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On Genuine Faith

February 16, 2011

“So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, ‘If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’ They answered him, ‘We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?’  Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.’”  John 8:31-38

“To the Jews who have professed faith in him, Jesus, understandably enough, indicates what genuine faith does: it perseveres, it holds tight to Jesus’ teaching, with some glorious consequences.  But such faith costs no less than everything, and the freedom it brings presupposes that life before such faith is pitiful slavery.  By sketching genuine faith in such stark terms, Jesus is standing true to a pattern we find elsewhere: he is never interested in multiplying numbers of converts if they are not genuine believers, and therefore he insists on forcing would-be disciples to count the cost.”  D.A. Carson, The Gospel According to John

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