The Gospel According to Paul: Use Your Faith in Surrender. Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Sunday, April 22, 2018
“Abraham was, humanly speaking, the founder of our Jewish nation. What did he discover about being made right with God? If his good deeds had made him acceptable to God, he would have had something to boast about. But that was not God’s way. For the Scriptures tell us, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” When people work, their wages are not a gift, but something they have earned. But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners. David also spoke of this when he described the happiness of those who are declared righteous without working for it: “Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sins are put out of sight. Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of sin”” (Romans 4:1–8, NLT).
True faith in God is a connection to His power, which He shares through this vehicle called faith, with those whose faith it is. Faith connects to the power of God and acts as a conduit to empower those who possess it to do all that God commands.
As we have said before, in our own strength it is literally impossible for us to generate the kinds of good works that register in heaven as worthy of eternal life. The only kind of works that register in heaven are those that are a byproduct or outgrowth of the faith connection with the only one who perfectly obeyed God’s law His entire life, without fail, Jesus Christ.
We surrender to God that measure of faith that He gives us. Through saving faith in Him, He empowers us transform. If we live like Jesus, we manifest this reality. Those who do not live like Jesus lived are not full of faith. If they are not not full of faith, they lack connection to the power of God. Those who are not connected to the power of God literally cannot please Him.
I feel like I am communicating like Paul, in all of his complex communication. Let’s shift gears.
Rightful Expectation of the Sinner
I would like to assume the communication style of John, the One whom Jesus loved. Let’s keep it real simple and loving, shall we?
If you have a job and get paid for it, your company or organization owes you your wages. When they pay you, you can say they owed you your wages. Why? People must get paid for what they do. In eternal things, God only owes us eternal death. Why? All of us have sinned. Sinners must die. The blessing is that God loves us so much that He gave us a powerful tool called faith. Faith links us to Him when we exercise it. Through the faith link, God sends power to do His will. Whenever we do His will, in the best way we know how, and when we make mistakes we confess and forsake our sins, God pays us for what Jesus did. Do you see the difference? God pays those who have faith in Him, for what Jesus is worthy of.
Covered by Jesus
Let’s super simplify, in closing. Anything we do in our own strength is polluted and worthy of punishment; even what appears to be good. When we surrender ourselves to God completely, by faith, God covers us with Jesus’ perfect life while we learn to do His will, turn away from our sins, and finally live exactly like Jesus did when He was living down here. This is the blessing Abraham, the father of our faith experienced, and we can too.
I’m not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, are you?