Morning Musing: Psalm 15:1

“Lord, who can dwell in your tent? Who can live on your holy mountain?”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter

What matters more in the end: What we believe or what we do? What is it that ultimately determines who gets to be with God and who doesn’t? The content of our thinking, or the outflow of our behaving? That’s a little like the chicken or egg question. How do you decide one from the other? You can’t really. But can I go out on a limb a bit and suggest that the Scriptures seem to give maybe a fraction more weight to one over the other? 

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Digging in Deeper: James 2:24

“You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.”
‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

I’ve said many times before that context is king when it comes to understanding the Scriptures. I’ll continue to beat that drum until I have you dancing to it in your sleep. But there aren’t many verses for which such a reminder is so important as this one. Taken out of context, this verse threatens to unravel our whole understanding of salvation and seems to justify the stifling legalism that has given Christianity such a bad name in so many places. How do we get this right? 

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Morning Musings: Ephesians 2:8-10

For by grace you have been saved through faith.  And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.  For we are his workmanship; created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.  (ESV – Read the chapter)

For anyone who would argue that our salvation has in even the tiniest of ways to do with our good works, this verse puts the lie to their position.  Any individual, church, or even whole faith tradition that says otherwise is mistaken.  That’s a pretty strong way to put it, but there really isn’t any other way around what Paul says here.  Salvation comes by grace through faith and not by works.  Period.  We didn’t have anything to do with it being given to us beyond receiving the gift by faith. Read the rest…