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Page 232


 

For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.

- II Timothy 1:12b

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

- Romans 8:38-39

 






Imagining an Old Testament Israelite fleeing to the City of Refuge; how would you picture his:
- Refuge-seeking
- Refuge-finding
- Refuge-assuring







Explain how you can observe refuge-seeking, refuge-finding, and refuge-assuring faith in the experiences of the prodigal son's return to his father.

The exercise of faith produces fruits - both inward and outward. The outward fruits are good works. Good works, works of love toward God and others, evidence the possession of true faith. These two may not be separated, as James writes, "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone" (James 2:17).

The inward fruits derived from the exercise of faith are increased knowledge, assent and confidence in God through Jesus Christ. Self is abased, but God in Christ is exalted.

The assurance of saving faith refers to a state of possessing hearty confidence of one's full acceptance with, and pardon from, God through Jesus Christ. While saving faith is the same in essence, there is a difference in degree. We can distinguish this in the following manner:

DEGREES OF SAVING FAITH
Three Degrees
One Essence

1. Refuge-seeking faith
a. Misery Fleeing
b. Knocking in hope
c. Missing Christ/God

} Faith in Christ

2. Refuge-finding faith
a. Deliverance finding
b. Opening in faith
c. Finding Christ/God

1. Refuge-assuring faith
a. Thankful serving
b. Communing in love
c. Rejoicing in Christ/God

While saving faith is one in essence in all true believers, it differs in maturity. Not all attain to the same degree of faith. An assured faith rests in the hearty confidence of full acceptance and pardon in Christ, while seeking faith still misses and seeks for this surety. Yet seeking faith is true saving faith; it hopes in the same promise the other rests in; it seeks its salvation outside itself in the same Savior, Jesus Christ.

This truth can be illustrated by viewing an example of human love.


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