Because I am not yet living up to what Jesus expects me to be in those red letters in the Bible, I always define myself as somebody who is saved by God's grace and is on his way to becoming a Christian. (...) Being saved is trusting in what Christ did for us, but being Christian is dependent on the way we respond to what he did for us.
There is no excuse for anyone to misunderstand God's Word if he will, like a child, accept the Bible for what it says, and be honest enough to consecrate himself to obey it. He must accept the Bible as God's Word. He must believe that God could not be honest if He sought to hide from man the very things He will judge him by in the end. He must accept the Bible as the final Court of Appeal on its own subjects, and forget man's interpretations and distortion of the Word. He must believe that God knows what He is talking about; that He knows how to express Himself in human language; that He said what He meant, and meant what He said; and that what He says on a subject is more important than what any man may say about it.
[To have Faith in Christ] means, of course, trying to do all that He says. There would be no sense in saying you trusted a person if you would not take his advice. Thus if you have really handed yourself over to Him, it must follow that you are trying to obey Him. But trying in a new way, a less worried way. Not doing these things in order to be saved, but because He has begun to save you already. Not hoping to get to Heaven as a reward for your actions, but inevitably wanting to act in a certain way because a first faint gleam of Heaven is already inside you.
Our obedience is God's pleasure when it proves that God is our treasure. This is good news, because it means very simply that the command to obey is the command to be happy in God. The commandments of God are only as hard to obey as the promises of God are hard to believe. The Word of God is only as hard to obey as the beauty of God is hard to cherish.
No one should be surprised at the difficulty of faith, if there is some part of his life where he is consciously resisting or disobeying the commandment of Jesus. Is there some part of your life which you are refusing to surrender at his behest, some sinful passion, maybe, or some animosity, some hope, perhaps your ambition or your reason? ... How can you hope to enter into communion with him when at some point in your life you are running away from him?