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Question and Answer

How does Scripture present the faithful believer?

Question:

Within the formalities of redemptive grace (salvation), how does Scripture present the faithful believer? This is a question that I constantly struggle with. It seems that within the Christian discourse there are numerous perspectives that cause people to stumble.

Answer:

“What does the faithful believer look like from the perspective of Scripture?” The very best picture of a faithful believer is found in a couple of places, or two biblical perspectives, in Scripture itself. It is important that we start with Scripture and not what men have concluded.

Psalm 1 teaches (and Psalm 119 confirms) that the faithful believer will be a man or woman who spends time meditating upon and praying through Scripture to find out more about who God is and what his commands and promises are. Then he seeks to live in the light of this knowledge. And God blesses him by his Spirit, and he grows in likeness to Christ who is the only man ever to do what those two Psalms teach to perfection.

The more fulsome and direct passage is the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapters 5–7. The Beatitudes (5:1–12) give a picture of what a disciple of Christ looks like and the blessings/privileges that he or she enjoys. The descriptions, be it noted, are descriptive of what a disciple does, not prescriptive of what a disciple is to do, though clear commands may be seen as implications of those descriptions. That is followed by a description of his lifestyle (5:13–16), his source of guidance (5:17–20) in the Law, and how Christ wants to see it applied by the believer (5:21–48). Then in chapter 6 he teaches the believer the way to pray, giving broad directions for what we should ask for that cover just about any request we may contemplate making of our Father in Heaven (1–15), how we should fast (16–18), what our most treasured possessions should be (19–24), and how to deal with anxiety (25–34). Chapter 7 teaches us how to love our neighbor as ourselves (1–14), how to tell a false prophet when you see one (15–20), the dangers of unfaithfulness to Christ (24–27), and then sums up why we should seek to live by our Master’s instructions (24–29).

I have been quite broad here, but my point is, evaluate the opinions and teachings of every other perspective in the light of passages like these. Add to them the rest of the New Testament teachings and you will grow in the grace and knowledge of and love for Christ, which is, after all, why you were saved in the first place—to glorify God by your life.

But above all else, be sure you are a Christian through faith in Jesus Christ and his death for your sin. Have you surrendered to him? If not, then no perspective will do you any good ,because you will remain in your sins till you embrace Christ by a faith without works. Trust him. He’ll not disappoint you and will teach you how to be a faithful believer.


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