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FAITH TOWARD GOD

BASIC DOCTRINES
LESSON 3


FAITH AS THE AGENT OF OUR SALVATION.

Faith is the instrument by which the gift of salvation is received. Grace is the basis of salvation. Good works is the evidence of salvation, but no amount of good works can get us in heaven.

Eph 2:6-10
6     And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
7     That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
8     For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9     Not of works, lest any man should boast.
10     For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Though they cannot save us, our good works will be the evidence that God has done a work in us.

Faith is what saves us. It is by grace that God justifies us. This was done through the redemption that is in Christ. Christ and his shed blood is the basis of our undeserved mercy.

Rom 3:23-26
23     For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24     Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25     Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
26     To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.(KJV)

Jesus Christ is our propitiation. This is a big word that few people can really understand. Thayer's defines "Propitiation" as:

PROPITIATION=
2435  hilasterion-
relating to an appeasing or expiating, having placating or expiating force, expiatory; a means of appeasing or expiating, a propitiation
a) used of the cover of the ark of the covenant in the Holy of Holies, which was sprinkled with the blood of the expiatory victim on the annual day of atonement (this rite signifying that the life of the people, the loss of which they had merited by their sins, was offered to God in the blood as the life of the victim, and that God by this ceremony was appeased and their sins expiated); hence, the lid of expiation, the propitiatory
b) an expiatory sacrifice
c) an expiatory victim

O.K., what does "Expiate" mean? Good Question.

Expiate = to appease, pacify, to expiate guilt or a crime is to perform some act which is supposed to purify the guilty person, or some act which is accepted by the offended party as satisfaction for the injury; that is, some act by which his wrath is appeased, and his forgiveness procured.

Romans 3:25     Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

Jesus Christ came to blot out our sins that we have committed in the past.  Christ died on our behalf, and took our deserved punishment for all of the sins we have committed against the One True Holy God upon Himself. What this means is that we begin our new life with Christ with a clean slate.
The Blood that Jesus shed on Calvary's cross was more than sufficient to  pay that penalty that we deserved, the penalty of death and eternity in Hell. Let's look at the verses preceding and following Romans 3:25, to get a good picture of what occured on Calvary on behalf of humanity:

Rom 3:23-26
23     For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24     Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25     Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
26     To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

He justifies those who believe in Him and who embrace His Perfect Sacrifice. When we open our hearts and our souls to Him, He gives us a clean slate, and a new lease on life:


2 Cor 5:17
17     Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

For the blood of Christ to be our propitiation, we need to BELIEVE that His Blood that was shed for us was sufficient to be our substitute for the punishment we deserve. Through Christ, we have been justified in the sight of God. Though we are unworthy, and though we are unjust, God's Love for us is such that He would redeem us at any cost.

I Jn 2:1-2
1     My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
2     And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (KJV)

Christ is our mercy seat. We need to run to Him when we have sinned. When we do run to Him, His goodness and tolerance and longsuffering will extend to us.
We need to have the attitude that we are not going to sin any longer. In a Christian's life, sin is to be the exception, and not the rule. Note the verse just quoted above. It says, IF any man sins, we have an Advocate, or a lawyer. It does not say “WHEN any man sin…”

According to 1 Jn 2:2, the Work of Jesus Christ as far as the sins of the world are concerned has been finished. It is only up to those who have not yet realized this to grab hold of that finished work.

Jesus came  into this world to save us from our sins.

Matt 1:21
21     And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Many Christians walk a defeated life, bound up by sin because they don't know what Jesus Christ did for them on the cross.
Romans 6:14 tells us that because of the finished work on the cross, sin has no more dominion over us.

Rom 6:14
14     For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

Because of the Work that Jesus Christ did, we must have an attitude of not sinning:

Rom 6:15-18
15     What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
16     Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
17     But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
18     Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.


I Jn 4:10-14
10     Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
11     Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
12     No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
13     Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.
14     And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.


