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The Goal of Your Faith

For you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (I Peter 1:9)

            What is the purpose, goal of faith?  To make us feel good?  To help us adjust to life?  To better handle adversity, hardship, even defeat?  I expect we could spend a great deal of time simply listing all those things we have heard given as reasons to believe.  
            Many of them seem to reflect the same logic as a statement contained in an article published in a Lewistown, Maine newspaper: “The fire department quickly brought the fire under control, but not before the building had burned to the ground.”   Now maybe I’m wrong but I thought the goal of the fire department was to put out the fire, to prevent the building from burning to the ground, i.e. to save it.
            Peter says the goal of your faith is salvation—not success, a comfortable life, wealth or a myriad of other things we often look for.  This is one of the great words of the gospel.  In one sense, in fact, salvation is the word of the good news, the subject matter, what it is all about.  Consequently it is a comprehensive word. It has the idea of deliverance, rescue from danger, disease, death, fear—all those physical and emotional ills of life.  But, most of all, it was to deliver, set free from sin.  Jesus was to be the one who “would save his people from their sins.”
            Isn’t it amazing how this idea is avoided?  Forgiveness—YES!  But deliverance from—well, that’s a different matter.  The story is told about a man who came to prayer meeting and kept telling about things which keep coming between him and God.  Cobwebs, he called them.  Finally, someone prayed, “Oh God, kill the spider.”
            The goal of your faith—salvation from your sins, all that would destroy you, to eternal life in Christ.  Praise God!

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