3 Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other.
— Titus 3:3 NLT
We should always remember that all of us were once sinners and slaves to sin. We lived ungodly lives satisfying the ungodly desires of our flesh. We wasted our lives chasing after earthly pleasures that fade away with the dark of night. But, Jesus Christ, through His mercy died for us and we have been justified by His grace. We could not and can not do anything to save ourselves. So, we need to keep those thoughts in mind and always live our life remembering that we owe a debt of love that we can never repay. We need to thank God may times every day for all that He has done and is doing for each of us. We can show our gratitude by telling the old, old story that is still true today. We were born in sin and needed a Savior. Jesus is our Savior and our Lord. The story never changes. Tell it to those God puts in your path today. And tell it with love. Let our thoughts, words and actions lift up Jesus. We live in a fallen world filled with lost people looking for an answer to their feelings of loneliness and worthlessness. Our lifestyles should show them that there is only one answer and that is Jesus.
4 and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. — 1 Peter 1:4 NLT
Once, we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior and our Lord, we are under the shelter of His wings. It is God’s power that keeps us in His hand. No matter how many times we fail and we all do fail, we are kept securely by His Spirit. God knows exactly where we are in our walk with Him. He allows us to be tested so that we know where we are. As Paul shared with us, we miss the mark but we press on toward the High Calling in Christ Jesus. In our weakest moments, God is with us and it is during these times that we are most likely to allow Him to mold us into His image. Just remember that nothing, absolutely nothing, in heaven or on earth can ever separate you from the love of God. We may fail God, but He cannot fail us. All of His promises are Yes and Amen! So praise God with hearts full of joy that no one can take you from Him or His joy from you!
17 Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. 18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. — 1 Peter 1:17-20 NIV
There is nothing that we can offer to God that is acceptable for our redemption. Before the creation of the world, the price for our salvation was agreed upon by the Trinity. Nothing less than a sacrificial Lamb without blemish would be acceptable. In the Old Testament, the lamb had to be sacrificed over and over. In the New Testament, the perfect Lamb is sacrificed once for all sins of all times, past, present and future.
25 Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. 26 Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.— Hebrews 9:25-26 NIV
His work is finished. We, as Christians, have a work to do that will not be finished until the end of this age. We are foreigners, aliens and ambassadors here on earth. Our work is to spread the Good News that Jesus Christ has died and rose again to seal our redemption. Without Easter, there would be no reason to celebrate Christmas, It isn’t just a Christmas story. It is a story that needs to be told everyday, everywhere to every person.
6 Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.7 Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. 8 The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “All the nations will be blessed in you.” 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer.—Gal. 3:6-9 (NASB)
God is waiting to show you the Way.
Abraham lived before the law was handed down. God told Abram to leave his family and his country. Abram did not question God about how or where, he just did what God asked him to do. Because Abram believed God, it was reckoned to him as righteousness. Abram was renamed Abraham. It was quite amazing that Abram would trust a God that he hardly knew. Today, even with the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, how many of us would leave everything and go to wherever God would lead? Abraham did this by faith in God. When God told Abraham that “all nations” would be blessed in Him, it was a foreshadowing of our being saved by grace through faith. Yes, God picked a certain lineage and nation to carry His Name forward and made a covenant with them to do so. That covenant and the law that followed was not meant to exclude other nations or set aside the promise God had made to Abraham. It was meant to show all nations that we need a Savior. And at just the right time, God sent His Son to be that Savior and Redeemer.
4 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, 5 so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.—Gal. 4:4,5 (NASB)
15 “We are Jews by nature and not sinners from among the Gentiles; 16 nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified. 17 But if, while seeking to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have also been found sinners, is Christ then a minister of sin? May it never be!—Gal. 2: 15-17 (NASB)
God is waiting to show you the Way.
Paul is explaining to the Jews present that they were never justified by the works they did under the law. They had spent their lives seeking to be justified but had come up short because the law cannot justify anyone. So, if the law was unable to justify anyone, was God actually causing everyone to sin when they were under the law? Paul says that would never happen. The law was not given to make men fail, but to teach them that they could not justify themselves by works.
19 Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; 20 because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.—Romans 3:19, 20 (NASB)
So, the law was given that all men might know that they needed a redeemer. That is why Jesus Christ died on the cross and was resurrected. Because of that act of love by God the Father and Jesus the Son, we are all now under grace, not the law. Now, we are all saved by grace through faith. There is a time, place and need for works, but they are not a part of salvation. We are justified by the blood of Jesus, we are in the process of being sanctified, and one day, we will be glorified. Not because we earned it, but, because Jesus, with His blood, has paid the full price for all of us!