Salvation

Salvation and onward

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Our life is to be based on the atoning work of Jesus Christ, who died to redeem us from bondage to sin.  His precious blood paid in full the cost of all our transgressions – past, present, and future (Ephesians 1:7).  Upon acceptance of the Lord’s sacrificial death on our behalf, we experience a second birth and become spiritually alive (John 3:3).

At that moment of salvation, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us.  His presence is proof of our new position in Christ, as well as a guarantee of our future inheritance and our place in heaven.  As God’s children, we’re commanded to live a life of holiness, marked by a deep reverence for the Lord.

Our desire for holy living comes from knowing our Father’s character and understanding what it cost for us to be saved.

Commentary from Charles Stanley’s In Touch Devotional, November 18, 2017.

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Assurance

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If you answer yes to every question, you can be sure that you are in God’s family and destined for an eternity in His presence.  If you answer no, you’ll know exactly which issue(s) to talk over with your pastor or spiritual mentor.

Do I trust Scripture?  Salvation is a one-step process:  “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).  Either we trust that Jesus Christ died for the sins of the world (including ours), or we don’t (John 3:16).

Do I accept the witness of the Holy Spirit?  Anyone who believes in Jesus has the Spirit dwelling within his or her being.  That is, the Holy Spirit testifies with regard to our identity as God’s children (Romans 8:16).  It’s not about whether we feel saved; God’s Spirit offers an abiding conviction that we are.

Do I walk like a follower of Jesus?  Those who are in Christ are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).  If we have been transformed, then there are going to be changes in our life.  Simply put, true believers are creatures who seek the things of God – they desire to read and understand His Word, they want to gather with His people, etc.

Confirmed Christ-followers still sin.  Some even backslide for a time.  No matter how meandering our walk of faith may be, the Holy Spirit continues to convict.  He won’t allow us to be satisfied with wrongdoing.  That tug of guilt over sin is yet another assurance that you’ve placed yourself in God’s grip.

Commentary from Charles Stanley’s In Touch Devotional, November 19, 2017.

Salvation is Found in No One Else

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Jesus rescues His people from sin-“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”  Acts 4:12

The master theme of the Christian gospel is salvation.  Salvation is a picture-word of wide application that expresses the idea of rescue from jeopardy and misery into a state of safety.  The gospel proclaims that the God who saved Israel from Egypt, Jonah from the fish’s belly, the psalmist from death, and the soldiers from drowning (Exod. 15:2; Jon 2:9; Ps. 116:6; Acts 27:31), saves all who trust Christ from sin and sin’s consequences.

As these earthly deliverances were wholly God’s work, and not instances of people saving themselves with God’s help, so it is with salvation from sin and death.  Our salvation involves, first, Christ dying for us and, second, Christ living in us (John 15:4; 17:26; Col. 1:27) and we living in Christ, united with him in his death and risen life (Rom. 6:3-10; Col. 2:12, 20: 3:1).  

We do have a part to play in this.  This vital union, which is sustained by the Spirit from the divine side and by faith from our side, and which is formed in and through our new birth, presupposes covenantal union in the sense of our eternal election in Christ (Eph. 1:4-6).

Commentary from Concise Theology by J. I. Packer, part of the chapter on Salvation, pages 146, 147.

Adorned

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Every day we are recipients of one blessing after another.  Every morning we see new mercies and rediscover God’s great faithfulness.  David Jeremiah’s Pathways Devotional, November 11.

“For these blessings we owe Almighty God, from whom we derive them, and with profound reverence, our most grateful and unceasing acknowledgements.”  James Monroe

 

The Reason

She gave birth to a son,

a male child,

who will rule all the nations

with an iron scepter.

And her child was snatched up to God

and to His throne.

Revelation 12:5

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Many people go through the motions of the holidays, buying gifts, baking cookies, and sending Christmas cards; but after it is all said and done, they are left with a longing in their heart, a vast emptiness that was not filled by all the merriment of the season.  December becomes a month in which credit cards and stress levels are maxed out.  And though precious memories are made on Christmas morning, there is no lasting meaning for the celebration.

For Christians however, Christmas is a time to celebrate and rejoice that Jesus came down in the form of a baby and brought salvation to an undeserving world.  Today, focus your thoughts on the only true and lasting meaning of Christmas, that Christ came down from heaven to bring us gifts that remain even after the day is over: hope, peace, and love.

Wishing each of you the merriest Christmas this year!

 

Portions of commentary from David Jeremiah’s Pathways Devotional, December 25.

Wasted

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If you are reading this, God has given you another day on this earth.  You can see the clouds floating in the sky, hear the birds in the trees, smell the roses, and tell someone you love them.  We don’t know if we will be able to do these things tomorrow.  Paul told the Philippians that while he preferred to go ahead and go on to heaven, he also wanted to stay a little longer on earth to serve them (Philippians 1:21-26).  We have earthly service to attend to and tasks on earth to do for Jesus.  

Christ wants to rescue souls, do you?  I don’t worry about whether people have joy and peace, I don’t have to.  Knowing Christ is how they will find any peace or any joy in this life.  So first, they would have to meet Christ.  Not all will believe, but Christ came for all, every one.  We have to talk to everyone.  I gain nothing from doing this that I know of.  If God decides to bless me later, that’s His decision, and never because of anything that I have done.  As a follower of Christ, because He cares, I care very much whether someone else’s soul is forever separated from the One who created that soul.  God wants every soul with Him.

So we have another day.  Don’t waste it in sin, depression, self-pity, busyness, or laziness, for this is the day that the Lord has made!  It may be getting late…make haste.