“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” I’m using the King James version. Let’s see what the Message Bible says: “Christ's life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not ‘mine’, but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
I can’t tell you how important it is to trust only in Christ for our salvation. We cannot depend on our efforts. It’s all wrapped up in Jesus Christ the Son of the Living God.
Jesus died for us. He was buried. He rose again the third day! That’s the Gospel.
Regular attendance at church doesn’t save us. Diligent Bible study doesn’t save us. Prayer without ceasing doesn’t save us. Helping hurting people doesn’t save us. Being people of integrity doesn’t save us. Belonging to any one denomination doesn’t save us. Being independent doesn’t save us. There’s only one thing, and one thing only that saves us, and that is to have Jesus Christ the Son of the Living God be our Lord and Savior. That saves us!
Now when we make Jesus our Lord, we will be regular in church attendance. We will meditate on God’s Word day and night. We will keep up a constant flow of prayer with God. We will, every day, reach out to folks that are in trouble. We will be as honest as the day is long. We will be a part of the Kingdom of God! But what is essential is that Jesus is on the throne of our hearts. All the things mentioned follow after we make Jesus our Lord. But if we do all those things and leave out Jesus, we’ve missed the whole thing.
The bottom line is that when we are born-again, by accepting Jesus as a personal Lord and Savior, we die out to self, just like Jesus died on the cross and we begin a whole new life in Christ, just like he came out of the tomb the third day. We become a new creation in Christ Jesus. We become a brand new person in Christ.
When we receive the Spirit of Christ into our hearts, automatically, “good” works begin to flow out of our life. I didn’t say, “dead” works. I didn’t say, works “of the law. I didn’t say works “of the flesh”. I said “good” works, meaning “the righteousness of Christ.” The righteousness of Christ is essential for us if we are going to make heaven our home. But it’s not “us” that does it. It’s Christ that does it.
What I’m attempting to get across is that without Christ we can’t do anything to please God.
Neighbor, we have to have Jesus if we expect to please God. Jesus is the one who forgives us. Jesus is the one who lives inside of us. Jesus is the one that produces good works in us. And when folks see our good works, they see it as the evidence that we really have Jesus in us and not just talking about it. Not every one that says he has Jesus has Jesus. But when it’s evident that we are doing the will of our Father in heaven, then that proves that we have Jesus. It’s just as simple as that.
You’ve been thinking about doing something about your relationship with God for a long time. Is there any reason to put it off any longer? Every day you put off making things right with God, you’re influencing people to go to the wrong place when they die. Let’s get right with God and, by so doing, encourage people to make heaven their home. There’s nothing, absolutely nothing, that’s more important for you to do right now. Ask God to come into your life, NOW, and He will!
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