Bad News, Good News

Care to join me for a steaming latte? It’s 12 degrees fahrenheit in my neck of the woods. Brrr. Reason enough to enjoy the crackling fire with a hot drink within reach.

As I mentioned in my earlier post, God’s first call in our lives deals with salvation. In fact, most of the Bible centers around John 3:16 (NIV), “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

The word salvation appears 164 times in the Bible. According to Strong’s Concordance, salvation is “mattâth” in Hebrew and Aramaic, which means “a present: ― gift; reward.” The Greek translation “soteria” means “rescue or safety.”

Salvation can be summarized as follows: deliverance from the power or penalty of sin.

Whose sin? Both yours and mine. We’ve all done wrong things and failed to obey God’s laws (Romans 3:23; 5:12).

The result? Separation from holy God, our Creator. This separation―the penalty of our sin―is eternal death (Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:10-15). Our best efforts–moralism–fall short in our attempts to unite with God (Isaiah 64:6). That’s the bad news.

The good news: Jesus–God’s unique Son–never sinned (Hebrews 5:9). He alone bridged the gap between sinless God and sinful mankind when He freely died on the cross (1 Timothy 2:5-6; 1 John 5:9-12). He took our place in order to save us from sin’s consequences―including God’s judgment and death (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24; Romans 5:8-11).

The result? We can have new life because Jesus took our past, present, and future sins upon Himself, forgiving all our wrongdoing (Hebrews 10:5-18). Thus, He reconciles us to God (1 Peter 3:18; Hebrews 10:19-22). Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is the proof that His substitutionary sacrifice on the cross was acceptable to God. His resurrection has become the source of new life for whoever believes Jesus is the Son of God (John 11:25; Romans 10:9). He grants eternal life, giving union with God to those who believe and receive Him (Ephesians 2:4-7; John 1:12).

Do you believe Jesus is God’s Son? If so, have you confessed your sins to Him and asked Him for the gift of eternal life and forgiveness?

*This article is also posted in the Gospel Blog by FEBC at http://bit.ly/17RG5UK.

God’s Call

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Wouldn’t it be nice to receive a phone call from God–advising you where to live, whether you should work outside of the home, whether you should marry or remain single, etc.? Although God doesn’t speak audibly to us these days, He doesn’t hide His will for our lives either. This is found in God’s eternal Word, the Bible (Psalm 119:89, 105).

(This post article is also posted in the Gospel Blog by FEBC at http://bit.ly/13Lnbwt.)

Hebrews 4:12 says, “the word of God is living and active.” The Bible isn’t simply a collection of words. It is life-changing through the power of God’s Holy Spirit. In a searching, sincere heart, God’s Word spurs on faith. It penetrates to the core of our moral and spiritual life.

The Greek word of “called” is kletos. This means: invited, ie. appointed. We are invited to participate in God’s plan.

Knowing God’s general will leads to knowing His specific will for our lives. What does God call us to?

  • SALVATION
  • SANCTIFICATION
  • SERVICE
  • ACCOUNTABILITY

The call in God’s Word isn’t a light matter, it requires decisions. God’s work in a person’s life requires a demonstration of trust in His character and promises. His call often brings discomfort at first. Just as an athlete must train if she wants to win, likewise God’s call pushes us spiritually. But we will be the better for it, not only now, but for eternity. And, His rewards are unrivaled.

My next post will center on salvation.

Food for thought:

  • Do you believe in a heaven and hell? If so, where will you go? Why?
  • If you died today and stood before God, and He asked you, “Why should I let you into my heaven?” What would you say?