How many things on the list have you done? Some may say, “I can check off all of them—I’m definitely going to Heaven.” Others might say, “I have only done five—but that should be enough to tip the scales in my favor.” What if you can only lay claim to one item? Will you still make it into Heaven? The truth is, it really doesn’t matter how many good things you’ve done, because none of those things will save you from God’s judgment. Are you surprised?
It’s tempting to think we can repay God for the bad things we do (our sins), and earn a place in Heaven by doing good works. But the Bible says, “By grace are ye saved through faith … not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8,9).
DO OR DONE?
Someone has said there are really only two religions in the world: one of them teaches “I must do,” and the other proclaims “It is done.” One of them is our attempt to reach up to God, but the other reveals God reaching down to rescue us. The Bible tells of God’s love in sending His only Son, Jesus, to put away our sin and take upon Himself the punishment we rightly deserve. We read that “God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
As Jesus laid down His life, He cried out, “It is finished” (John 19:30). Jesus Christ has done it all. What can we possibly add to the perfect work of God’s perfect Son?
When the Apostle Paul summarized the way to Heaven, he described it as “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21). What is repentance? It is waking up to the fact that our ways are wrong, and agreeing with God that His way is right. God says “There is none righteous, no, not one” and in His sight we are “dead in trespasses and sins” (Romans 3:10; Ephesians 2:1). We need to align our thoughts with God’s; we must recognize that we are sinners, and abandon any idea that we can save ourselves.
What does it mean to have faith in Jesus Christ? It is taking Him at His word—fully trusting in what He has done to wash away our sins, and simply resting in what He has promised. Jesus said, “He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24).“Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live” (John 11:25).
Are you going your way or God’s way? None of us are good enough to earn forgiveness and eternal life; likewise, none are too bad for Him to save. Jesus has promised: “Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37). Now is the time for you to repent and believe. Call out to God today. “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13). Source: http://www.mwtb.org
would like to share something God did yesterday at church by showing a sequence
of events that only God could arrange to complete what He had planned.
Two weeks ago, I spoke with Alan about a message he felt God put on
his heart. I asked if he was ready to preach that Sunday (a week from
yesterday) if the other elders agreed. Alan felt it best to wait since
that Sunday was the dedication of his daughter.
So last Tuesday, the elders met with Alan who shared what God put on his heart.
After sensing God was indeed moving, the elders shelved the existing preaching
schedule to have Alan share God's message yesterday.
After the service was over, I saw Alan speaking with a man I'd never seen
before. The man was obviously broken and crying as he was speaking with
Alan. His name is Dave.
So when I went over to see if I could help, I saw that Dave was struggling and
crying and telling Alan that the message Alan gave spoke directly to his
heart. Dave continued to struggle terribly so we asked Dave if he wanted
to go into a side room to talk more privately.
In the side room, Dave said he was on his way back from a serious
disappointment in Franklin and extremely upset. He got a phone call and
pulled over to take the call - directly in front of our church. He told
us, "I've been by your church a hundred times and never noticed it
This time God told him to come into the church. So Dave came up the
stairs and went to the doors that were locked, rather than the unlocked
doors, and he was going to turn around and leave. But there was a
man in the lobby who opened the doors and simply said,
"Welcome". Dave said hearing that helped him feel it
was "gonna be OK".
As he continued to struggle terribly, Dave shared that he was saved and
baptized years ago, but he had fallen away. And that God had spoken to
his heart through the message. Dave shared that he knew he needed a
change but he didn't know how.
So Alan and I spent some time sharing what God gave us to say to Dave - and
after a while we asked him if he wanted to recommit to God. He said
through his tears he did but he didn't know what to do. So we brought him
to 1 John 1:9 - about confessing, repenting, and being cleansed by God who
still loved him.
Then we led Dave in a prayer of re-commitment. Praise God!!
I trust you are seeing how God's hand was all over Dave's recommitment:
The timing of Alan sharing the message God gave him.
God putting it on the hearts of the elders to step aside and let
God speak through Alan yesterday, and not some future date.
Dave getting a phone call and pulling over directly in front of
God moving in Dave's heart to come into the church.
A man happened to be in the lobby after the service
had started to welcome Dave when the door was locked.
God speaking through Alan's message directly into Dave's heart -
drawing Dave to Himself.
God giving Dave a vulnerable heart to sit with two total
strangers in a quiet room.
God giving us the words to say to Dave to help him see his
need to get right with God.
Please pray for Dave who said he wanted to come back to Life Church
next week. Pray that God will continue to draw Dave back to Himself.
And most of all - give praise to our loving, merciful, gracious God
who will orchestrate anything and everything to save the lost
and to redeem His wayward children.
"Oh give thanks to
the Lord, call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples. Sing
to Him, sing praises to Him; speak of all His wonders. Glory in His holy name; let the heart of those who seek
the Lord be glad. Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face continually. Remember His wonderful deeds which He
has done ..." (1 Chronicles 16:8-12)
Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone)
The Bible is the only inspired, inerrant authority for Christian Faith, and it contains all knowledge necessary for salvation and holiness.
Sola Fide (Faith Alone)
Justification is by faith alone. The full righteousness of Christ imputed to us by faith (comprised of His active and passive obedience) is the sole ground of our acceptance by God, by which our sins are remitted.
Solus Christus (Christ Alone)
Christ is Prophet, Priest and King; the only mediator through whose work we are redeemed.
Sola Gratia (Grace Alone)
Salvation comes by God's grace or "unmerited favor" alone — not as something merited by the sinner. This means that salvation is an unearned gift from God.
Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God Alone)
All glory is to be due to God alone, since salvation is accomplished solely through His will and action — not only the gift of the all-sufficient atonement of Jesus on the cross but also the gift of faith in that atonement, created in the heart of the believer by the Holy Spirit.
Based on SCRIPTURE alone, we can affirm that justification is by GRACE alone, through FAITH alone, because of CHRIST alone, for the GLORY OF GOD alone.