Romans 5:6-8 ESV
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
This is something I believe we need to remind ourselves of over and over again. Not one of us deserves to be saved from our sins. Not one of us deserves heaven as our eternal destiny. For, we have all sinned. We all, at one time, all fell short of having God’s divine approval on our lives (Rom. 3:23).
It is only by God’s grace to us that any of us can be saved from our sins and have eternal life with God. It is only by God’s grace, too, that any of us can walk in victory over sin and can live godly and holy lives, pleasing to God (Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 2:8-10).
We are not saved from our sins because of our own righteousness. We aren’t considered righteous before God because of our own goodness. For, our good deeds will never outweigh our bad deeds. We can never be good enough, in and of ourselves, to attain God’s divine approval over our lives.
And, this is why Jesus had to die for our sins. Because we were all destined to die in our sins, and to face eternal punishment in hell, and because not one of us could keep the law perfectly, which is what was required, then we needed for God to make the way for us to be saved from our sins.
So, Jesus Christ, God the Son, was sent to die on a cross for our sins. On that cross he literally became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God (2 Co. 5:21). So, in his death he also put our sin to death, so that, through faith in him, we might be able to die with him to sin and to live with him to righteousness, all in his power at work within our lives.
Romans 5:9-10 ESV
Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.
In order for any of us to be saved from God’s wrath, first Jesus had to die on that cross. He took our place on that cross so that we would not have to die in our sins. In his death he bought us back for God so that we could be restored to fellowship with our Lord, and so we could walk righteously before him. We were bought back for God with his blood so that we would now be God’s possession, and that he might now be our Lord (owner-master).
The whole purpose of him dying on that cross for our sins was that we might die with him to sin and live with him to righteousness (1 Pet. 2:24). He didn’t die merely so that we could escape hell and have the promise of heaven when we die. But, he died to deliver us out of our slavery to sin and to redeem us so that we could now, in his power, walk righteously before him (Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24).
For, we are not saved from our sins, merely in the sense of having our sins forgiven, but we are saved in the sense of being delivered out of our addiction to sin, i.e. we were rescued from its control over our lives, and we were given the Holy Spirit, too, to empower us to live righteously.
For, it isn’t grace if all it does is merely forgive our sins so we can escape hell and go to heaven when we die, but it still leaves us bound in slavery to sin, still under the control of Satan, still living our lives in the pit of hell.
For, God’s grace, which brings salvation, instructs (demands) us to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we await Christ’s return (Tit. 2:11-14; Rom. 6:1-23).
Romans 5:11 ESV
More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
And, this is cause for rejoicing! Because of Jesus’ death on a cross for our sins, our lives have been restored to harmony with God. We can now walk (conduct our lives) according to (in agreement with) the Spirit of God. We can now live holy lives pleasing to God (Rom. 12:1-2).
We can now live in harmony with our Lord, doing what he says, walking in his ways, serving his purposes for our lives. And, he can use us for his glory to minister his love and grace into the lives of others, too. And, that is awesome!
And, this is truly “Good News!” Not only do we not have to live our lives being controlled by the flesh and by sin, but we can live godly and holy lives, pleasing to God, fully productive regarding God’s eternal purposes for our lives, and we can make an eternal impact on other people’s lives, too, for the praise of God’s glory.
So, when people come to you and tell you that Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins was merely to forgive us our sins so that we could go to heaven when we die, don’t listen to them. When they tell you that God requires nothing of you other than some nondescript faith in Jesus Christ, don’t listen to them. And, when they tell you that you don’t have to repent of your sins or walk in obedience to the Lord, don’t listen to them, for they are lying to you.
For, God’s Word teaches us that if we say we have fellowship with God, but we walk (in lifestyle) in darkness (sin), we are liars who do not live by the truth. It says that if we walk in sin, i.e. if we make sin our practice, and we don’t make righteousness our practice, that we don’t have eternal life with God. And, it says that we will reap what we sow (See: 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Gal. 5:19-21; Rom. 8:1-17; Gal. 6:7-8).
So, know the truth, and live the truth, and the truth will set you free. For, Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness, not so we can continue living in sin, doing what we want, while claiming heaven as our eternal destiny.
The “Good News!” is that Jesus set us free from our bondage to sin so that we could walk in his righteousness. And, that is much cause for rejoicing. Amen!!
An Original Work / June 24, 2012
Based off John 10:1-18 NIV
My sheep hear me. They know me.
They listen to my voice and obey.
I call them and lead them.
They know my voice, so they follow me.
They will never follow strangers.
They will run away from them.
The voice of a stranger they know not;
They do not follow him.
So, I tell you the truth that
I am the gate, so you enter in.
Whoever does enter
Will find forgiveness and will be saved.
Nonetheless whoever enters
Not by the gate; other way,
He is the thief and a robber.
Listen not, the sheep to him.
Oh, I am the Good Shepherd,
Who laid his own life down for the sheep.
I know them. They know me.
They will live with me eternally.
The thief only comes to steal and
Kill and to destroy the church.
I have come to give you life that
You may have it to the full…
They know my voice, so they follow me.
Wednesday, April 10, 2019