Saturday, September 22, 2012
Monday, September 17, 2012
Saturday, September 8, 2012
Last Sunday we looked at the fact that Jesus is the end of the law for those who believe. Now the law is very important. Jesus did not come to abolish the law he came to fulfill it. He satisfied the demands of the law for every believer. Now we find the Apostle coming back to Moses and comparing two kinds of righteousness. Righteousness that based on the law demands that we keep all of it. And, that is impossible! Righteousness based on faith does not make such a demand. Faith does not require an effort on our part, instead, the way is provided by our Lord Jesus Christ. Thank God! We do not have to drag him down or lift him up. He has done it all!
We have in today's passage a summary of the gospel of Jesus Christ. A content is given, a commitment is demanded and a confession is called for. Here Paul is stressing the importance of understanding the fact that we cannot do anything to save ourselves. The New Testament is filled with references to the fact that Christ Jesus himself did everything necessary for man's salvation. Of course, it is necessary for man to respond. As Paul wrote to the Corinthians, Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak,… (2 Corinthians 4:13)
The spirit of faith calls forth a confession. Elvina Hall penned these words more than 150 years ago:
I hear the Savior say, "Thy strength indeed is small,
child of weakness, watch and pray,
find in Me thine all in all."
Jesus paid it all, all to him I owe;
sin had left a crimson stain,
he washed it white as snow.
It is extremely important for us to know what salvation is all about and how we arrive at it. We need to know that faith has content, has character and gives confidence. Now let us look at…
The content of saving faith.
Too often today people are called "Christian" simply because they have had an experience that, they were told, saved them. Folks, reading a list of propositions and saying "I believe" does not make a person a Christian. James reminds, us in his little book, the demons believe and tremble. I would go further and say that of course the demons believe! They have seen with their own eyes the glory of heaven and yet they joined the rebellion and were driven out along with Satan. Belief in God is fairly common worldwide. The vast majority of that belief is intellectual. People believe something about Jesus or, they simply believe that he once existed.
There needs to be much more than "head belief". What we believe in must be correct in content. Our salvation is not based on a series of intellectual beliefs. Our salvation is based on a person. The content of Christian faith is, "if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved". That is it!That is the content.…
Jesus is Lord! Read with me please, Philippians 2:9-11, Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Jesus came to earth as a baby in a manger. He lived in a Carpenter's house and did a Carpenter's work. Being found in human form he humbled himself to the point of going to the cross to die for us fulfilling the law on our behalf! At the same time, He is God Almighty The King of the Universe! In fact to confess that Jesus is Lord is the same as confessing that he is God. The Greek word used for Lord is used throughout the Greek Old Testament, translated by the Jewish leaders, in place of YHWH. We do not know how to pronounce this name because the Israelites stopped pronouncing it early in order not to take the name in vain. I would that we were as respectful of the name of God in our society. So to confess that Jesus is Lord is to confess that Jesus is Jehovah.
All of this happened as a result of God's plan for meeting the needs of sinful mankind. The result of Jesus' life and death is that his name is exalted above every name and, ultimately, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father. He proved his Lordship, not on the cross but instead in the empty tomb. He gave his life for his chosen people but the grave could not keep him.
God has raised him from the dead. Read with me,1 Corinthians 15:12-17, Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.
Too often, in presenting the gospel, we simply say, "You must confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord" and we end there. Friends we have to go on. Salvation is serious business! The resurrection sets Christianity apart from all world religions. Some of the world religions claim that their founder was taken up from the earth into heaven. But none of them have any historical evidence that their founder died and came back to life by the power of God. The Bible is an historical document and it has never been shown that any of it is inaccurate. Whatever the Bible speaks to it speaks truth. So Jesus' resurrection is recorded as an historical event. It was witnessed by his close followers expanding outward, according to Paul, to more than 500 believers that saw the risen Lord.
Now, people may argue that these people lied, or, some kind of mass hypnosis made them believe something that was not true. First of all, if the authorities had possession of his body after the claimed resurrection they would have produced it and put an end to the faith at its very beginning. Secondly, if his followers had hidden the body they would have known he did not raise from the dead. And as Paul said in the above reading, our "faith is futile".