THROUGH FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST, WE ARE JUSTIFIED

Rom 3:24-28
24     Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25     Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
26     To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
27     Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
28     Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

JUSTIFIED:
1344  dikaioo (dik-ah-yo'-o);
from 1342; to render (i.e. show or regard as) just or innocent:
KJV-- free, justify (-ier), be righteous.

Because we believe in His ability to save us, we are justified:
This results in peace with God:

Rom 5:1-21
1     Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
2     By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Before we are saved, we are enemies of God:

Col 1:19-23
19     For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
20     And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
21     And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
22     In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
23     If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

Yet, although we were enemies, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us:

Rom 5:8
8     But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Once we understand how much our God is for us, we can endure tribulations:

Rom 5:3     And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
4     And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
5     And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
6     For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
7     For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
8     But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
9     Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
10     For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
11     And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
12     Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
13     (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
14     Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
15     But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
16     And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.
17     For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
18     Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
19     For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
20     Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
21     That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ
(KJV)

THIS SCRIPTURE SHOWS US THAT GOD IS FOR US, AND HAS OUR BEST INTERESTS AT HEART:

Rom 8:31-39
31     What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
32     He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
33     Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
34     Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
35     Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36     As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37     Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38     For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39     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.

Because of the Love of God for us, we have been found innocent of the charges laid against us. Through His Justification of us, we are saved from the power of sin in our lives.
The Galatian church thought they had to add something to the saving grace of God:

Gal 2:15-21
15     We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,
16     Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
17     But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.
18     For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.
19     For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
20     I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
21    I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.(KJV)

Many Christians fall into the trap that the Galatians fell into. They were subject to adding to the Work that the Lord had done...Legalism results from man-made rules. Jesus simply calls us to OBEDIANCE TO HIS WORD.
IT IS THE HOLY SPIRIT WHICH IS INSIDE US THAT ENABLES US TO OBEY. GOD MUST GET THE GLORY FOR ALL THAT WE ARE AND HAVE BECOME AS A RESULT OF HIS WORK IN AND THROUGH US.

Read Gal 3:1-29
1     O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
2     This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
3     Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
4     Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain.
5     He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
6     Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
7     Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.

THROUGH FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST, WE ARE SANCTIFIED.

SANCTIFIED:
37  hagiazo-
1) to render or acknowledge, or to be venerable or to hallow
2) to separate from profane things and to dedicate to God
a) to consecrate things to God
b) to dedicate people to God
3) to purify
a) to cleanse externally
b) to purify by expiation: to free from the guilt of sin
c) to purify internally by a renewing of the soul

Acts 26:16-18
16     But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;
17     Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,
18     To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.


Acts 15:7-11
7     And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.
8     And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;
9     And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
10     Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
11     But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.

IT IS GOD'S GRACE THAT TEACHES THE TRUE DISCIPLE THAT HE OR SHE MUST OBEY THE WORD OF GOD.

Titus 2:11-15
11     For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
12     Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
13     Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
14     Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
15     These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

THROUGH FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST, WE ARE MADE RIGHTEOUS
LET'S LOOK AT ROMANS 3 AGAIN:

Rom 3:20-26
20     Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
21     But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
22     Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
23     For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24     Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25     Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
26     To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
(KJV)

It is Christ's Righteousness which is to shine through us, and not our own. The righteousness that comes from man's mind, or a set of rules will never avail anything.

Rom 9:29-33
29     And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha.
30     What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.
31     But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.
32     Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;
33     As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.


Rom 10:5-17
5     For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.
6     But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)
7     Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)
8     But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9     That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10     For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11     For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

If we believe in our hearts, and not mere intellectual belief, which can amount to philosophy, then we will believe unto righteousness… that is, we will show forth the fruit of our Christian walk.  We will Obey the Word of God, because God has given us the ability to obey it, and His Grace has taught us that we must (Titus 2:11-15)

The Old Testament Scripture which verses 6 and 7 od Romans Chapter 10 refer to, is Deuteronomy 30:12-14.

