christians of many churches are still perplexed.

The Bible seems clear, but it doesn't seem to end the conflict: "By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man [person] should boast" (Eph. 2:8, 9). So, (a) salvation is a "gift by grace" (see Rom. 5:15-18; the Bible doesn't say it's "an offer"); (b) even the faith is a gift; (c) and salvation is specifically not of "works," but the faith itself "works" (Gal. 5:6; it's a verb, not a noun).

Now, here's a simple bolts and nuts test: is day-to-day living also by faith or is it partly by works of obedience? For example, you wake up in the morning. Is it your job now to initiate a "relationship" with God as though you ring Him up, wake Him up, and start a conversation with Him? And if you forget, too bad for you; He is off on other business and you are left on your own?
Well, here's the conflict: many sincerely think they see in the Bible evidence that the initiative is ours; it's our "works" or we have no connection, no "relationship" with Him. Maybe they are reading their "works" philosophy into the Bible. Here's an interesting insight: According to Isaiah 50:4, God is awake before we are; He is trying to wake us up, inviting us to listen to Him; He is taking the initiative to maintain a "relationship" with us (which He started in the first place); our part is to respond to His renewed invitation. He loves us more than we have thought; His Good News is better than we imagined.

"The Lord God ... wakeneth morning by morning, He wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned," He "hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary" (Isa. 50:4). Yes, it's true! Now don't be "rebellious" to His every-morning invitation to "breakfast," nor "turn away back" (vs. 5).

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: August 23, 2000.
Copyright © 2011 by "Dial Daily Bread."

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