By Birth – No Hope … But God!!

This week, the elders of Emmanuel Baptist Church would like to share with you this blog post written by Pastor Bill Morgan of Grace Baptist Church in Schreiber, Ontario.

 

“For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.  Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” (2 Timothy 1: 7,9,10)

The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, a fellow minister to encourage him in his faith and in his ministry of proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Mankind`s greatest fear in life is the fear of death and of judgment.  That fear has been overcome by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.  We enter this world of ours with original sin and that sin separates us from God and we are defined as being dead spiritually, without God and having no hope!  This true spiritual condition is stated in Ephesians:  “. . . who were dead in trespasses and sins . . . the sons of disobedience . . . and were by nature children of wrath . . . that at that time you were without Christ . . . having no hope and without God in the world.”  (Ephesians 2:1,3,12)

By Birth . . No Hope!  But that is not the end of the story, because God is willing to interrupt – to intervene in your life!!  It was necessary for the Son of God to become a man – to take upon Himself the likeness of men so that He could sacrifice His life upon the cross.  By doing so, Jesus made an atonement for sin and offered pardon to all who would believe in Him and His sacrifice for our sins.  “And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.  And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins.  But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).  But now in Christ Jesus, you, who once were far off, have been brought near by the blood of Christ.  For He Himself is our peace.”  (Philippians 2:8   Ephesians 2:1, 4, 5, 13, 14)

The “Good News” is that God in Jesus Christ has entered our world to bring peace, hope and life to our dead souls.  “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins.  (Ephesians 2:1)

BY BIRTH  –  NO HOPE . . . BUT GOD, IN CHRIST, MAKES US ALIVE!!

A change of Heart

At around this time of year just after the start of the New Year, many start in on changes they wish to make in their lives. Whatever alterations that seem desirable to us, may well have to do with seeking a better and easier life. Often time comparisons are made by us comparing our own lives to someone else’s. The idea to heighten your living standard to match that of other people’s especially if they have been successful in achieving a higher quality of life seems plausible for many and a popular goal. Yet, higher economic standards do not guarantee happiness and can be quite vain and leave you wanting more. Always seeking fulfillment by looking to another man’s successes and material gains may lead to sadness; you may end up never really finding what you think may bring you happiness and it can be a long search ending in disappointment. Besides we can never know what is really going on inside the lives of those around us and they can be searching for happiness too. Wisdom is found in changes to the inner man and not in searching out better circumstances for himself.

The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
The righteous run to it and are safe. (Pro. 18:10)

The LORD gives you purpose and set your direction and those who follow know what it truly means to enjoy life. Without real meaning you will spend the rest of your life wandering through life aimlessly with no direction, focus, or purpose. You must realize how you should live your life first, not how you wish to live it. A sizable difference exists between your desire to live your way and God’s way. Paul discovered a deeper joyful life once he realized that it was hopeless to live without God and discovered real peace when he accepted the gospel message for himself. Later, he could say that he knew in whatever state he was in that he has learned to be content. He could do so because he was a saved man. His heart was changed, which meant that under pressure often his attitude adjusted to the circumstances around him, no matter what they were, his joy remained constant. And no one could say Paul`s life was comfortable and easy, rather he endured many trials and obstacles along the way. And that is still the expectation for any of us who wish to live godly today. Remember that the Holy Spirit is stronger than our circumstances and that from our difficulties personal faith in Christ will become stronger. Paul had endured many troubling situations, some of which we may never have to face, yet he could say:

Not that I am speaking of distinguished in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.  I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.  I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Phi 4:11-13)

Alone, none of us can change our own hearts only God can do that. We can, however, admit and confess our sins and seek forgiveness in Christ, knowing that He alone paid the price for them, is the beginning of a new life. That is the type of transformation that equips us for anything in this life, and makes us acceptable to God that we may enjoy Him forever. Only Christ can bring about a real change in your heart. Trust in Him, today.