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Wordwise Insight, Issue #087
November 14, 2011

WORDWISE INSIGHT is the free monthly newsletter of


BIBLE INSIGHTS (and Reader Q & A): What's the purpose of faith? Is it simply a means of getting things for ourselves from God?

WORDWISE HYMNS: My Blog called Wordwise Hymns for you to check out!

DO YOU HAVE A QUESTION? See below for how to send it to us.


Are you finding Wordwise helpful? And do you have your own website? We would be delighted if you would provide a link on your site to ours. This will enable your friends to find us too! Check the page on the Wordwise website called "Link to Us," and follow the simple instructions. Click on Link to Us.

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LIKE TO ASK A QUESTION? On a Bible topic or passage of Scripture? Or one about a hymn or gospel song? Click on Questions from You.


Purpose of Faith

(Getting Things from God)

Question: How can I use my faith to obtain blessings from God?

Answer: An interesting question! And for some reason I find it troubling. Though you may not have intended it so, it sounds very self-centred and utilitarian. Like God is simply a celestial vending machine, and faith is the coinage we stick in the slot to get the goodies we want!

We ought to bow the knee to God, and put our full trust in Him, simply because of who He is, not for what we can get out of it. However, the Bible clearly reveals that God, in abundant grace, blesses the saints beyond measure. Consider a few Scriptures on the subject:

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has [already] blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ" (Eph. 1:3). "His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness" (I Pet. 1:3). "He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" (Rom. 8:32). "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits" (Ps. 103:2).

We are called upon to "walk by faith" (II Cor. 5:7), not "use" our faith to get more from God–who has already assured us we have "all things" in Christ. The old gospel song makes a point: "Count your blessings, name them one by one; and it will surprise you what the Lord has done!" The New Testament describes something like three or four dozen things the Lord does for a sinner the moment he/she trusts in Christ as Saviour. In Him we have all we need, and we are "complete in Him" (Col. 2:10).

Now, am I saying we should never ask the Lord for things? ...

For the rest of this article, click on Purpose of Faith.


Come and Pay Us a Visit!

I have developed a blog that is called Wordwise Hymns. As the title suggests, it is about hymns, and church music in general.

But as many of you will know, a blog is especially designed to facilitate a conversation on its particular subject. Readers can easily post comments about what they see, and I'm able to reply. I hope you will take part in the discussion!

Through 2010, almanac entries dealt with what happened in hymn history on each day of the year. Beginning in 2011, I hope to analyze hymns from a biblical standpoint, linking to the material that has come before.

My hope is that the blog will add to the value of the website and this newsletter, and promote some profitable exchanges on the subject of sacred music.

What happened on this day in hymnology? To find out, click Wordwise Hymns.

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