Friday, November 13, 2015

It is by grace......

So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!    Romans 7:21-25

Here is your chance to identify with one of the heroes of the Bible.  The great Apostle Paul, confessing he has a problem doing what is right.   Did you catch that in the verses above?  "I want to do good."  I think that describes most of us, too.  We want to be good people doing good things.  Paul didn't end there, and added, "evil is right there with me."  Here is where most of us make the identification with Paul.   He even asks for rescue from that situation,  then praises God, his deliverer through Jesus Christ. 

In the cross of Jesus, we find deliverance from the law of sin at work in us.  We all know through the events of the cross, Jesus paid the sin-debt for us when he died in our place.  We further know his victory of death and the grave becomes our victory.  But what about this battle that rages inside us?  We want to do good, but recognize the evil is right there with us.  Let's look at more of Paul's letters. 

Ephesians 2: 8-10  For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Our salvation is a gift from God.  It is not something we can earn or boast of receiving on the basis of all the good we have done.  Paul says we are his handiwork, created in Jesus to do good works which God prepared for us to do. 

I normally do not associate the cross of Jesus with the subject of doing good works, but there is a biblical connection.  The gift of God's son, bringing about our salvation, is not based on our good works, rather we do good works because of who we are in Jesus Christ because of his cross.  Then look at this verse which speaks of Jesus.

Titus 2:14  Who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

Folks, the events of the cross where Jesus gave himself to redeem us,  is the Son of God preparing for himself a people of his own, who are eager to do good works.   Yes, the cross is where Jesus died for you and me, and the cross is where we base our forgiveness from sin.  Maybe we have overlooked the truth that the cross also accomplishes the emergence of a people who are eager to be involved in good works.  God's grace and love show through us, doing his work.


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