The Real Gospel – Part 26
Christianity is based on confession (Hebrews 3 v 1; 10 v 23; & 4 v 14).
One cannot become a Christian without confessing Jesus Christ as his or her Lord and Saviour (Romans 10 vs 9-10).
In fact, it only takes believing what Jesus did for us, and confessing Him as Lord and Saviour for one to become a Christian (Romans 10 vs 9-10).
This is the reason those who believe in Christ do not wonder about who will make it to heaven, and who will go to hell (Romans 10 vs 6-9). We are qualified by faith, not our actions (refer to previous parts of this series for details).
Of course faith leads to actions. But, actions do not make us acceptable before God, faith in what God did for us in Christ is what makes us acceptable before Him (Romans 10 vs 9-10).
So, we can come before God as we are. We don’t have to clean up our acts before approaching Him, He is the One who cleanses us from all wrong doing (1 John 1:9).
Jesus taught this truth when He told the story of the prodigal son (Luke 15 vs 11-24). After the prodigal son had WASTED ALL HIS INHERITANCE, like many of us, he went back to his father to ask for his forgiveness.
This is how the story goes – Luke 15 vs 17-24:
“17 Finally, HE CAME TO HIS SENSES and said, “My father’s workers have plenty to eat, and here I am, starving to death!
“18 I will go to my father and say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against God in heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer good enough to be called your son. Treat me like one of your workers.’ ”
“20 The younger son got up and started back to his father. But when he was still a long way off, his father saw him and FELT SORRY FOR HIM. HE RAN TO HIS SON AND HUGGED AND KISSED HIM.
“21 The son said, “Father, I have sinned against God in heaven and against you. I am no longer good enough to be called your son.”
“22 But his father said to the servants, “Hurry and bring the best clothes and put them on him. Give him a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet.
“23 Get the best calf and prepare it, so we can eat and celebrate. 24 This son of mine was dead, but has now come back to life. He was lost and has now been found.” And they began to celebrate.”
This father did not care that his son had taken half of what the father owned and wasted it. He didn’t care that his son was smelling like pigs.
When he saw his son coming from a distance, he ran to him; not caring about looking dignified. When he got to him, he embraced and kissed him.
This son DID NOTHING TO QUALIFY TO BE TAKEN BACK AS A SON, he simply believed in the kindness of his father’s heart. AND HE GOT MUCH MORE THAN WHAT HE EXPECTED!
In this story, Jesus was saying that our heavenly Father is like this man; He loves us unconditionally. HE WILL TAKE US BACK ANYTIME WE CHOOSE TO RETURN TO HIM.
And, His kindness to us will cause us to repent (Romans 2 v 4 – “Don’t you see how wonderfully KIND, TOLERANT, and PATIENT God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that HIS KINDNESS IS INTENDED TO TURN YOU FROM YOUR SIN?”).
God sees our hearts, when we turn to Him, He will complete the work of making us righteous. (Philippians 1:6 – “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”).
So, let’s REST IN THE FINISHED WORK OF JESUS CHRIST – Hebrews 4:1-3!