On the night of Jesus trial the disciples ran and hid. Peter, the boldest of the group, denied that he knew Jesus three times. They hid in an upper room from the authorities until the 3rd day when he appeared to them as their resurrected Lord. And then, on the day of Pentecost, they went out into the streets proclaiming that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father. They did that knowing that the same authorities that crucified him could easily kill them as well. You just don't do that if you have been perpetrating a fraud. They went on, all but John, to become martyrs for the faith because they knew that Jesus had been raised from the dead and was therefore the Lord Jehovah himself.
The 1st century church, those who had personal knowledge of the teaching of the apostles, gave their lives gladly rather than say, "Caesar is Lord." That is powerful belief and I just pray that if I am called upon to give my life for my Lord I will be as brave as they. I join the apostle Paul in this prayer, "… it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death." (Philippians 1:20)
We've talked about the content now let us talk about…
The character of saving faith. The mouth confesses but…
The heart believes. Turn with me to Luke 24:25, And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!
Here Jesus uses the same analogy of the heart believing. In the Bible the word "heart" is often used to designate the entire personality. We usually use the word "heart" when we talk about emotions. In fact, in modern time that is almost always the way the word is used. Our text says, "… with the heart one believes". Here, clearly, the word "heart" means the very center of one's personality. Or, it means the entire personality — the totality of one's being! Confession with the mouth has its foundation in believing with the heart. Without heartfelt belief the confession is just words without authority. This is not a matter of the intellect …
It is a heart condition. See what the psalmist had to say in Psalm 14:1, The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good.
The person who says that there is no God is a fool. Such a person is corrupt and dangerous. We live in a world that is more and more dominated by the philosophy of atheism. I am not talking about a communist type of atheism I am talking about a pagan atheism that recognizes there are many spiritual beings but refuses to recognize the one true God. Christians will find themselves more and more marginalized in the years ahead unless there is a real revival of real faith. That revival needs to come soon. Please, pray daily that the Spirit of God will move in power and that a new "Great Awakening" will happen even in our lifetime.
We have looked at the content and the character of saving faith now let us move on to…
The confidence of saving faith.
Confession with the mouth. Read with me, Luke 12:8, “And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God,…” That is a powerful statement! You confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and Jesus says that he will confess your name before the Angels of God. That is an awesome thought. So we should make a habit of confessing the name of Jesus, acknowledging him before men. They will try to prevent us by every means possible. All across the land there are court cases forcing people to not use the name of Jesus in public. When there is not a court case, there is public pressure.
For example: In a letter to the editor of the News-Leader newspaper in Springfield, Missouri, Jane Pitt wrote that she was a Christian and planned to vote for Mitt Romney in November. They were comments that initially attracted very little attention.
The letter cited Romney's pro-life views and said he shares her "conviction concerning homosexuality". The letter stated that Pres. Barack Obama is a liberal who supports the killing of unborn babies and same-sex marriage.
That is when the roof blew off the house. It was made public that Jane Pitt is the mother of popular actor Brad Pitt, and the storm struck with all the angry contempt of those who hold ungodly views in our society.
Jane Pitt was attacked on the Internet to the point that she has refused to comment any further. By the way, this is not an endorsement for Mitt Romney.
This is just one example of many that could be offered. Those who demand "tolerance" of lifestyles that are clearly condemned in Scripture are totally intolerant when Christians speak out boldly and publicly.
When Peter and John were arrested because they boldly spoke out before the Council after they committed the "crime" of healing a crippled man in the name of Jesus. The court commanded them to speak no more to anyone in this name. May we be as bold as they in the same circumstance. Let us look at what they had to say. Acts 4:19-20, But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.”
"We cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard." Those are powerful words that need to be spoken again and again throughout our society. Confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus — believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead. Remember, he must be Lord in every respect. This is not for the fainthearted. Throughout history literally millions of Christians have lost their lives, on this earth, because they found they had to speak what they had seen and heard.
Today, we live in a relatively free society. We can thank God for that but if the opponents of God get their way we will not be a free society long. Yes, we need to confess with the mouth but we also need…
Confession in baptism. Remember Jesus' last words on Earth according to Matthew? Turn with me to, Matthew 28:18-20, And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
A clear command is given by Jesus. Based on his authority, which is total over all the universe, as we go about our daily lives we are to make disciples of all nations. They are to be baptized in the name of the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit. Then they are to be taught all that Jesus has commanded.
