In the hopes of preparing my mind and heart with God's truth, so that I might better answer missionaries from other faiths who approach me, I study God's Word.
Always, I am seeking a deeper understanding of God's one true Gospel message. From my studies it seems to me, as best I can distill that message, it is a salvation by Grace, a propitiation by our loving, Lord Christ Jesus (God) for the debt of sin that separates creation from creator, eternally if not first satisfied, not because we are good and worthy, but because He is.
As I see it this truth is complete and that no additions nor subtractions can be made without falsifying the depth of its power. We must therefore always focus on Jesus Christ, his life, death and resurrection, and the truth about those facts in the old and new testaments.
Jesus Christ: Son of God, God, Lord & Savior
Ephesians 2:8 English Standard Version (ESV)
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God
Romans 5:6-8 English Standard Version (ESV)
6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
With this as foundation, my heart, mind, and speech will bear good fruit, bringing light, love and joy into this dark world. Again, not because I am good, but because He is good, because if He is real, and if he loves us, that should change our desires and efforts. So equipped with His love, and by the power He pours into us, we perform good acts, and speak righteous words, offering our best for His glory. Yet, our best is but dirty rags to Him, and so no man can earn the favor of God by works.
Yes we work to bring good, but it is not by ourselves, nor for our own praise, because all our ability and opportunity is a gift from our gracious and loving Father in heaven.
For these reasons, I want to close today by focusing on Galatians 1, which reminds us that there is ONLY ONE GOSPEL.
Galatians 1:1-10 English Standard Version (ESV)
1 Paul, an apostle—not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead— 2 and all the brothers[a] who are with me,
To the churches of Galatia:
3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
No Other Gospel
6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.
10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant[b] of Christ.
a) Galatians 1:2 Or brothers and sisters. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, the plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) may refer either to brothers or to brothers and sisters; also verse 11
b) Galatians 1:10 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface
Lord help us see your truth and reject false additions. Let none be mislead by false teachings who add or subtract from your perfect message. Help us humbly accept that we can do no thing to deserve your love and salvation, but yet, of course we will act sacrificially, not to earn glory for our own sake but because you deserve our best.
Saved by grace, not by works, so that no man may boast. Saved by our eternal, perfect Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Lord help us believe.
We are not enough, but you are... Praise the Lord! In Jesus name, we pray and give thanks. Amen.
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