Being justified by faith, we have peace with God. Our conscience can no longer accuse us. Judgment now decides for sinners instead of against them. Memory looks back on sins with deep sorrow for them, but with no dread of any penalty to come—Christ has paid the debt of His people to the last jot and tittle, and received the divine receipt. Unless God could be so unjust as to demand double payment for one debt, no soul for whom Jesus died as a substitute could ever be cast into hell. It seems to be one of the very principles of our enlightened nature to believe that God is just. We feel that it must be so, and at first this creates terror in us. But isn’t it marvelous that this very same belief in God’s justice ultimately becomes the pillar of our confidence and peace? If God is just, I—a sinner, alone and without a substitute—must be punished. But Jesus stands in my place and is punished for me. Now, if God is just, I—a sinner, standing in Christ—can never be punished. God must change His very nature before one soul, for whom Jesus was a substitute, can ever by any possibility suffer the punishment of the law. So Jesus has taken the place of believers—He has absorbed all the divine wrath that His people should have suffered as the result of sin—and we can shout with glorious triumph, “Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own?” (Romans 8:33 NLT). Not God, for He has justified us; not Christ, for He has died, “more than that . . . was raised to life” (Romans 8:34). My hope exists not because I am sinless, but because I am a sinner for whom Christ died. My trust is not that I am holy, but that since I am unholy, Jesus is my righteousness. My faith rests not on what I am, or will be, or feel, or know, but in what Christ is, in what He has done, and in what He is now doing for me. On the lion of justice, the beautiful maiden of hope rides like a queen. - C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening
Oh the story I could tell of a life mostly spent listening to lies. Not from people but from Satan's minions. I know Satan can only be in one place at one time. Being omnipresent isn't one of his abilities. Being omniscient isn't one of his abilities. His minions knowing me probably better than I do...yeah...that I can believe.
My friend, the same can likely be said of you. There's a statement that says that we are our own worst enemy. In respect to the sin nature within, this is certainly true.
In the life of a believer, what is truer is that the Holy Spirit dwells within. There is no room for demons to reside. But it's on us to live in regards to the teachings of God's Word and the Spirit to reap the benefits of such a life.
It's entirely possible to be saved yet be entirely miserable. A great many people have toolboxes with all kinds of appropriate tools for a job. Yet the reason for so many visits to urgent care or the emergency room are because people used the wrong tool for the job.
As believers we are to be disciples of Christ. A disciple intentionally lives as the Teacher says they ought to live. Denying oneself in regards to wants and desires. Choosing instead to mimic the life of the Teacher.
In every way imaginable and in ways not imagined, I certainly have failed God in this life. Yet, in His infinite grace - unmerited favor- and infinite mercy - not giving me what I deserve - I live this life the best that I can with what He puts before me.
To both the believer and those who are undecided...choice is before you every day. Until you can breathe no more.
But you don't know what kind of person that I am! Jesus wouldn't want me!
Really? You say you are that bad of a person? Try looking at the life of Judas. The man was one picked by Jesus. He wasn't one of the closest of friends to Jesus but Jesus called him a friend and Disciple. He was fed by Jesus. He had his feet washed by Jesus. He likely on other occasions had been embraced by Jesus. He was privy to intimate conversations with Jesus and the other Disciples.
Yet he still had a heart that wasn't renewed in Christ. He still chose to listen to the lies of Satan rather than turn and be healed. Of the man it was said that it would have been better if he hadn't been born. You think you are worse than that? Hardly.
We all can tell convincing stories of why we don't deserve Salvation in Christ...and guess what? Everyone would be 100% right. Because Salvation came not because of what we could or couldn't do. It came because God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever BELIEVES in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.
James, the brother of John, died very shortly after the Crucifixion. He was killed by Herod. One of the Sons of Thunder. No real ministry as an Apostle. Yet in the story we don't read, even that death saved someone.
Your life, no matter how filthy, can be cleaned up by Jesus. You put more faith in the lie you tell yourself about how Jesus wouldn't want someone like you, than you do the truth that His love for you is what held Him on the cross to take your place.
Jesus did it all. He covered it all.
There was nothing man could do to save themselves.
There's a new life awaiting those who come to Christ. There's heartache and heartbreak awaiting those who choose to believe they are good enough within themselves to get into Heaven. Same for those who choose to believe the lie that Jesus would never want to save them.
Paul, in the days before the time God got ahold of him, persecuted the Church. I believe he was present during much of Jesus's ministry in the background. Since the Chief priests were to be the ones to speak, he wouldn't have. One aspect of being an Apostle was to have been there throughout Jesus's ministry. To have been there at the Crucifixion. To see Him after He was raised from the dead.
Paul considered himself the chief of all sinners. The worst of the worst. Yet God's Grace covered him. As bad as you think you are, God's grace will cover you if only you would come to Christ. You have to choose it.
Believe the lie or believe the truth.
That's what's before you today.
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