Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Becoming a Woman of Faith * Chapter 3

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. Ephesians 2:8,9

This third chapter could be described as "basic" or "simple". The gospel message is almost so simple, that it becomes complex to us because we cannot comprehend it's simplicity. The crux of the whole lesson is that the gift of Jesus' righteousness is available for the taking, but we must recieve it with a child-like trust (faith) in order to experience it.

Period. That's it. Repent, believe, recieve, and become...adopted, declared righteous, and justified (past tense). And then keep walking in the truth of the gift you have recieved.

Here are a few examples of our complicating the simplicity of the gospel:

So many think that if they "do all the right things" they will be right with God. Not.
1 Corinthians 1:28-30 He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. (highlighted words by me)~also see above verse.

So many think that if they "believe in God" (without the resulting "fruits of righteousness" done by God through us) they will go to heaven. Not. James 2:19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder!

Heaven ~or rather "right standing with God" is only ours as we recieve it as A GIFT. Any other way relies on US, and then obliterates (if it were possible for US) the need for the cross of Jesus Christ. Because of the perfect Lamb of God demonstrating His love for us while we were still sinners, we can come to Him, and recieve His free gift of righteousness, justification, peace w/ God, removal of shame and guilt, and freedom from bondage to our sinful nature and it's resulting death (separation from God).

Key verses:
"Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness." Romans 4:3

The words "it was credited to him" were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. Romans 4:23,24

The author closes by affirming this: "It is a high privelege for me to place my confidence in Him and stake my soul upon His honor." By giving us the gift of eternal life, He gets the glory, not us. All our righteous acts are like filthy rags...

Trust in the Promise and Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.

1 comment:

Edie said...

"So many think that if they "believe in God" (without the resulting "fruits of righteousness" done by God through us) they will go to heaven."
You really hit the nail on the head with this one. I think this is one of the most believed lies in the Church in this nation. We have spent so much energy trying not to offend or *judge* that we have allowed this belief to run wildly through the Church.

Excellent message!