Saved….or not? A lesson on salvation.

Quick lesson on salvation from book of Romans

Romans 5:9-10 KJV

Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

Vs 9 says we SHALL be saved (future); vs 10 says we WERE reconciled (past), but we SHALL be saved (future); Romans 13:11 says NOW is our salvation nearer than WHEN we believed. So, are we saved or not?
PAST at the cross (I Peter 1)
PRESENT in daily life (II Cor 4:16; I Cor 1:18)
FUTURE eternity (Romans 5:9; 8:23)

A. The saint was delivered from the PENALTY of sin at Calvary

B. The saint is being saved (delivered) from the POWER of sin in his daily life

C. The saint shall be saved (delivered) forever from the very PRESENCE of sin at the coming of Christ.

Paul summed it up nicely in 2 Corinthians 1:10 KJV

“Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;”

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My prayer is that all who may read this have made that decision and given their hearts and lives to Jesus Christ.

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WHAT GOD CAN DO!!

I’ve only been around for about 35 years and quite honestly I don’t remember the first 4-5 years of my existence. But in my short life time I have tried quite a few things the majority of which as I’ve gotten older I have been successful at. The reason I say, as I’ve gotten older, is because I have learned my limitations and won’t attempt something that I know I can’t accomplish. That being said, when I was younger, there were a multitude of things that I didn’t complete and some that were miserable failures. For instance, I once tried to dig a hole to China. There was no particular reason to dig to China, I just felt obliged to try. And while it was a magnificent hole it fell very short of its intended goal. I don’t think I even made it 10 feet from Florida to China. And the punishment I received wasn’t really worth the effort  I put forth.

I once tried to swan dive off of a cliff in Italy. I had the whole thing worked out in my head, the run and leap, the form and agility. And as I neared the edge of the cliff I imagined how glorious I was going to look to all the bystanders on the beach nearby. I could feel the wind in my hair and watched in abject horror as the water approached my face a little faster than originally anticipated….darn you gravity. As I belly flopped into the ocean from a considerable height I realized that this was most likely something that should be left to the professionals or at least some other crazed teenager seeking a thrill.

And while stories like this are funny they are more importantly, LIFE LESSONS. These are the things we do that shape us into the adults of tomorrow. For some, the failures will cause them to seek a different path. For others the failures will challenge them to try harder. I’m typically the sort who is stubborn and will try harder. Sometimes this is a good thing….other times it’s really idiotic and has a tendency to create complications in my life.  

 

That being said as I have gotten older I have also realized there are some things that are impossible for any human to accomplish. In fact there are some things that I don’t think the human mind can even begin to comprehend. There will always be a Creator. Try as it may science will never disprove God’s existence. There will always be the one true God who accomplishes things with His very Word and breath that are amazing, awesome, splendid, fearful and glorious. In all of our fleshly “glory” we could never come close to nor dare compare ourselves to God. And this my friends is the subject of my simple lesson.

 

WHAT GOD CAN DO!!

 

#1 GOD CREATED HUMAN LIFE FROM ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

 

Genesis 1

26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. 29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

Genesis 2

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.

 

Scientist’s have been attempting to recreate life in laboratories for many years. And while they have been successful at some procedures such as invitro fertilization they haven’t been able to create life from nothing. I’m not going to bore you with the details but here is a link that you are welcome to look at.

 

http://www.sciencedaily.com/articles/h/human_cloning.htm

 

Science simply takes what God has already ordained and recreating what He has already established. And try as they will….they will NEVER be able to create life much less give something a living soul. You see this is a power that only God possesses. And let me tell you what. He is down right good at it, matter of fact I would say, perfect.

 

Psalms 139:14 “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”

 

With all of your worldly wisdom I would challenge you to try to explain or rationalize exactly how and why the God of the universe would or could create human existence? Science will tell you that matter as we know it can be neither created nor destroyed, only converted. And yet the Creator of the Universe absolutely destroys this law of science. Perhaps that’s why a lot of scientists are atheistic? Or ever greater still, perhaps science does all it can to discredit God and His existence. But that’s another study for another day.

 

 

#2  GOD MADE A PLAN TO RECONCILE HIS CREATION.

 

I don’t reckon I need to go through the entire story of the garden of Eden. This is something that we’ve heard about since we were old enough to understand words. Even those of us who weren’t raised in a church have heard about how Satan tempted Eve with the fruit of the tree in the garden of Eden. What most folks don’t know or perhaps fail to recognize is that God never intended mankind to be separated from Him, and even in our moment of failure God already had a plan for reconciliation.

 

Ephesians 1 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

 

Our human minds have a hard time wrapping themselves around a concept like this, that the Creator of the Universe could love us so much that He orchestrated from the beginning of time that His only begotten Son full of grace and truth would shed His blood and die to pay for our sins. And until I had my own son the reality of what God accomplished was kind of lost on me. I accepted and believed but never really grasped the absolute depth of this sort of love.

