Sunday, November 1, 2009

All the Promises of God

2 Corinthians 1:19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you, Silvanus and Timothy and I, was not Yes and No, but in him it is always Yes. 20 For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. ESV

In scripture we see God making manifold promises to sinners. These promises find fulfillment in Jesus perfect life, death burial and resurrection. The greatest promises God gives is the forgiveness of sin. Back throughout history it was this promise that has been the focus of the faith of all God’s people from Adam and Eve forward.

Luke 24:44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” ESV

Does this forgiveness and being right before God come about by trying harder? Does it come about by thinking good thoughts about oneself? How about by doing good for the neighbour? This is what all the world’s religion with a personal deity teach the adherents as to the road to having favour with God. All except Christianity. In Christianity we have God working hard for us. He came in the flesh to do what we could not do. Lived a life under his own law. Stood trial where false accusations were made and was condemned to a most shameful death. After which he was buried and rose again the third day for our justification.

The above facts of history are all true and quite provable for all the witnesses who saw Jesus’ life, death burial and the resurrected Jesus. Any attorney would weep for joy over all the eyewitness testimony of these facts in a trial. In fact I have heard attorneys state that with all that eyewitness testimony at his or her disposal trial would be a waste of time. So do the historic facts forgive sin? If one gets a person to admit to the historic facts of Jesus does that save him?

No it does not. There are many caught up in false “Christian” cults who admit to the facts and will say it is for our sin. Many in true Christian churches believe these facts and are yet condemned due to the guilt and stain of sin. What is missing in all this? Tragically these lost dear ones are not repenting of sin and receiving the forgiveness of sin through faith. This is helped by soft peddling the law as something that we can pull off.

Jesus said that repentance and forgiveness of sin are to be proclaimed in his name. It is through this preaching of Christ crucified for the forgiveness of sin is how one received this forgiveness by faith hearing. Romans 10:17 This is crucial for those of us who were raised in the Holy Christian Church to hear at all times as well as those who have never been in the Christian Church. We are sinners not because of what we do but who we are as descendents of Adam. Like our first parents we seek to be our own god and saviour and will lose sight of Jesus each and everyday. Let us encourage every pastor we know to continue to preach repentance of sin and Jesus crucified as the only answer for our sin.

In the name of Jesus. †


Anonymous said...

I found your blog through an internet search on Lutheran doctrine. What do Lutherans say about assurance of salvation?

What if a Christian lacks the internal witness of the Spirit telling his spirit he is a child of God, as it says in Romans?

Lutherans say that faith alone saves, but how can a person know he has saving faith, not just intellectual assent? Is there a way to know for sure?

David Cochrane said...

Hi Anon,

One of the most assuring passage in scripture is Romans 10:8-13. This is sometimes misunderstood as something we do to be saved. But rather it is a statement that if you are confessing with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believing in your heart that God has raised him from the dead you are being saved. So the assurance always points back to Jesus and his finished work.

The Holy Spirit witnesses to us through the word and sacraments. The internal witness many refer to is unreliable at best and misleading most the time. I can get the same feeling from Symphony 7 of Beethoven which is not particularly Christian music but is indeed beautiful and moving. Feelings are subjective and are also used by false and erring brothers as well as the flesh and the devil which always seek to cast doubt.

As to faith alone justifying that is indeed true because scripture says it is. One good test is to ask yourself "Is Jesus the Saviour?" When one says yes that shows trust in Jesus for salvation not self.

Thank you for commenting on my humble blog.

God's peace. †