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Monday, June 13, 2022

On God's Terms


Today many people consider all religions to be paths to God and all beliefs to be of equal authority. However, we come to God on God's terms or not at all.

What are those terms?

1. Recognition of our sinfulness and need for redemption.

"For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith."  (Romans 3:22b-25)

"But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast." (Ephesians 2:5-9)

People do not want to believe because they do not want to give up sin. They prefer to argue with God in attempts to justify their sin. Yet God has pronounced that the penalty of sin is death. “For the wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23)

2. Acceptance of our need for spiritual cleansing and deliverance from slavery to fleshly desires. 

Peter told the crowd to repent, be baptized, and receive the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38)

"Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God." (Colossians 3:1-3)

Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear.
But your iniquities have separated you from your God;
your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. (Isaiah 59:1-2)

3. Baptism in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 

Baptism represents agreement to God's terms and personal acceptance of a calling to love and serve as Christ loves and serves.

This is the mark of one who has entered into the fellowship of the Apostles who were commissioned to "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you." (Matthew 28:19-20)

"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)

4. A commitment to grow through fellowship with the Faithful, obedience to the Word, and righteous accountability.

The love that pleases the Lord is expressed in obedience to his word. 

"For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome." (1 John 5:3)

Related reading: Put Handles on Your FaithFormed and Informed by the Bible; God's Provisions for Victory

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