 

1 John 3:1 “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.”

 

To be called the sons of God? What manner of love indeed! I dare you to go to the hospital, or better yet maximum security prison, and find someone in need of a vital organ which would sustain their life and offer your only son to save theirs. Go and offer a murderer on death row your son in exchange for his life…yea, I wouldn’t either. Shoot, we hold grudges against family members for 20 years and have absolutely no reason why. I’ve heard tale of feuds which have lasted decades among families that can’t even be explained they just know that it was ordained that they should hate each other. This is the mindset of the human being. Not to reconcile, not to forget, not to mediate, not to understand and most certainly not to forgive. I dare you to love in the same manner as our Heavenly Father.

 

#3 GOD CONDEMNS SIN YET STILL PROVIDES A WAY TO ESCAPE.

 

I look at churches like Westboro (I hate using the word Baptist when referring to this church) and I see condemnation in everything they do. And don’t get me wrong I believe that sin is sin and shouldn’t be sugar coated. But God also forgives and I don’t see that message coming from Westboro Church. In their public displays I see plenty of condemnation yet I never once see a sign or placard explaining the message of salvation. God never intended us to be the ones responsible for holding sinners accountable for their actions. Matter of fact I think we have enough on our plates just keeping track of ourselves and our walk with God. When I stand before God on judgment day I will answer for myself and my family. I think 90% of the world can quote John 3:16 from memory but how many of us carry on to verse 17?

 

John 3:17 “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

 

Jesus mission on earth, which by the way is also the Christians, was the salvation of the world. Our sins have already condemned us to an eternity in Hell and we don’t need someone to tell us that. Our conscience bears witness to this fact already. I remember like it was yesterday when my son was old enough to understand what sin was. There is a marked difference when a child moves from right and wrong to understanding sin and its consequence. For me and my wife it was the day when he was embarrassed to be seen without clothes on. There was once a day when my son walked into the middle of the street and pulled his pants down to relieve himself of a bottle of water. Then there came the day when my wife walked into the bathroom while he was showering and he jumped and covered himself with a towel. Say what you want, I believe this was the day that he reached the age of accountability. I guess Romans 2 sums it up for us really well.

 

13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. 14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: 15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) 16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

You see, our mission is to evangelize. That doesn’t mean we should condone sin or allow it into our lives but it does mean that we should be spreading the Gospel every where we go. And what is the Gospel? The Gospel is the good news of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ that provides full and free deliverance from the power and penalty of sin according to the grace of God alone through faith in Jesus Christ alone. This is our job, this is what we are called upon to do and this is the only thing that really matters when all is said and done.

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Water to wine

Once again I have been very busy with family, work and church. My life leaves me very little time for social media and blogging but after my morning devotions I figured it was about time to write a little something. This morning my reading led me to the passage of Scripture in John 2:1-11 which talks about Jesus’ first documented miracle of turning the water into wine at the marriage feast. Now I’m certain that thousands of more learned men than me have written about this passage of scripture with clarity and insight, so I’ll refrain from takin up too much of your time here. But as I was reading this story I was thinkin to myself, “how can I fit this into daily application for my life?”. I mean come on, we read sometimes just fer the sake of reading and never take anything away from it that we can actually use in our daily walk with God. But as I was thinkin about it something that one of my youth group members had said to me just flooded back into my brainpan and I wanted to share it with y’all.

 

What I’m gonna say likely has no doctrinal backing it’s simply the views of a Southern raised Hawaiian livin in Texas. I feel like that disclaimer must be given when presenting personal ideas so as not to be construed as solid facts. It’s just what i happened to take away from my devotions. OK, here we go. I still haven’t decided upon what is the most important part of this story. Was it the water, the wine, the miracle, or the vessels which contained the water? My opinion is that while obviously the miracle that Jesus performed was the focal point of the whole story, very little thought is given to the pots which contained the water to begin with. Now if my limited memory serves me correctly the Bible calls us vessels.
(II Tim 2:20-21

20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.

21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.)

See, those pots that contained the water which Jesus used also contained something else. And that something else was a message of the power of God. And much like those pots we also contain a message which we are instructed to carry to the world. The same message of God’s power and eternal greatness. But unlike those stone urns we have a choice, are we willing to be used? Can God take our very ordinary ‘water’ and turn it into something useful like the wine? Can he prove His power through us or will we allow ourselves to be placed on a shelf as little more than decorations? As Christians we have a duty to perform and that is to spread the message of God’s holiness, love, forgiveness and power to a lost and dying world.

WILL YOU BE A VESSEL FIT FOR GOD’S SERVICE?

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H/T wolfiehowls.com for the graphic.

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