Tuesday, October 25, 2011

October 25, 2011 … The Heart of the Gospel

Passage of the Day: Romans 3: 28 … For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.

My Journal for Today: This month we’ve been discussing how we relate to God in dealing with the concept and reality of sin in our lives. And as Christians, everything we stand for spiritually rests upon the linchpin doctrine of justification by God’s grace alone and through our repentance in faith alone, apart from our works. Though there has been much theological debate over the centuries about this doctrinal stand (in fact, all of the reformation was wrapped up in this debate), it seems clear to this believer, as evidenced by today’s verse (as well as by Eph. 2: 8 – 9 and/or Titus 3: 4 – 7) that God’s grace ALONE, in the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, The Christ, was the propitiation for my (and man’s) sin; and I was saved forever when I repented in faith ALONE and received God’s saving grace … as did Abraham of old (see Romans 4: 16).

This has been the entire thrust of Paul’s theological treatise in his letter to the Romans (and the Church … and to you and me) in Chapters 1 – 6; and mankind must deal with the wondrous or terrible outcomes of this Gospel message … that being the salvation or the damnation of man by faith in Christ or faith in anything other than Jesus. For those who choose, in faith, to follow Christ completely (see Luke 9: 23, Gal. 2: 20, and Romans 10: 9 – 13), the wondrous outcome is life with God in heaven forever. For those who choose, with no faith in Christ, to follow self and/or Satan, the terrible and absolutely horrific outcome will be an eternal damnation to a hell separated from God eternally.

Clearly, at least to this writer, Christ came to save me (and mankind) – see 1st Tim. 1: 15; and thankfully God is patient, desiring that all who receive Him in faith be saved (see 2nd Peter 3: 9). However, each of us in our years of accountability (and some would say the latter has nothing to do with the gospel), must either receive or reject the truth of the Gospel by faith as we know it (see Romans, chapters 1 – 3). The choice may be emotionally difficult; but in reality, it is theologically that simple.

I pray that any, who are reading this, have made that absolute commitment to receive God’s saving grace by repenting in faith of your sins and accepting/receiving Christ as your Savior and Lord. I probably should do this more often, (i.e., offer God’s gospel promise) knowing that others may read what I write; but I have a tendency to get focused on other discipleship issues for believers in my devotionals – probably because I know that I’m saved and desire that other saved Christians find what I am finding in my relationship with Christ. However, if you’re reading this; and you just want to make sure of your salvation, I beseech you to meditate on that passage from Romans 10: 9 – 13 [linked here for your study]; ... and then, if you mean it in your heart, simply pray to declare your faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior – and then share this decision with a Christian whom you respect. And after this declaration of your repentance and reception of God’s saving grace, get with that special someone, whom you perceive as a mature believer in Christ, and ask what you need to do to grow in your new covenant of faith in Christ.

Wow, if you’ve had doubts about your salvation, this could be an eternally special day for you!

My Prayer Today: I pray, Lord, that all would find and receive You as I have. Amen

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