Year 2 Day 319
Read - James 2:10, Acts 20:21
Message - Alan Burke
By our nature are enemies of God (Rom 5:10), we were blinded by the god of this world (2 Cor 4:4), we do not see or understand the things of God even though they are made plain to us (Rom 1:18-23), there is not one of us by our nature that seeks God (Rom 3:11) and we are slaves to our sin (Rom 6:20).
What hope is there we may ask?
Well the sinners hope even though we are infinitely guilty before an infinite God, is that ‘What God requires of us to come before Him, to come into His presence, He also provides’. What God requires, He provides. For in the midst of it all He provides the way of escape from His wrath and cruse of God due to us for sin.
There is not one of us who do not sin, not one of us will be able to stand in our own righteousness before a Holy God, for we are unholy creatures and although some sins are more heinous than others no sin, any sin no matter how great or small mean that before God we are guilty not just in part but wholly guilty (Jam 2:10) and as the wages of sin (Rom 6:23), the penalty that our sin deserves is death, not just physical death but also spiritual death.
While that is the bad news, and it is terrible news there is also good news, there is gospel and it is the most important news that any one can hear, for God has made a way for us to escape the impending destruction which our sins deserve. The Lord God, in his grace and compassion towards us, in his great love for us, that while we were still sinners provided a way in Christ Jesus, a way of escaping what is due to us.
Turn with me to Acts 20, for there it summaries the way of escape for us there in v21… I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.
The Lord though Paul was taking the message of Jesus out to both Jews and Greeks, those who were by birth part of the Jewish church and those who were outside it. Paul took the same message that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
This is a message that did not originate with himself, this message is one that comes from God. Remember how God sent one to prepare the way for this message, John the Baptist, (Mal 3:1, Is 40:3, Mk 1:2-3) who came “preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins”. Then when John was arrested (Mk 1:14) Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!” The “believe” that Jesus spoke of in the necessity to repent and believe means more that to accept something to be true, more than just an intellectual understanding, rather what the greek word means is to believe, to have faith.
And in faith we turn from what we once were, turning to Christ each day as repent of our sins. This is the appropriate response to what God has done. Belief, faith in Jesus Christ is all that is necessary to become a Christian, but it must be a belief that changes the life. If you say that you believe, that you have faith but there are no substantial changes in your life, you had better consider carefully whether you truly do believe, wether you truly have faith.
Q76 Which is the ninth commandment?
The ninth commandment is, Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.