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MSecFaith10.10Disp

MSecFaith10.10Disp

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Published by Gary Cleveland
This is a Bible study which deals with the pursuit of an understanding of how God calls us into a relationship with Him.
This is a Bible study which deals with the pursuit of an understanding of how God calls us into a relationship with Him.

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Categories:Types, Brochures
Published by: Gary Cleveland on Jul 06, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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06/27/2014

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Searching for a More Secure Faith
?
 
A
s human beings, there is no greater honor than to be invited to become a child of God. There can be no greater gift offered to you personally than that of salvation through Jesus. There is a divine dignity offered to you through Jesus that surpasses anything this world has to offer. Perhaps the most commonly quoted versein the Bible is John 3:16.
(The
New International Version
or NIV will be used in scripture quotations throughout this study guide.)
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in himshall not perish but have eternal life.”
The following verse is sadly, often overlooked . Verse 17 completes the idea….
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,but to save the world through him.”
Christianity was never supposed to be centered on condemnation but on salvation. The very name of Jesus means “the Lord saves”. It is impossible, therefore to fully pursue a relationship with Jesus without considering the subject of salvation, for these are intertwined.To be saved is to be certain and secure in one’s relationship with God. This certainty, however is basedupon our acceptance of this truth: The security of our salvation is not based upon our own efforts but on theGrace of God.
“For it is by grace you are saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves it is the gift ofGod—not by works so that no one can boast.Ephesians 2:8-9
It is difficult in our day and age to explore the subject of salvation without conjuring up images of evangelists preaching hellfire and damnation sermons to provoke people to give their lives to God. This study guide is not designed to frighten, manipulate or scold anyone into accepting Christ. It is about the matter of assisting those who desire to think for themselves and who want to draw their own conclusions about thisimportant topic. It is also to bring clarity to those who are already following Jesus as they seek a secure andsure walk of faith. The term, “gospel” has long been used to describe the message of hope found in Jesus.The very word “gospel” means “good news”. In this age, when uncertainty, doubt and despair seem soprevalent, it’s good to know there is still some “good news” to lend a little optimism and hope to an otherwise
 
troubled world. Be certain however, the gospel doesn’t promise to make all your troubles go away. It doeshowever, put our troubles into context and diminishes the negative power of uncertainty and struggle.It is my prayer that you will read this material with your heart and mind open to reaching a deeper, moresecure faith in God. As you read, you will make some new observations and these will help you
THINK
withmore focus and clarity. Other things may be discovered upon which you should
ACT
. Some discoveries maysuggest a change or adjustment in the way you relate to God. Where these actions are concerned, I pray for  your courage and motivation to take those steps which would lead you closer to God. Spiritual growth is anever-expanding and on-going process. I encourage you to embrace the possibilities of a faith which yearns for added depth and meaning.One of the long-standing traditions of churches and denominations has been to connect salvation withone’s particular church affiliation. While I believe in the benefits of being affiliated with a church family, I alsosee a down side to simply thinking, “I know I’m saved because I’m a member of this or that church.” This study guide is based upon the idea that churches don’t save. Only Jesus brings salvation. The security of our salvation, in my opinion, is based upon our relationship with Jesus as opposed to our affiliation with aninstitution. This purpose of this guide is not, therefore, to point you in a specific direction regarding adenomination or church affiliation.
This study guide will be focused upon answering the questions:
What does it mean to be saved?How can I be assured that I am saved?Is there a continuing process to being saved?
To begin answering these questions, let’s begin with a consideration of one of the central ways God haschosen to draw us closer to Him. It is one of the principal ways God has allowed mankind to enter into arelationship with Him which allows for confidence, security and peace of mind. This way of relating to God iscalled
Covenant
.
OUR COVENANTRELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
 
T
he relationship of God to man has frequently been defined in terms of a
covenant
. A covenant is simplya contract or agreement between two parties. In more practical terms, a covenant takes out the guesswork.Where our spiritual lives are concerned, we should strive for something that is concrete and understandable.Most of us want to know where we stand with the Creator. He wants us to know too. By giving us the Bible touse as a guide, we can know what his will is and how we fit into it. Take a look at 
II Timothy 3: 16-17
&
2Peter 1:3-4
to see what I mean.
 
 
I
n the agreement (covenant), there are expectations outlined which each of the parties agrees to keep. If those expectations are not carried out then the covenant is made void. Covenants between man and God arenearly as ancient as the world itself. In
Genesis 9: 8-17
God promised to Noah that he would not destroy theworld again thorough a flood. That promise and covenant was to Noah and his descendants. We are alltherefore, benefactors of that covenant to this day. No need for guesswork or uncertainty, you have God'sword on it.God continued to establish covenants at crucial times in human history. In
Genesis 15: 18
ff Godpromises Abraham that his descendants will eventually settle the land of Canaan. This is what eventually leadsto the grand city of Jerusalem and the placement of God’s temple in that city. As long as His people werefaithful to the covenant He had made with them, their relationship with Him would be secure.
C
ovenants are God's way of giving people a more secure faith. The Bible is itself described in terms of acovenant. The Old Testament may be referred to as the
Old Covenant 
or 
Old Law 
. The New Testament iscorrespondingly called the
New Covenant 
or the
New Law 
. The written word of God is designed to be a guidefor our relationship with him.
The Bible serves as our guideline for faith andpractice as Christians.
T
he remainder of this material deals with the covenant you have with God concerning your personalsalvation. This is an extremely important concern, so take your time as you read and study. Don’t let yourself feel rushed as you go through this material. Take several days to read over the many Bible passagesreferenced herein. This is
THE
most important theme you will ever explore.• Write down your questions.• Ponder the implications.• Seek your own relationship with God based upon your personal conclusions.• Allow the Bible (God's Word) to be the final authority on what you believe.

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