Pastor Mike's thoughts

Thoughts on today's Christian world and how it fits into secular society.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Children of Wrath

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” -- Ephesians 2:8

We are not naturally children of God. In fact, we are called children of wrath! Ever since sin entered the world (through Adam and Eve's sin) humankind has been in hostile opposition to God. It's only when we receive the gift of God, salvation through His Son Jesus Christ, that we become children of God!

If you ask most people why they believe they are going to heaven, they'll say that they've been a “good” person. And they'll list out all of their good deeds, believing that these good deeds outweigh the bad (sinful) things they've done in their lives. If you ever want to find out where a person is spiritually, just ask them why they should go to heaven!

It's a part of our human nature to try to reach God on our terms! We can't earn our way into heaven. No matter how many good deeds we perform, we can't attain salvation! The Bible says that our good works are as filthy rags to God! (Isaiah 64:6)

God demands holiness, Leviticus 19:2, Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them; be holy, because I, the Lord of your God, am holy. You and I could never satisfy God's requirements for perfection - only Jesus Christ meets that criteria! That's why it's silly to think that any good deed we may do can ever bring us into a right relationship with God. It's impossible. Our sins will always outweigh our good deeds! There is only one way to be declared completely righteous and that's through the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross. As we receive the gift of salvation from God, and ask Jesus Christ to be our Lord and Savior, we are declared “holy” by Christ's righteousness. Through Jesus, we are brought back into fellowship with God and adopted into the family of God.

I've found that the longer I'm a Christian the more I realize just how much of a sinner I am! I'm not a “good” person by nature. My "real" self is filled with sin, and the good that's in me is from Christ alone! We need to understand... it's all about Christ, not about us. There's nothing we can do to earn salvation or God's merit! The only reason you and I are going to heaven is because of God's mercy and grace.

I read a wonderful description of grace recently. It said, “Grace is more than unmerited favor. If you feed a tramp who calls on you, that is unmerited favor, but it is scarcely grace. But suppose that after robbing you, you then feed him. That would be grace. Grace, then, is favor shown where there is positive demerit in the one receiving it.”

As you spend time with the Lord today...stop and honestly ask yourself...are you relying on your own righteousness...or on God's grace? There is only one right answer...

Salvation is not about what we do - it's about what God did on our behalf!

Be blessed today, and praise God for His grace on all of us.

In His Grace,
Pastor Mike


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