The process is pretty clear, 1st they are to come to faith then, and only then, they are to be baptized and enrolled in a training program. There are many examples of this process in the Book of Acts. Let's look at the day of Pentecost.
Turn with me to…
Acts 2:37-41, Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.
In his sermon Peter was very clear. "Repent" and then "be baptized" because of the forgiveness of your sins. This passage does not teach that person has their sins washed away by baptism. That would be inconsistent the rest of Scripture. This passage states that when a person repents he, or she, is to be baptized because their sins have been forgiven.
Again and again throughout the Book of Acts the process was followed. Repentance, leading to baptism, leading to involvement in the church. Baptism should be seen as a part of a person's confession of faith. Confession with the mouth — confession in baptism and…
Confession by lifestyle. Turn with me to, Acts 4:13, Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.
My prayer is that my life will reflect the fact that I have been with Jesus! I hope there would be sufficient evidence to convict me, if I were arrested for being a Christian. There are changes that come about in a person's life upon their confession of faith in Christ. It is said, during the great revival in Wales, in the early part of the 20th century, that the ponies who worked in the mines had to be retrained because the workers no longer cursed and swore. The animals just did not understand sanctified language! During the revival in the Hebrides, Scotland, in the middle of the 20th century a similar event occurred. In both cases, for a period of time, the police had so little to do that they formed choirs to sing at evangelistic meetings. The courts had little to do because of the change in of the lives of people when they were born again. Paul wrote to the Corinthians that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God. He went on to list a large number of recognized sins. Then he said, And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:11) Praise God, though some of them had engaged in horrible sin they no longer did. Justification and sanctification now marked their lifestyle. I have seen many who have turned to the Lord Jesus and then dumped their booze, trashed their smokes, burned their magazines, stopped going to the bars because they were no longer interested in that lifestyle. They confessed that Jesus is Lord and it affected their lifestyle.
I will conclude with a quote from D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, a man gifted by the Spirit of God in biblical exposition. "If we really believe in the glorious and wonderful love of God; if we believe that, in spite of the fact that we have rebelled and sinned against him and have no claims upon him at all and deserve nothing but his wrath and eternal punishment, yet God in his great and eternal love has sent forth his own son;that as the apostle has put it so eloquently and wonderfully, He 'spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all' (Romans 8:32) — if we really believe all that, then it is inevitable that we should give expression to it."
We need to go from here in the confidence of saving faith and give expression to that faith.
All Scripture quotes are from, The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
Saturday, September 1, 2012
In chapter nine the Apostle Paul begins by saying that he had a great sorrow and unceasing anguish in his heart about the condition of his people with relation to salvation. As we begin chapter ten he repeats himself. His heart's desire is that they may be saved. It is one of the greatest tragedies in history that the people of Israel, as a nation, rejected the Lord Jesus Christ and continues to do so. By human standards Israel had many advantages. Earlier, Paul had pointed out that they had the oracles of God — the written word of God. Not only did they have God's word but they studied it. They memorized it and wrote commentaries to explain it. And as Paul says here, they had a zeal for God! But their zeal was not enough!
It is a lot of fun to be around joyously zealous people. However, it can be pretty difficult to be around a zealous person who is not joyful. Zeal can be mistaken and may even be dangerous. The zealots of this world are very hard to deal with. Throughout history zealots have caused division in churches, and countries, and have led crusades in the name of Christ. A lot of shame has come upon the Christian church because of zealots. At the same time, people with no zeal are equally embarrassing. The problem Paul is addressing here is the problem of…
Zeal without knowledge.
Paul had had zeal. Read with me Philippians 3:4-6, …though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.
Yes, Paul had zeal! He was proud of his Jewish heritage. He was an Israelite of the tribe of Benjamin. He was a Hebrew through and through. Concerning the law, he was a Pharisee. Pharisees were very serious about living a life of obedience to the law of Israel. Concerning legal righteousness, Paul was blameless. But his zeal made him a great danger to the emerging church of Jesus Christ. His testimony, in Jerusalem, was, "I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering to prison both men and women," (Acts 22:4) Yes, Paul had zeal, plenty of it, and some to spare. What Paul did not know was that all the while he was persecuting the church God was preparing him to be a tool for expanding the church. He had zeal…
But, he came to knowledge. Read with me Acts 9:1-9, But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. So they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.
