Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Power of God's Promises

Part of faith is being able to accept the forgiveness God gives us when we make Jesus Lord and Savior of our lives. One of the biggest burdens we have as Christians is that of guilty. We carry around the memory of sins of the past and the current temptations we struggle with and we convince ourselves that God cannot simply forgive us, that there is something we must do to atone for our sin.

This is a lie from Satan. He wants us to burden us with those sins, via guilt, that God has already set us free from. In the process Satan hinders us from accomplishing what God has called us to do. We need to fight Satan on this. We fight Satan by using the promises God has had made to us (i.e. the Word of God).

1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we boast in our hope of sharing God's glory.

3 Not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 endurance produces character, and character produces hope. 5 Now this hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

6 For at just the right time, while we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For it is rare for anyone to die for a righteous person, though somebody might be brave enough to die for a good person. 8 But God demonstrates his love for us by the fact that Christ died for us while we were still sinners.

9 Now that we have been justified by his blood, how much more will we be saved from wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life! 11 Not only that, but we also continue to boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received our reconciliation.
(Romans 5:1-11; ISV)

Let's take a quick look at this passage from Scripture and discover the promises it has for our lives.

Verses 1, 2:
The Apostle Paul reminds us that it is our faith which gives us salvation or a right relationship with God. There is nothing we can do to achieve eternal life or friendship with God. We have to believe in God and trust Him by living as if His promises were true. Many times we won't understand God's promises or God's will seems to be illogical to us, but trusting God means we go ahead and do it God's way.

Verses 3-5:
We are going to have problems in our lives. These problems raise doubts in our minds about our salvation. We have a small accident and Satan whispers: God is punishing you for this sin. Someone at work or school mistreats us and Satan reminds of a time we messed up: Did you really think God would forget? The problems in life are opportunities for Satan to accuse us of the sin in our lives. Yet, if we fight through this, if we hold on to the promises of God, we emerge on the other side more convicted of God's love for us.

Verses 6-11:
Here is the great promise of this passage of Scripture. Because God has made us His friends through the death of Jesus; He will certainly discover eternal life because of Jesus' resurrection. Paul wants to remind us that Jesus death accomplished something beyond our comprehension: God saved His enemies. So if God has already done something so amazing, won't He also keep His promise and bring us into eternity with Him? For the person struggling with guilty this is a great promise. The death of Jesus wiped out our sins, and His resurrection guarantees us Heaven.

How do we make these promises real in our lives? We make the promises real by having faith in Jesus Christ. We live with hope and faith that God will keep His promises, even when things don't go they way we expected them to go.

Satan will accuse us of wrong doing and he will try to burden us with guilty so that we miss out on God's best for our lives. As Christians we need to hold firm to what God has promised and remind Satan of what God has promised and then live our lives based on that reality.

Point to Ponder: We make the promises real by having faith in Jesus Christ.
Passage to Remember: Romans 5:1-11
Question to Consider: Is your life lived in with the knowledge of God's promises?

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