More great insights from the article by Norm Wakefield:
(God's Guidance) will be through the inerrant Word of God, but He must also guide us in the interpretation and application of it. (How true! So often we think that when we search the Scriptures we can find the answers we need on the different issues. Little realizing that if God isn't the one guiding the interpretation and application we can really err. Think of the Scribes and Pharisees!)
When the Apostle Paul wrote, "He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5) he was saying that God has taken not only our worst deeds, but also our best and most righteous deeds out of consideration. The new birth is 100% God's mercy!
You belong to Jesus because God gave you to Him, not because of a decision you made or standards you keeps. (John 17:6) These gifts of forgiveness through His blood and righteousness through His perfect living are all that sets you apart from the most wicked sinner on the face of the planet and saves you from His wrath.
Whenever the church worships anything other than the living Christ, it declines ~Pastor Robert Welch