Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Soli Deo Gloria: The Unlikely Ones...

After studying on Acts 15 today, I was reminded how very prone I am to subconsciously add requirements to salvation.  There are certain important changes that do need to happen after salvation...but they have nothing to do with the power of God's saving grace.

Those baby Gentile believers were SO different from the Jewish believers..it was a leap out of the 'ole comfort zone to welcome them.  And we all like our comfort zones.  I cracked up today when I heard it compared to a city girl going camping...hahaha!  The Jews were really worrying needlessly though because when someone gains new life in Christ, they then have new desires.  The Holy Spirit changes our outlook.  2 Cor. 5:17, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."

Some Jews seemed to be missing a bigger point however...that faith in Christ is sufficient for salvation.  His sacrifice is undeserved, Acts 15:11, "We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the undeserved grace of the Lord Jesus."...Jesus paid it all!

I think this has become a most twisted thought among people today..."God loves me in my sin (immorality, homosexuality, addictions, etc.), therefore, I do not need to change...everyone else needs to accept my lifestyle" seems to be their premise.  Rom. 5:8 does say, "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." True, Christ loved us while we were sinners...but once we are that new creature...and the Holy Spirit dwells within...our desires dramatically change.  Romans 6:1-2, " What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?" People can't have it both ways...if you are truly saved your life will reflect it.

We suddenly see our sin for what it is...It's anything we think, say or do that does not please God!  We find His standard in His Word.  And, oh how it breaks our hearts to grieve him.  1 Jn. 3:9, "Those who have been born into God's family do not make a practice of sinning, because God's life is in them. So they can't keep on sinning, because they are children of God."

The more I ponder this...the more I have to ask myself...How am I limiting God's grace?  Who do I consider to be most unlikely to come to Christ?  Oh, Lord...help me see them with new eyes...with Your eyes.  I've written it several times here...hate the sin, not the sinner...

For nothing good have I 
Whereby Thy grace to claim; 
I’ll wash my garments white 
In the blood of Calv’ry’s Lamb.
Lord, now indeed I find
Thy pow’r, and Thine alone,
Can change the leper’s spots
And melt the heart of stone.
And when before the throne
I stand in Him complete,
I’ll lay my trophies down,
All down at Jesus’ feet.
Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.
by: Elvina M. Hall, 1865

1 comment:

Shanda said...

How am I limiting God's grace? Such a poignant question. We so readily accept it yet are so hesitant to give it unconditionally.