Have you ever noticed that there are many people on fire for God who tell of the HUGE sins they were saved from?
I have another site that I have just begun which is addressing and explaining Christianity for seekers in very easy to understand (non-Christianese) terms. This week I will be addressing why we need a savior. The simple basic answer of course is we sin which separates us from God.
There are reportedly 613 laws in the Old Testament. The 10 commandments are indicting enough. Heck, we have trouble today with: Love the Lord with your whole self and your neighbor as yourself. BOY, a lot of sins fall into the category of breaking these two. But I digress.
Sometimes I think narrowing down the list of commands makes it difficult to discern when we are in the wrong. That is because, it is less spelled out therefore more easy to gloss over. When there were hundreds of laws, it was very clear when someone had fallen short.
Perhaps that is why some of us do not realize just how much we have been saved from. Its either that or we just don’t believe that the wages of every sin is death eternally.
A lie? death.
Nah! Maybe a LOT of lies or compulsive lying or a REALLY really BIG lie. But if I tell a little lie (which I think barely matters to anyone) does that really cut me off from God?
There was a guy named Paul. He was on fire for God(!) more than perhaps any other of his time. He NEVER stopped spreading the gospel of Christ and trying to save, reconcile, others and give them the opportunity to rejoin the Father.
He was a good Jew. He knew the laws inside and out. He kept them. He was schooled under the best teacher around. He was of the tribe of Benjamin of the house of Israel. This man was practically spotless.
BUT He had been a persecutor of the Church, dragged Christians into prisons and watched over (and instigated) their executions. C’mon those are HUGE sins.
SO while he was basically a good religious person in many ways — he was breaking God’s law in other ways.
Enter Jesus. He chose Saul and changed his name to Paul giving him a whole new identity and assignment.
Paul recognized what a big deal it was to be forgiven for his hideous sins.
With this understanding of the huge debt that was paid for him to be reconciled to God and completely set free from his life of sin, Paul wanted to share this message with everyone — to give every single human being the same chance.
What about you?
What about me?
Are we actively making sure others have the chance to receive eternal life and forgiveness? Or is it good enough that we have salvation– besides isn’t spreading the gospel up to the pastor and missionaries?
Maybe you and I just haven’t been forgiven of much!
Maybe we don’t see ourselves as formerly going to hell. In fact if we grew up knowing Christ since childhood we have always been able to pray and ask for forgiveness. Perhaps being saved has just been a part of our lives and we possibly have taken it for granted.
Remember, Paul was basically a good religious person who kept the 613 laws.
BUT he still was guilty of sin.
And upon being set free permanently from his sins, he caught fire for the graciousness of God. Fire spreads.
We, upon salvation, were given a new identity (children of the Most High God). We were given a new assignment (go and make disciples).
We accept the first one and are grateful for it. But as for the assignment part…how are we doing on that one? It is necessary to build disciples within our home. It is necessary to grow disciples up in the church. It is also necessary to offer this opportunity to others outside the church.
I’m not saying this is easy! Most people fear public speaking. Most fear rejection. Sharing our faith can feel like the two combined…or that is the fear.
When Paul was forgiven for SOOO much he set aside concerns of rejections and kept on no matter what.
2 Corinthians 11:21-27 New Living Translation (NLT)
21 I’m ashamed to say that we’ve been too “weak” to do that!
But whatever they dare to boast about—I’m talking like a fool again—I dare to boast about it, too. 22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I. 23 Are they servants of Christ? I know I sound like a madman, but I have served him far more! I have worked harder, been put in prison more often, been whipped times without number, and faced death again and again. 24 Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea. 26 I have traveled on many long journeys. I have faced danger from rivers and from robbers. I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles. I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the seas. And I have faced danger from men who claim to be believers but are not.[a] 27 I have worked hard and long, enduring many sleepless nights. I have been hungry and thirsty and have often gone without food. I have shivered in the cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm.
So I ask, why was Paul willing to risk these horrifyingly wicked life experiences and continue on?
- Because he knew the true value of the sacrifice offered up for him.
- He knew he was pathetic sinner that had been given new life.
- He was obedient to Jesus’ instructions to go and spread the word.
That was fine for Paul, but maybe we just haven’t been forgiven of much
at least not enough to inspire us to want to see that others have the same opportunity of relief of sins and joyous reunion with the Almighty.
I don’t know… I’m just pondering out loud.
Until Next Time~