Things Are True
by Dan Coburn
Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
So what exactly is The Christian Life?
Some think it is a life of sacrifice in that they don't get to do the things they really want to do; say the things they really want to say, or (in other words) be themselves. Some think it is a life of sacrifice in the service of others - ie - doing things for others, or giving them money when they don't have any w/out regard to what selfish decisions have brought them to this point. Some think it is a bunch of self aggrandizing folks who think they have arrived at a social and spiritual status which gives them the right to look down on everyone else. Many (if not most) think it is simply having done something to earn heaven.
They would never put it in those terms, but if you ask them: "What makes you so sure you are going to heaven?", they will answer something like this. "Well because I belong to a certain denomination". Not. God is no respecter of persons, and is certainly not impressed by manmade religion. "But you have to let me in Lord, I was baptized." Many got wet, but not saved. "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit," Titus 3:5. In fact, if you are trusting in something (anything) that you have done, you diminish the necessary redemptive work of Christ and are Not saved. It isn't how good you are, how much you give, how many mission trips you have been on, or even how well you can quote the Bible. Romans 3:20 tells us that "by the keeping of the law shall no flesh be justified". When (Romans 3:23) God's Word tells us that "all have sinned and fall (present tense) short of the glory of God", it means daily or in my case, hourly. When Isaiah tells us that our righteousness is as "filthy rags" before a Holy God, that's just what he means. When we read that "there is none righteous, no not one" or that "all we like sheep have gone astray", or "none seeketh after God", do you think He is talking about everyone else but you? Left to my own devices, I am selfish. "Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." Gen. 6:5 "Ok preacher; enough." Why would God say things like this about people He loves? It's worse than that. If I am guilty of one sin, His Word tells me, I am guilty of all of them. If I think a sin in my heart, I am guilty of it. You may (if you haven't quit reading yet) cry out: "That's not fair".
Fasten your pewbelt; Nowhere in God's word does it say He is fair. To do so, someone has to judge what is and isn't fair in God's Word. Any takers? (Actually, most do that every day and set themselves up to be God). So to what end would God rub our faces in these facts? What benefit could there possibly be? Is He just cruel? No, He is Righteous, and has to deal with sin one way or the other. Let's just get it out there. You are a sinner, and your sin will be dealt with either by you in eternity, ("the wages of sin is death" Romans 6:23) or by Jesus on the Cross. I don't care who you are, where you have been, or what you have done, this is true for all. "And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment." Heb. 9:27 And you don't come to Jesus like: "Let's make a deal". The sacrificed that are acceptable to a Holy God are a "broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart" Psalm 51:17. There is no pride there at all. The Christian life then, is living every day in the knowledge that you are a sinner in need of a Savior. It is obedience (to the degree you can) out of appreciation for what He has done. It is reliance on Him via acknowledgment that you can't live this life w/out Him. It is yearning to have a good report among your family and neighbors - not to receive attaboys, but to have a platform to win them to Christ. It is a life of humility contrasted with an inexplicable joy in response to having your sin (all of it - 1st John 1:9) forgiven; for being "accepted in The Beloved". It is all those things wrapped up in the "Blessed Hope" of our resurrection In Him. Are you in doubt? Are you trusting in something you have done or something someone in authority says about you? It doesn't matter what he says. It doesn't matter what I say about you. What does God's Word say about you? "These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God." 1st John 5:13 Get it right before it is ever too late. God bless.