True Faith Is Active, Not Passive

June 30, 2010 at 10:41 am | Posted in A. W. Tozer | Leave a comment
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Insight From A. W. Tozer – True Faith Is Active, Not Passive

 A Christian is one who believes on Jesus Christ as Lord. With this statement every evangelical agrees. Indeed there would appear to be nothing else to do, since the New Testament is crystal clear about the matter.

This first acknowledgement of Christ as Lord and Saviour is usually followed by baptism and membership in a Protestant church….A few Christians shy away from organized religion, but the vast majority, while they recognize the imperfections of the churches, nevertheless feel that they can serve their Lord better in the church than out of it.

There is, however, one serious flaw in all this: it is that many – would I overstate the case if I said the majority? – of those who confess their faith in Christ and enter into association with the community of believers have little joy in their hearts, no peace in their minds, and from all external appearances are no better morally than the ordinary educated citizen who take no interest whatever in religion and, of course, who makes no profession of Christianity. Why is this?

I believe it is the result of an inadequate concept of Christianity and an imperfect understanding of the revolutionary character of Christian discipleship.

……….True faith brings a spiritual and moral transformation and an inward witness that cannot be mistaken. These come when we stop believing in belief and start believing in the Lord Jesus Christ indeed.

True faith is not passive but active. It requires that we meet certain conditions, that we allow the teachings of Christ to dominate our total lives from the moment we believe. The man of saving faith must be willing to be different from others. The effort to enjoy the benefits of redemption while enmeshed in the world is futile. We must choose one or the other; and faith quickly makes its choice, one from which there is no retreat.

………The regenerated soul feels no more at home in the world than Abraham felt when he left Ur of the Chaldees and set out for the land of promise.

……..Suddenly, or slowly but surely, he will develop a new pattern of life. Old things will pass away and behold, all things will become new, first inwardly and then outwardly; for the change within him will soon begin to express itself by corresponding changes in his manner of living.

The transformation will show itself in many ways and his former friends will begin to worry about him…………….

 The genuinely renewed man will have a new life center………Things he once held to be of value may suddenly lose all their attraction for him and he may even hate some things he formerly loved.

The man who recoils from this revolutionary kind of Christianity is retreating before the cross. But thousands do so retreat, and they try to make things right by seeking baptism and church membership. No wonder they are dissatisfied. – Take from Man: The Dwelling Place of God, pages 60-63, Christian Publications: Harrisburg, PA 1966.

This was published three years after Tozer’s death. Does it make you think about the way we disciple new believers in our churches today? I would suggest that you compare Tozer’s thoughts about discipleship and living under the Lordship of Jesus Christ with Jonathan Edwards and his “Resolutions.” How do we live as growing, sanctified believers who are in the world, but not of the world?

Stay faithful and hopeful,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

Romans 15:13; 2 Peter 3:18

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