V1 Righteousness by faith realized means unlimited friendship with God; this is the ultimate conclusion of the Gospel. Jesus Christ is the legal authority of our testimony
V2 He has welcomed us with open arms and reinforced the fact that our access into this grace-gift is guaranteed by faith. We stand fully established in grace while we boldly rejoice in all that God’s opinion communicates and anticipates for us.
V3 Our joyful boasting in him remains uninterrupted in times of trouble; we know that pressure reveals patience. Tribulation doesn’t have what it takes to nullify what hope knows we’ve got!
V4 Patience pproves legal tender; which buys more positive expectation.
V5 This kind of hope does not disappoint; the gift of the Holy Spirit completes our every expectation and ignites the love of God within us like an artesian well.
V6 God’s timing was absolutely perfect; humanity was at their weakest when Christ died their death.
V7 It is most unlikely that someone will die for another man, even if he is righteous; yet it is remotely possible that someone can brave such devotion that he would actually lay down his own life in an effort to save the life of an extraordinary good person.
V8 Herein is the extremity of God’s love gift: mankind was rotten to the core when Christ died their death.
V9 If God could love us that much when we were ungodly and guilty, how much more are we free to realize his love now that we are declared innocent by his blood?
V10 Our hostility and indifference towards God did not reduce his love for us; he saw equal value in us when he exchanged the life of his son for ours. Now that the act of reconciliation is complete, his life in us saves us from the gutter-most to the utter-most.
V11 Thus, our joyful boasting in God continues; Jesus Christ has made reconciliation a reality.
I was walking through Walmart last night (late) looking for a grill to prep for a Mothers Day cookout. My grill of eight years has finally corroded into uselessness. My brother in law (Zachary) was with, his goal was to find A/C refrigerant for his car. We were in the automotive section and I had found a stack of silver metal cans of refrigerant. I noticed something odd about one of the cans. Upon closer inspection there was a larger silver coin. On one side was a copy of the 10 Commandments and on the other was a salvation message. I posted a picture of it above.
Here is my blog…
How probable is it that the coin or tract hits its mark? Historically I have apprehensive about tracts. Most have a fire insurance mentality, turn or burn, get out of jail free feel. I first gave into God at a little back woods Pentacostal church in Wisconsin. I was probably in first grade. My parents brought my brother and me there to see “A Thief in the Night.” A movie portraying the rapture. At the end of the evening a little old gray haired lady pulled my brother and me up to the altar. I was young and brought up Lutheran to this point. Between the movie and the old lady urging and twisting my mind about the need for fire insurance I made a commitment.
I had no idea what I had done or what it meant, all I know is I had just had the HELL scared out of me, literally! But guess what it didn’t stick very well. My family started attending a home church. The pastor ran a bible book store that was actually the front half of the house and they lived in the back. There were just a handful of families and we met in their living room on Sundays. I was a kid and church didn’t mean too much to me. I was only in it for my fire insurance. I was scared of hell. My paradigm was to show up, don’t break the Sabbath. I would strive to be good and always fall short. My falling short brought guilt and self condemnation. I would then strive harder. It became a pattern. High school was the worst I felt bipolar or schizophrenic in my Christianity. I was one person in one group and another in other groups. I was always looking at my Christianity with a mentality of the coin pictured above.
The Law, the Ten Commandments, the weight of these drove me into guilt
For all have sinned and fallen short…
The wages of sin is death…
I was bound by the law and felt condemnation for not crucifying the flesh well enough.
The fire and brimstone message seems to bring out a temporary change but I want a real heart change. My conundrum, how to evangelize and make real change. Seriously if I was told a positive slant and learned of his grace and love and his heart towards me… I wonder how much less bandage and retooling I could have forgone. I have had the epiphany of his heart towards me and his love and grace poured out from before those three words in Genesis “In the beginning…” looking at Jesus as the pattern son, I don’t recall a mention of him pulling out a Chic Tract or the Four Spiritual Laws. I see him relational.
I’m asking your opinions and thoughts on witnessing. Let’s start a dialogue.