Deut 30:10-20
10     If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.
11     For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off.
12     It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?
13     Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?
14     But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.
15     See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;
16     In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.
17     But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them;
18     I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it.
19     I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
20     That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.
(KJV)

We see that believing entails doing…living what you believe. Remember the Scripture that says we were created in Christ unto good works?

Ephesians 2:10
10     For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Those good works won't save us, but because the Lord has done a Good Work in us, His Will will be done in our lives.
Jesus said you will know a tree by it's fruit. If you are not naturally bearing fruit for the Kingdom of God, you need to examine yourself, and determine if you are actually saved or not!
But it is the Holy Spirit Who does the Work in you to do His Will:

Ezek 36:25-27
25     Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
26     A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
27     And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
(KJV)


Phil 2:9-16
9     Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10     That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11     And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
12     Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
13     For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
14     Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
15     That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
16     Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain. (KJV)

Saving faith is believing that Christ is able to do all things for us and in our lives.

When we think we are something, we get highminded and arrogant, comparing ourselves and our spiritual walk with others.

We become Pharisees. Jesus Christ performed all on the cross, because He was able to do that which I was completely unable to accomplish. I cannot have confidence in my own righteousness. Only in Christ's. I cannot have confidence in my own holiness. Only in Christ's Who dwells in me. Christ has justified me…I don't need to defend myself.
The problem with Christians today is that they forget Who it was that saved them. They forget that it is Jesus Who is the Author and the Finisher of their Faith. Those who forget end up in the trap of trying to establish their own righteousness.  Jesus alone deserves the credit for who we are.

Gal 5:2-10
2     Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.
3     For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
4     Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
5     For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
6     For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
7     Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?
8     This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.
9     A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.
10     I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be.

Since Christ is our sanctification, our propitiation, our salvation, and our justifier, we know that we can stand assured of His WondrousPresence in our lives. So when the Accuser points His finger at us for our shortcomings, we can agree with him…we are flesh, and the only thing that matters in our life is that if God is for us, no man can be against us.
When I sin (which should increasingly be the exception, and not the rule), I need to run to Jesus, who is my attorney.

Eph 6:16
16     Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

To say that we can't help but to sin is to deny the Power of the Almighty God in our lives and to give the devil more credit than he deserves. God intends for us to walk victoriously in every aspect of our lives. And we can, if we believe Him and His Word. Greater is He that is in us, than He that is in the world.

I Jn 5:4
4     For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

Salvation includes the following:
Salvation from the penalty of sin forever -- Romans 5:1, 8, 9; John 5:24; 6:37

Salvation from the power of sin daily -- Romans 6:11-14; Galatians 1:4

Salvation from the presence of sin for eternity -- I Thessalonians 4:13-18;
I John 3:1-3; John 14:1-3


1) HOW ARE WE SAVED? (Ephesians 2:8,9) ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

2) WHERE DO GOOD WORKS FIT INTO THE LIFE OF A BELIEVER? (Ephesians 2:10)   _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

3) HOW ARE WE JUSTIFIED? (Romans 3:24)
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4) IN YOUR OWN WORDS, DEFINE “PROPITIATION”. (Romans 3:25)
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5) WHAT DOES 2 CORINTHIANS 5:17 TEACH US CONCERNING OUR WALK AS CHRISTIANS?
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6) AS A CHRISTIAN, WHAT SHOULD BE MY ATTITUDE CONCERNING SIN? (1 John 2:1)


7) WHAT DOES ROMANS 6:14 ASSURE ME OF?
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8) HOW DO I OVERCOME THE WORLD? (1 JN 5:4)
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9) WHAT DOES 1 JOHN 4:4 TELL ME CONCERNING HE THAT IS IN ME?
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10) WHO IS JESUS, ACCORDING TO HEBREWS 12:2?
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WRITE  DOWN YOUR TESTIMONY OF WHAT GOD SAVED YOU FROM AND HOW YOU WERE SAVED:


BELIEVING GOD FOR WHAT HE PROMISES