In my last post, Love Kills we spoke of God’s one desire to bring us into a full union (or communion) with Him. Now, Let’s talk about how we gain this freeing union.
In Sofia, Bulgaria there is an old soldier, Dobri Dobrev (shown above). This man is 102 years old. He lost most of his hearing in World War II. He lives off of his war pension of about 100 dollars a month. He spends his time begging. However, he does not keep any of the money for himself. He gives all of it away to local churches and orphanages to help them pay their bills.
The Generous Beggar
God works much like this good man. Though He does not have to beg for alms, He gives away all He has. He gives away first the complete forgiveness of sins past present and future as written in Romans 5:1 “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”. He also gives away eternal salvation and glorification (righteousness) “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20).
These beautiful gifts are given only to those who have faith in Christ. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13) But what does that mean? Are we to believe Jesus was a real person? Or that he did certain things?
True faith is specifically to believe everything that God has shown us in His Word, the Bible. But also more specifically, we are to believe in such a way that we are totally confident that these gifts apply specifically to ourselves and not just to others. Are you an alcoholic? Then, believe Jesus died on the cross thinking particularly of every drink you were going to take. Do you steal? Believe Jesus was whipped and had flesh torn from His body specifically for every item He knew you would take.
The Whole Book?
Have you ever tried to read the whole Bible in a year? It can be pretty tough. Especially if you miss a couple of days. Trying to catch up could be really difficult. Imagine trying to memorize the whole thing! Well, Christians long since came up with a better solution.
While reading and memorizing as much of the Bible as you can is a great practice, it takes a lot of time and devotion which is impractical when teaching someone what to believe for the first time. So Christians made creeds and confessions, to sum up, the faith. The shortest and oldest of these is known as the Apostle’s Creed because it is said to have been written by all 12 of the apostles. The creed contains a summary of specifically what we should believe and it all focuses around what God has given to us.
Today we discussed the general gifts given to us by God through faith. Next time we are going to dive into the Apostle’s Creed and discover the three gifts God gives to us and what we are to believe about them. In the meantime, I would love to hear from you. Have you ever thought that Jesus suffered and died specifically for your sins? Does this make His story more personal and relevant to your life? I’d love to hear more from you so feel free to post a comment below or send me a direct message through my Contact Page.
Until then, “be a sinner and sin boldly, but let your trust in Christ be stronger”. God love you and keep you. Amen.