Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Four Words Every Christian Should Know - Apr 1

No April fools to be found here! I'd like to apologize for my lack of timely posts. You get busy and before you know it the day is done. Even a once a week posting can be too much! So without further ado let's start this month off right.

What Four Words Am I Referring To?

They are Jesus (Christ), cross, blood and grace. As a Christian, we have two priorities. One is to give comfort to the saints. The second is to give our testimony to an unbelieving world. That's it. It's not our job to 'save the world' or to try to create heaven here on earth.

Let's Put Those Words in a Paragraph!

If you were to ask me, I think my testimony might sound a bit like this:

"It was Jesus who bore the penalty for my sins by the shedding of His blood on the cross. We do not earn our heavenly citizenship through our own efforts. It is through the grace of God alone that I can boast of having eternal life."

Now let's ask someone else if they're headed for eternity with God:

"I'm a good person who is living a good life. I pray, I go to church and I try to do the right thing. I also volunteer once in a while and help old ladies across the street!"

Which Testimony Belongs To You?

Notice the difference between the two? On the surface they seem pretty similar. However on deeper analysis they're worlds apart. Let's look at some scripture:

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
(Ephesians 2:8-10)

By Paul's testimony we see that the first testimony is indeed the saving one.

Why Is This?

I'm going to let you in on a little secret: Satan loves religion. Moreover, Satan relies extensively upon religious people to do his dirty work. By appealing to our fleshy nature and to our pride, we delude ourselves. God's holiness is perfect and absolute. We cannot please Him through our own efforts:

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
(Isaiah 64:6)

Jesus Christ must be the focal point of all of our worship and devotion. He must be at the center of what we ourselves desire to be. Jesus must be the golden standard. A Messiah that refuses to shed His blood on the cross is useless to us. Had Jesus balked at such a cruel and painful fate every single one of us would face a lost eternity. It is precisely this wonderful and glorious mystery that confounds the saints instead of uplifting them.

God Is Serious About This Stuff!

What passes for 'religion' today is 99% un-Biblical. No mention of a Messiah to bridge the gap between sinful Man and a holy God. No mention of a cross. Bloodless gospels that appeal to our sensuality have become all the rage. No need for grace. We can do it all by ourselves! Yet by studying God's word we recognize the folly of our thinking. It is not by works that we are saved! It is God and God alone that can take the credit for our salvation. No-one but Jesus has the credentials to call themselves Messiah. No-one else but Jesus has the capacity to forgive us for our sin. No-one else but Jesus could be the sacrificial Passover lamb that was perfectly pleasing to the Father. No-one else except Jesus can come close to fitting the profile of over 400 Old Testament Messianic prophecies. Christ stands alone. No-one else can offer the promise of eternal life. Not the Prophet Mohammed. Not Buddha. Not any other guru or sage. Certainly not L. Ron Hubbard! Do you see what I mean here? The question is not of semantics. We cannot squirm our way past the light of Biblical truth. Jesus cannot be ignored. He's the only hope you have.

Johnny Cash

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