We're so glad you've visited our site today! If you have questions, please don't hesitate to ask: firstname.lastname@example.org
God’s Grace: Sanctifying Grace, part 4
The idea that "those who are saved are saved eternally" is firmly planted in God’s eternal decree that all who trust Jesus will become like Him. In fact, God’s acceptance of us is based on the fact He is not subject to time, which is Paul’s emphasis in verse 30. God accepts you or me (in the moment we repent) as His child because He sees us as already glorified. He sees us as already having been made to be just like Jesus. God has decreed that you and I will one day be like Jesus, and no one and nothing outside of us (outside of our free will, our personal choice to walk away) can cancel God’s decree.
1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 “May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful, and He will do it.” NIV. Through faith in Jesus, you and I are justified. Through Jesus we have been saved from sin’s penalty, because, we have accepted Jesus’ sacrifice for our sin. And because of our faith in Jesus, God has predetermined that, when eternity arrives and all things are made new, you and I will be glorified, we will be just like Jesus.
But what is supposed to take place in the time between justification and glorification; between the time you and I place our faith in Jesus and when we are made to be like Him?
Well, not only is being like Jesus our eternal destiny, but Becoming like Jesus is Our Earthly Duty. Verse 28“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.” The Apostle Paul tells us that God is working, by His Grace, through every experience of life, for our greatest good.
And what is that you might ask? None other than Christ likeness. One commentator said it this way – and I am convinced he is spot on: “Western Christians – especially American Christians – are very prone to pervert texts such as Romans 8:28.” He continues to say, “If our lives are comfortable, if we have wealth and good health, that is fine and well. But it is not the good that Paul had in mind and it is not the goal of the Christian life. The good is not our comfort, wealth, or health; It is conformity to Christ!”
Medication: A Merry Heart
Years ago, I was a big city boy preaching in a small country town. I wanted to learn everything "country" so that I could fit in. As I was searching for Widow Jones' farm, I got lost on the back roads. I saw a farmer walking into his barn so I stopped for directions.
He was just beginning to milk his cow but took time out to tell me how to get to the Jones farm. "By the way, " I asked, "Do you know what time it is?" He leaned in to the udder of the cow and said, "12:30."
I started to leave but I just HAD to know. I told him, "Hey, I've just moved from the city and I really want to know the ways of the country. How could you tell what time it was?"
"Sit right here on this stool, son." I did.
"Now, grab hold of that udder." I did. (Before this, my closest experience to this was grabbing a milk carton).
"Now lean into the cow and lift up on the udder." I did.
"Lean over and look right over there on that wall. See that's a clock. When the little hand is on the 12..."
St Mark’s Community Church, Janesville
Verse of the Week: Deuteronomy 31:6
Today’s readings: 2 Kings 12 – 13 & 2 Chronicles 24