Sunday, April 19, 2009

SOAP: How Great Is Our God!

SOAPSOAP {Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer}:

5:6-8 Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn't, and doesn't, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn't been so weak, we wouldn't have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.

18-19 Here it is in a nutshell: Just as one person did it wrong and got us in all this trouble with sin and death, another person did it right and got us out of it. But more than just getting us out of trouble, he got us into life! One man said no to God and put many people in the wrong; one man said yes to God and put many in the right.

6:3-5 That's what baptism into the life of Jesus means. When we are lowered into the water, it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are raised up out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus. Each of us is raised into a light-filled world by our Father so that we can see where we're going in our new grace-sovereign country.

12-14 That means you must not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives. Don't give it the time of day. Don't even run little errands that are connected with that old way of life. Throw yourselves wholeheartedly and full-time—remember, you've been raised from the dead!—into God's way of doing things. Sin can't tell you how to live. After all, you're not living under that old tyranny any longer. You're living in the freedom of God.

22-23 But now that you've found you don't have to listen to sin tell you what to do, and have discovered the delight of listening to God telling you, what a surprise! A whole, healed, put-together life right now, with more and more of life on the way! Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death. But God's gift is real life, eternal life, delivered by Jesus, our Master. Romans 5-6 (excerpts) [MSG]

Christ's gift of Salvation, when we least deserve it.

Adam condemned us to death. Literally. By partaking of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (or, in the vernacular, eating the apple), Adam condemned us to death for eternity. But some two thousand years ago, One Man came along to reverse Adam's act. One Man came along to save us from the evil that had plagued us since the very first man. To save us from the evil that continues to plague us even now. To save us from sin.

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, stepped up in our defense when we didn't even deserve to be defended. When we were guilty of sin, He came forward when we deserved nothing short of eternal condemnation and paid the price for our evil ways, so that we don't have to. To us, He gave the ultimate gift by paying the ultimate price. And all that we have to do is accept that glorious gift.

But so much more than just accepting this glorious, undeserved gift, we should then live the kind of life that God would have us live. We should never again give sin the time of day. We should resist the temptation to return to those sinful ways that Our Lord saved us from. But we are human, aren't we, and incapable of never sinning. That's right, as much as we might hope to live right, we just aren't capable of completely eliminating sin from our lives. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. We aren't capable of deserving the wonderful grace of God.

But our God is merciful, and willing to forgive us, just for the asking. Oh, what a wonderful God we serve!

Direct video link.

Father, I know that I'm not worthy of Your wonderful grace. And that I have let You down more times than I could possibly count. But I also know that You are merciful, and gracious, and that Your love is never ending. Thank You, Father, for the wonderful gift of salvation!


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