It is impossible to do the will of God without knowing the will of God. Salvation comes by knowledge of how to be forgiven of sin. “You will make his people know that they will be saved. They will be saved by having their sins forgiven” Luke 1.77 ICB. God’s grace and peace come to us and are multiplied for us “through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord” 2 Peter 1.2.
Salvation does not happen automatically, like the sun rising and setting. So we must put ourselves to the task of learning what salvation is all about. The gospel must be learned, Colossians 1.7. We must “be wise by understanding what the Lord’s will is” Ephesians 5.17.
We ought to ask such questions as these:
- What did God do?
- Why did he take the initiative?
- Why was Christ’s death necessary?
- Why put it in a book and in a message?
- What must a person do to be saved?
The Lord offers good answers to all these.
Indeed, the gospel is God’s good message of salvation, Romans 1.16; 2 Thessalonians 2.14. “… you heard the word of truth (the gospel of your salvation)” Ephesians 1.13.
Last, as far as salvation of others, who are we to judge when people are ready to hear the gospel and its terms? Shall we risk their salvation by withholding the complete story? Dare we put them in danger of eternal perdition by hoping for a better day, a better reception later? Is it not better to allow them to reject it than to hide it from them until we deem them ready?
The Lord Jesus lived with rejection. Cannot we do so as well?
¶ In Scripture no name but “Christian” identifies the followers of Christ. Many descriptions abound, but only in this one do they glory, 1 Peter 4.16. Such a close identification to the Master immediately distinguishes them from groups that use denominating tags.
¶ Sometimes we can see God’s providence when he is moving and acting for our benefit, but often is it hidden from our sight. It may appear later, or it might never appear to earthly eyes. May God reveal to us in heaven all the wonderful moments of his care for his saints behind the scenes. That will give us even more reasons to praise his goodness.
¶ The concept of glory is a major theme in Scripture. Teachers and proclaimers of the gospel deal with it infrequently. We are losing out. “He called you to this salvation through our gospel, so that you may possess the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” 2 Thessalonians 2.14.
¶ Do we attempt to understand more than we are able? Do we seek to be wise and establish our credentials by opinions that have no basis? Are we dissatisfied with the simplicity of the gospel that meets the needs of man’s forgiveness? Has humility not entered into the equation of our profession of faith?
In the presence of God, may I beat upon my breast in repentance, daring not to look up to heaven as I plead for mercy, sinner that I am.
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