Faith Ingredients (Part 2)

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When the apostle Paul faced King Agrippa in a trial, he pointed out that the king already have knowledge about the Lord Jesus Christ.
And King Agrippa knows about these things. I speak boldly, for I am sure these events are all familiar to him, for they were not done in a corner! King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you do—” Agrippa interrupted him. “Do you think you can persuade me to become a Christian so quickly?” (Acts 26:26-28, NLT. Emphasis added.)
Though the king knew the events about what the Lord did, Agrippa was not yet persuaded to become a believer in Him. The Message version of verse 26 goes like this: The king knows what I’m talking about. I’m sure that nothing of what I’ve said sounds crazy to him. He’s known all about it for a long time.(Emphasis added.)

Here we see that to know about that Christ is the Savior is different from agreeing that He is. 
Knowledge alone is not enough. … Of course it is necessary that we have some knowledge of who Christ is and what he has done for “how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?” (Rom. 10:14). But knowledge about the facts of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection for us is not enough, for people can know facts but rebel against them or dislike them. [1]
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Reformed theologians called this second ingredient of faith as “assensus,” that is, agreement or “recognition that the gospel is true”. [2] (We already saw that the first ingredient is “notitia” or “acquaintance with the content of the gospel”.) [3] Even skeptics knew that Jesus claimed to be the Lord and Savior. But they don’t agree with it. They won’t even accept it! According to 1 Corinthians 2:14,The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” (Emphasis added) The word “accept” means “to receive willingly.” [4] In his “Love Your God With All Your Mind,” Christian philosopher J. P. Moreland explained that it “has nothing to do with… grasping [it] intellectually [but with the] willingness and openness to accept it.” [5] So the unbeliever might understand what the Bible teaches but he or she is not willing and not open to accept it.

That’s why it’s not enough that we merely present the facts of the Good News. We need to “work hard to persuade others.” (2 Corinthians 5:11b, NLT) We need to communicate to people the urgency to believe in the Lord. 

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. (2 Corinthians 5:20, ESV)
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[1] J. I. Packer, Concise Theology: A Guide to Historic Christian Beliefs (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 1993). Electronic edition.

[2] Ibid, 709. Emphasis added.

[3] Ibid.

[4] J. P. Moreland, Love Your God With All Your Mind (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 1997), 46.

[5] Ibid. 


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