"If you look for Me wholeheartedly,
you will find Me."
Regardless of what any church leader, pastor, or anyone else says... your final authority should be: "What does the Bible say?"
Paul taught that some things he was teaching are hard to understand, "which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction." 2 Pet 3:16
The Apostle Paul also warned that in the last days, not every minister would be teaching the truth of God's Word. "For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths." 2 Tim 4:3-4
"I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments." Col 2:4
"The LORD of Heaven’s Armies is here among us;
the God of Israel is our fortress."
- Psalm 46:7
august 2, 2021
TODAYS BIBLE READING:
Reading Time: 15-20 Minutes
THIS WEEKS MEMORY VERSE:
Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. ~Psalm 51:10
TODAY'S WORSHIP SONG:
No Longer Slaves
Grace is when one receives something that is not deserved. In today's reading we see the vertical grace extended from God to humans. In the first 3 chapters of Romans, Paul already made the case that we are all guilty of sin and condemned as a result. Justification by grace is explained in Romans 3:21-25, "But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation (making atonement) by His blood, through faith...". Notice in this equation our works and deeds have no part, it is purely based on what He did. In Romans 5:6,8, this one direction offer is exemplified, "For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly...But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Paul elaborates on this in Ephesians 2:8-9, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast."
The Greek word used in this verse for the word saved is sṓzō. The Bible lexicon defines the word like this: properly, deliver out of danger and into safety; used principally of God rescuing believers from the penalty and power of sin – and into His provisions (safety). We have been saved from the power or in other words the stronghold of sin over us which enables us to become a slave to righteousness rather than sin.
When we consider the grace of God it should humble us all. Father God freely gave us His Son. Jesus freely gave up His life for us. He asks in return for us to accept what He has done and surrender our hearts and follow Him. Jesus did this for us unconditionally. Yet, how many of us are unwilling to extend grace unless we are sure that person is truly sorry or has truly changed. Jesus revealed what true love and grace is in John 15:13, "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends." All who accept Christ's free offer are now His friends. May we all be washed in His grace and freely and lovingly extend that grace to others as Jesus exemplified to us.
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