Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Justified by Faith Alone

John 14:6, Jesus Said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Our faith in the risen Christ is the only way to our salvation. There is nothing else we can do that will earn us the grace that God so freely grants to all those who believe. Romans 3:21-26, “But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood – 26 to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished – he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justified those who have faith in Jesus.” Because our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, suffered the punishment that was meant for us, we are freely justified and redeemed from the burden of our sin. In the Old Testament, animals were offered by the Israelites as a sacrifice to God to receive, symbolically, the punishment that the Israelites deserved. When Jesus died on the cross for us, He was punished, in our place, as a complete sacrifice to cleanse us from all sin. We need only to believe and have faith in the risen Christ to receive God’s grace.

Romans3:27-31, “Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of the law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. 28 For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from observing the law. 29 Is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes of Gentiles too, 30 since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. 31 Do we, then, nullify the law by faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.” Paul asserted that faith in the risen Christ is the only way to salvation. He also wanted to make clear that he was not teaching to reject the law. Even though we are justified by faith alone, it is clear that our Father has rules of conduct for His children. If we disobey and break God’s law, will it affect our salvation? No, we have been forgiven all our sins by Jesus’ death on the cross. When we sin, we do need to ask for His forgiveness. God’s grace does not give us license to make up our own rules and conduct ourselves as we please. When we decide to give ourselves up to the Lord and trust in Him, we will gladly obey His law because we will want to please our Lord.

Why then does the ELCA persist in questioning God’s laws by promoting doctrine that contradicts God’s Word? By invoking the doctrine of bound conscience, they elevate man’s experience and interpretation of Scripture over God’s intent. Why does the ELCA question the validity of the virgin birth of Jesus and His bodily resurrection? ELCA/Resurrection and http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/New-or-Returning-to-Church/Dig-Deeper/Virgin-Birth.aspx are links to the ELCA website that explain what they truly believe, and teach in their seminaries, about Jesus’ birth and resurrection. Apparently, man has achieved the intellectual pinnacle and can begin to disregard all that we believe and profess in the words of the Apostles Creed, the Nicene Creed, the Athanasian Creed and the Augsburg Confession. Brothers and sisters in Christ, we must realize that the ELCA is going to a place that is departing from our Lord. While the ELCA continues to do good works in the world, their leaders are unconvinced that the Bible is truly God’s Word and question the very tenet of Christianity. We must continue to love and pray for those caught in the trap that the ELCA has woven. We must also open our hearts and minds to our Lord’s will while we pray and discern where God is leading us. Are we with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ as He leads us on a path to salvation or will we remain affiliated with a church body that casts doubt upon our Lord and diminishes His Word in an attempt to justify the values of this world?

No comments:

Post a Comment