Friday, February 22, 2008

An Unbelievable Message Pt. 2

So how do you solve the unsolvable problem? What happens when you discover that your real issue, your root issue isn’t that your parents did a really bad job or perhaps weren’t there at all. What happens when it dawns on you that growing up in a violent neighborhood, attending bad schools, with little opportunity though obstacles don’t approach the heart of your real dilemma? How does it feel when you run into someone who has had every advantage you haven’t and find out that they have just as many issues, just as many insecurities, just as many fears and just as many hang-ups as you do? What do you do when it finally hits you that you are a sinner and that one day you will face your Creator and Judge with no explanation, nobody else to blame and no excuse?

Should that day come to you I have good news. Though you are not right with God, have no one to blame for that but yourself and cannot possibly find away out of or around this on your own God has taken it upon Himself to fully and finally solve this most urgent, pressing and eternal problem of yours. How has He done this?

He begins by revealing to humanity that a perfect, permanent righteousness is available apart from us having to earn it by following His law (which we could never do in the first place). This righteousness which is spoken of in the Old Testament is given by faith to every one who believes in Jesus Christ. What must you believe? You must believe that you are indeed a sinner who fairly deserves God’s judgment. You must further believe that Jesus Christ lived a perfect life before the Father according to the law and therefore earned a perfect, permanent right standing before Him and that this right standing can be yours if you place your faith in Christ and Christ alone. You must believe that when Christ died on the cross He died to satisfy God’s anger against your sin. You must believe that Jesus physically rose from the grave thus proving that God the Father was please and satisfied with His life and sacrifice

And guess what? You never have to worry this most precious gift of God’s righteousness is tainted by racism, classism, sexism or any other kind of ism. All have sinned and therefore have disqualified themselves from enjoying the full eternal expression of God’s kingdom. Yet, all who believe are declared to be in a perfect, permanent right standing before God by grace and grace alone. Among other things that means that there is no cost to you whatsoever for this perfect, permanent right standing. Today you can know for sure that you’re in God’s grace, favor and have His blessing not because you sowed a seed into the business of some televangelist but because Christ lived a perfect life on your behalf. But it doesn’t end there. Not only did Jesus Christ live a perfect life on your behalf, He actually died to release you from the penalty of sin that you owned the Father. He gave up His life for yours so that you wouldn’t have to pay the cost of your rebellion yourself.

Is there any other kind of way you ask? Absolutely not! The living God specially, and specifically put forth Jesus Christ to be the one who would satisfy completely His fierce, passionate, settled, unrelenting, just and certain anger against all those who believe in Him. In punishing Christ, God the Father upholds His holiness, righteousness and justice while at the same time giving a right standing to all those who believe in Christ. But that’s where the buck stops. Salvation is found in no one else. Christ and Christ alone secured salvation for all of God’s people.

What do you, your people, your culture, your ethnicity or your country bring to the table? What did God see in you that made the whole plan of salvation necessary? Other than your sin, nothing. You have nothing to boast or brag about. God didn’t save you because you proved your worth through education, hard work and upstanding family values. Nor was His pity aroused because you were born poor, treated unjustly and belonged to a marginalized people group. God didn’t see that you did your best to follow His law, fell short and therefore extended you a little bit of help to make it over the hump. This perfect, permanent right standing before the living God is obtained by faith and faith alone. And thus all the credit, praise, thanks and glory goes to God and God alone.

Who is this message for? It’s for everyone. It is the one, objective truth regarding where we stand with God that transcends ethnicity, class, socioeconomic status, level of education, cultural group or any other of the surface divisions we so easily allow to divide us. Is God the God of the Jews only? No, by no means no. He is the God of the Jews, Arabs, Africans, Hispanics, Europeans, Asians, Indians, Americans, colored people, Negroes, blacks, Afro-Americans and African-Americans. There is one God who will justify all kinds of people through faith and faith alone in Jesus Christ. There is one God who has fully and finally solved the one problem that will follow you through eternity. There is one God who out of His rich mercy and great love for you gave up His one and only Son to secure your blessed eternity with Him.

Do you believe that?

To Him Who Loves Us…
Pastor Lance

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