Remember, before Paul's conversion his given name was Saul. In all his zeal, he went to the high priest to get arrest warrants for men, or women, in Damascus who were followers of the Way. However, God had other plans for this zealous young Jew! Suddenly a light from heaven, literally, shone down on him and those with him. He was blinded by the light. Just as he had been spiritually blind before, he was now physically blind. Apparently he saw in the light a person whom he did not recognize. It is likely that Saul of Tarsus had never seen Jesus of Nazareth. But now he had seen the risen Lord. Jesus confronted him with his guilt, not just against individuals, but guilt against Jesus himself. "Whom you are persecuting" were the words that must have driven it home to him. He was not persecuting some sect of people. He was persecuting the risen Lord Jesus. Now he was blind and forced by his condition, to think about what just happened to him. During that thinking time, I believe he became a Christian! At least, he was very open to the short message given to him by Ananias in Damascus.
It was easy for Paul, in later years, to recognize the problem his people had because he had the same problem with regard to the gospel of Jesus Christ. He knew now that they could not respond because…
They were blinded. Read with me 2 Corinthians 4:3-4, And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God,
The God of this world, Satan, had blinded the Jews by their lack of exact knowledge of the gospel, and of the righteousness of God.
Today, billions of people seem to be in the same condition. Blind to the gospel, not physically, but in their minds. Do you have someone you have witnessed to and had no results? Or, had negative results where they have turned you away? Your prayer should be, "Lord, open their eyes, their spiritual eyes, so they can see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ." Until they see with their spiritual eyes their minds will be resistant to the good news of Jesus Christ. Yes, all over our community people have a veil over their spiritual eyes put there by Satan himself. As a result they are…
Ignorant of the righteousness of God. This ignorance causes them to…
Try to establish their own righteousness. Read with me what Jesus had to say in, Luke 18:9-14, He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Jesus told this story as a perfect illustration of the self-righteousness of religious people. The Pharisee in the story was grateful to God that he could view himself as "a good man". Note that Jesus said that this parable was about some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt. Self-righteousness always results in contempt for other people!
The tax collector in the story, on the other hand, was overwhelmed by his guilt. He would not come near the Pharisee and he would not even lift his eyes to heaven. He could only cry out for God's mercy since he recognized that he was a sinner.
Jesus said that the tax collector was the one who went down to his house justified before God and not the Pharisee.
The Jews, that Paul was dealing with in Rome, had this same self-righteous problem. They could see themselves as "good" but they could not see that their goodness was not acceptable in God's eyes. They should have known, from their own Scriptures, that all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags in the presence of God. "Good" by the world's standards is nothing in the face of God. The problem of the self-righteous person is…
They can't see God's righteousness. Let us see what Jesus had to say in Matthew 21:28-32, “What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ And he answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind and went. And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him....”
They were ignorant of God's kind of righteousness. Here Jesus talks about two sons, one who heard and obeyed and one who heard and did not obey. Jesus used this to show that God was, and is, looking for people who will hear and obey. It is not enough to believe! Belief must change your thinking, your feelings and your actions!
He reminded them of the preaching of John the Baptist. What happened there was that the self-righteous Pharisees did not believe John's teaching with regard to righteousness but the tax collectors and prostitutes believed! Jesus said they would go into the kingdom of God because they believed.
When one believes something the evidence is a change in behavior. If you are inside a building and you hear a fire alarm, or even more urgently, someone shouting, "FIRE!", You have to decide whether you believe it or not. What you believe will determine what you do. If you believe there is a fire you will leave the building. If you do not believe there is a fire you may stay where you are. But whatever you do will be based on what you believe. Because the Pharisees did not believe…
They did not submit to God's righteousness. Turn with me please to, 1 John 3:7-10, Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.
The Pharisees of Jesus day, as well as the self-righteous of today, are condemned by the Scriptures. Paul says to the Romans, "they did not submit to God's righteousness." And now we find John, in his old age, saying that what you practice is what you are.
