Which Way to Paradise?

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Sunday, March 1, 2015
Based Upon Romans 3

Don’t all roads lead to paradise? This is the question that many people of all walks of life have been asking for thousands of years. It’s mostly rhetorical. Most of those who believe that there is an afterlife figure that no matter how we choose to relate to the “higher power” or the “universe,” it’s all good. While we will not be tackling the nuanced theology of this point, we will simplify and answer the basic root of the question: “What is the foundation of eternal life?”

In Romans 1 Paul said that he was not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He further noted that this gospel is the power of God unto salvation. That is to say, the divinely ordained method of delivering people from wretched lives of sin into blessed lives of salvation is through the sacrifice of Christ. The immutable Law of God and the perfect example of Jesus’ life stand as stark revealers of the fact that all have sinned and fall desperately short of the glory of God. And therefore, they reveal our need of deliverance from the penalty for sin, which is eternal death.

In Romans 1 and 2 Paul highlighted the fact that God has a multiplicity of ways to reveal His eternal nature and the path of righteousness to us. He makes His eternal nature and Godhead known through nature. Nature is not God, but the laws of nature, in the grandeur of all their constituent parts, reveals her Creator. As the Psalmist wrote in Psalm 19, there is no place where her voice is not heard. Likewise, our great God speaks through the Holy Spirit through our conscience. God covenanted to write His Law in our hearts so we could know Him. Thus it is that people who may not actually have access to the written Law of God can basically know the difference between right and wrong. God judges us all based upon our individual submission (or lack thereof) to the revelation He has given.

If this is the case, what is the big deal about Jesus? Well, finally, I am so glad you asked. This is the key to Romans 3. As Paul stated, let me reiterate, the power of God to save us is in the life, death, burial, resurrection, and heavenly ministry of Jesus. There is no way for any person to be saved, except through Christ. His ministry purchased the right for all who live according to the fulness of the revelation God gave them concerning Himself, to be saved. Whether we understand all that God is or not, it is through Christ that we are saved. Whether we know to call Jesus our Lord and Savior or not, it is through His sacrifice that we are saved. The key here is that we must live honestly, and live up to all that God has revealed of Himself to us, individually.

Fact: All who are experiencing this devotional have access to the highest revelation of God, Jesus Christ. Therefore, for you, the basic revelation of God through nature is not enough. A baseline experience with God through conscience is not enough. To you, the fulness of the Godhead, Jesus Christ is revealed. And thus, if you (or I) may be justified before God, it will be only through direct submission to Him, by faith in Jesus Christ. Ignorance of Christ and His Word has long since passed for those of us with these lovely smartphones, tablets, Internet, and TVs. To us has been revealed the fulness of the power of God unto salvation. So, really, the only question that remains for us is: “Will we embrace the blessing of salvation through living faith in Christ?”

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