Christ Alone

The call to salvation is so simple that it does not seem true. ‘Whosoever will come,’ the Bible says. There is no caveat or condition. It is a human failing to think that we have to earn our way to heaven. But as the hymn-writer says, ‘Were the whole world of nature mine, that is an offering far too small.’ (Isaac Watts) What can we possibly give to Him who owns everything and has created everything. All God wants is our hearts and He will fill us with the Holy Spirit.

The early Jews wanted to add circumcision to the mix, but that was never a requirement of salvation. Down through the ages the church has sometimes ‘muddied the waters.’ Pilgrimages, fasting, special services or giving of alms are all good but they are trappings and not the essence of our faith.

We can never earn our way to heaven, we can only accept the precious gift. ‘Nothing in my hand I bring, only to the cross I cling.(Augustus Toplady) Does our own church cling to tradition and not substance? Are we explaining the gospel faithfully to seekers? Forget our preferences and prejudices. Yes, it is that simple.


I’ve not grown up with a history of spiritual fasting but recently I have become more interested. This is because when my church fasted ahead of some big decisions I had reason to think about it for myself. One reason for fasting is seeking repentance. This happens in 1 Samuel 7:6 where, commanded by Samuel the people of Israel needed to repent before God after they had turned their backs on Him.

Another reason for fasting is when seeking guidance as was the case with my church at this time. In Nehemiah 1:4, the prophet on hearing the news of destruction in Jerusalem sat down and wept and fasted.

When a revelation from God is desired the people can fast in order to seek His will for them.The disciples of John the Baptist fasted and prayed as we see in Luke 5:33 in preparation for what was ahead of them. Jesus told the Pharisees that His disciples would fast when He was taken away from them which would be in preparation for their future ordeals.

Fasting is not a way of manipulating God but of drawing closer to Him.