Wednesday, January 7, 2015

God has no Grandchildren

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."

A couple of us were talking with Pastor Rick today about how the kids in the church used to go through a Catechism class (maybe Luther’s, Heidelberg’s, Westminster’s or New City’s) to learn the doctrines and theology of Christian and build a solid foundation for their faith. I had read that these teachings confirm that “saving” faith affirms that we have had our sins forgiven, have been made forever right with God, and have been granted salvation. There is a personal nature of saving faith. It is not enough to believe the abstract truth that Jesus died to save sinners; rather, I can be put into a right relationship with my heavenly Father only if I confess my sin, repent, and believe that Christ died to save me. The opening Bible verse is one of the proof texts for this aspect of true faith, that Jesus loved and died for us personally. We are confident in our redemption because of our personal union with Christ the Savior by our faith alone through grace alone.

Philippians 3:7-9 “Whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.

Since our Savior’s resurrection and ascension, Christians have signified their covenant with the Lord by baptism. Colossians 2:11-12 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.But baptized individuals  cannot enjoy the ultimate blessings of covenant favor and reward apart from faith. If we do not personally believe in the person and work of Jesus Christ, we are cut off from the hope of eternal life.

Romans 11:17-20If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith.

The article concludes, that indeed, the Lord works corporately, demonstrating His covenant faithfulness to believers and their children (Acts 2:38-39). But let us never forget that God has no grandchildren, and apart from personal faith, we cannot be saved. Hebrews 11:6 “Without faith it is impossible to please God.”

In Christ, Brian

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