Remember, in the beginning of Romans Paul proclaimed his theme, I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
The religious leaders of Jesus day did not understand the real purpose of the law. They thought the law was their way to righteousness. I meet people today who say, "Oh, of course, I keep the ten Commandments." I am always tempted to ask them to please quote them for me but I do not believe I was called of God to embarrass people. They do that to themselves without my help. The people who claim to keep the ten Commandments usually do not realize what they say. Why the very first is enough to condemn most people. "You shall have no other gods before me."
Jesus, in the sermon on the Mount, took away the refuge of hiding behind the law. The law says do not commit adultery so Jesus said, “Do you look on a woman to lust after her? Then you commit adultery with her in your heart.”
The law is God's standard for holy living but it is impossible to keep it all. Only Jesus kept the whole law. But he did not come to take away the law as many people seem to think. We must look at Christ and see what Paul is saying to us here in Romans.
The end of the law. See what Jesus said., Matthew 5:17-18, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
Here we find, in our Lord's own words, an affirmation of the law of God. The law was not temporary; it is eternal! The law is an expression of how God would have men and women live in this world. Now let us see what Paul had to say in…
Romans 2:13-15, For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them…
The point of this is pretty clear. Everybody is subject to the law, Jews and Gentiles. The law is God's expression of His holy character and shows what he expects from mankind.
Christ is the end of the law in the sense that he has fulfilled it for those who believe in him. He was born under the law. He was baptized to fulfill all righteousness. He lived a life of perfect obedience to the law of God. And then, he went to the cross to fulfill completely the demands of the law. As Peter would later say, He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. Christ carried out the ultimate demands of the law on our behalf. He did not do away with the law. He answered the law and satisfied the law.
In that respect, Christ is the end of the law…
For righteousness. Read with me please, 2 Corinthians 5:19-21, …in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
You see, God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself. The law overwhelms us because we cannot meet its demands. It was intended to be a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. So, God made Jesus Christ, who knew no sin, to be sin for our sake so that we become the righteousness of God "in Him "
Christ is the end of the law for righteousness…
To everyone who believes. Turn with me to, 1 John 5:13, I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.
Many people today want to believe, and many seem to teach, that everyone goes to heaven when they die. Nothing could be further from the truth. Christ becomes the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. John, in his first little letter, tells us that he is writing to believers. Not just believers in God but those who believe in the name of the Son of God. And he is writing to encourage them to know, as a matter of fact, that they have eternal life. Earlier, in his gospel, John wrote about this belief. Turn with me to the gospel of…
John 3:15-16, … that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Whoever believes in him may have eternal life. Eternal life is the gift of God to everyone who believes in him. Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. Not who believes about him but who believes in him. Those who put their faith and trust in him. Folks, most of the people in the world believe some facts about Jesus. The vast majority of Americans believe that Jesus existed. That is not the kind of belief spoken of here. Later, chapter 3, we find these words…
John 3:36, Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
This seems to repeat of John 3:16 but it is an addition to it. Evidence of belief is obedient. Whoever does not obey the son shall not see life. That is pretty powerful! A number of times in John's writings the truth is affirmed that people who love Jesus but also keep his commandments. In other words, they will obey him. Do you believe about him, or do you believe in him? It is a matter of eighteen inches, the distance from the head to the heart. Head belief is inexact knowledge! Heart belief is exact knowledge of who Jesus is. He is the Christ, the son of the living God, and only in his name is salvation available to us. If you have not trusted Christ as Lord and Savior I urge you to do so now. You do not know how much time you have to receive him and believe in his name.
If you are a believer in Christ, the son of God, all that he is and all that he has done for his people is true for you. Your old man is crucified with him! You have died to the law and are under grace. You are forgiven completely. You are justified absolutely! You are reconciled to God in Christ! God is your Father! You are adopted into his family and he has given you a "spirit of adoption". You are well pleasing in his sight and are alive to God. You are risen with Christ in a new realm and right now you are seated with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. You are eternally secure, because there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus! Believing these truths make us able to live them out in our day-to-day lives. Have you received him and believed in his name? If not, I urge you to do so today.
All Scripture verses are from,The Holy Bible: English standard version. 2001. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.