Monday, November 21, 2016

Really Bad News / Really Good News – Part 2

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Pastor Willie Nolte continues that God’s grace is always offered for life. We tend to filter punishment through our own values, not God’s. Our Heavenly Father is love and mercy by nature, by which He extends grace, that  “because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved” - Ephesians 2:4-5. We understand a parents love and bond, because we experience it. They cannot unlove or abandon their child. Nothing could ever stop God from loving and expressing the love and mercy that are His natural attributes. God is love. We feel that we should earn our way to Heaven by being righteous, but how much is enough to make it to a perfect God? Ecclesiastes 7:20 tells us; “For there is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin.” Nobody is perfect, so how can we be found righteous in the eyes of God? The 1828 Webster’s dictionary defines “righteousness” as: Purity of heart and rectitude of life; conformity of heart and life to the divine law. Righteousness is nearly equivalent to holiness, comprehending holy principles and affections of heart, and conformity of life to the divine law. It includes all we call justice, honesty and virtue, with holy affections; in short, it is true religion.  

Romans 4:4-5 “Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.”

Righteousness as based upon faith; not works. Ephesians 2:8-10 tells us: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Christians do not perform “good works’ in order to get saved; they do “good works” because they are saved. James 2:18 explains, But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. Our faith in God and the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross, for the Lord Jesus tells us in Matthew 26:28, “For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Refuse to compromise your Christian faith.

Acts 2:38 tells us: “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

Our salvation is in Christ and obedience to God is proof of our faith. Only a Believer obeys the Lord, but only the obedient believe. Who is Savior and Lord of your life? Noah’s Ark is an example of God’s salvation, in that to be “in the Ark” (saved) is a type of being in Christ” (saved). We have to be connected to Jesus, in His redemption / salvation experience. Buried with Christ in baptism for sin’s paid, then raised with Christ in righteousness. So, Do what God says regardless what the world says because God’s plan for you and I is for our ultimate life and blessing. Would I do what God says or compromise? The really bad news is that Sin has separated us from God, but the really good news is that God, in His love, mercy and grace, offers redemption, regeneration, reconciliation, eternal life through the finished work of Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Hebrews 11:7 “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.”

Faith, in Christ, Brian

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