Thursday, 6 June 2013

Saved by Grace Alone.

Romans 9:1-5

I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit— I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race, the people of Israel.Theirs is the adoption to sonship; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.

The truth of the matter is that we do not deserve God's grace. The Jews do not deserve God's grace, and neither do the gentiles. We all sin and therefore we all deserve God's wrath.

Yet God throughout the Old Testament chose the Israelites to be his people. He gave them the law, he gave them the prophets, he even gave them Jesus. As a nation, Israel was blessed super-abundantly by God and shown is mercy and grace. They were told his plan of salvation through the prophets. We, Gentiles, were not part of that. We were not chosen by God throughout the Old Testament. Yet Jesus came and he died not only for the Jews, but for the Gentiles as well. For anyone who will turn to him.

And it is God who chooses. He chooses who he will save and who he will condemn. The Jews cannot trust in their heritage, because God could raise children of Abraham from stones if he wanted (Matthew 3:9). This is what Romans 9 is about. The Jews are not saved because they are Jews. Likewise, we are not saved by anything in us. It is entirely God who saves, it is entirely his work. Jesus is the Messiah, and he is God over all creation. He deserves all glory, and it is his right to decide what he will do with his creation.

Aside from that, one application. Paul says: "I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people". How much do we wish that God will save our friends? Our family? Those around us who we don't even know? We need to desire it above anything else. Would I be willingly cut off from Christ if it would save those around me? If it would save my family and friends? If it would save those I don't get on with? I don't know the answer to that. Would you? Either way, if that should be our desire, then how much more should we make every effort to share the gospel with those around us since we are God's people? 

How much do you share the gospel? 
It's something I really struggle to do.

Nat.

2 comments:

  1. CHRIST ALONE

    Jesus Christ is the only way to gain salvation, the only way to heaven, the only way to the Father. Do all Christians believe that? All who claim to be Christians do not believe that.

    A 2007 Pew research forum on Religion found that 57% of the evangelical Christians, who were polled, believed that many religions can lead to eternal life.

    Those who claim the Bible as God's word do not always use it as their guide for what they believe.

    CHRIST ALONE ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE

    Acts 4:10-12 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead--by this name this man stands here before you in good health. 11 He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief corner stone. 12 And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved."

    If 57% of all so-called evangelical Christians believe that there are many ways to heaven, it is not difficult to understand why so many of them reject the words of Jesus when He said "He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved..(Mark 16:16). If you do not believe Jesus is the only way to heaven, then, it makes it very easy to deny that water baptism is essential for salvation.

    Did you ever notice how, well know, so-called Christian preachers will not say that Jesus is the only way to heaven? Billy Graham and Joel Osteen come to mind. They also claim water baptism is not essential for salvation. Is there a connection?

    YOU EITHER BELIEVE AND PREACH THE TRUTH OR YOU DO NOT. A PARTIAL GOSPEL CANNOT SAVE ANYONE.

    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY CHRISTIAN BLOG. Google search>>> steve finnell a christian view

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    Replies
    1. Hey thanks for the comment! I agree completely that Jesus is the only way to heaven and to be saved. but I disagree that water baptism is essential to salvation. For a quick example see Luke 23:40-43 (below)

      But the other answered, and rebuking him said, "Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? "And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong." And he was saying, "Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!" And He said to him, "Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise."

      The thief next to Jesus on the cross was not baptised, but he was saved entirely by jesus's death. Likewise Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, David and almost all other Old testament Characters who were saved by faith were not baptised, and we are told in Acts 10:44-46 that Cornelius was saved before he was baptised. By saying that water baptism is necessary for genuine salvation we're adding works to grace - saying we need to contribute to what Jesus has done. No, Jesus paid it all, through him all our sin is removed. Water baptism is just the outward sign of that inward truth - we are saved by grace alone through faith (Ephesians 2:8, Romans 3:28, Galatians 2:16 and many more)

      Don't hear me wrong - Christians should be baptised. We are told that on numerous occasions (Matthew 28:19-20, Acts 2:38, 8:35-38 and others). Baptism is the outward declaration of our faith in Jesus and a symbol for being forgiven from sin.

      So what do we do with Mark 16:16 (“He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned”)?
      This verse tells us that christians who believe and are baptised are saved - true. But it doesn't mention those who believe but aren't baptised (e.g. the Thief on the cross), so we can;t draw any conclusions about them from it. It also says that those who don't believe aren't saved - it doesn't say that those who aren't baptised aren't saved.

      Feel free to disagree, but if you do then have a very very good biblical basis, because I cannot see how saying baptism is essential for salvation is not adding works to salvation.

      Here's an article on it: http://www.gotquestions.org/baptism-Mark-16-16.html

      God Bless mate, and thanks again for the comment!


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