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Simple as 1,2

GROUP ONE:

Death, Sin, Unrighteousness, Uncleanness, Judgment, Condemnation, Flesh, Eternal Death.

GROUP TWO:

Life, Forgiveness, Righteousness, Holiness, Freedom, Justification, Spirit, Eternal Life.

Two groups of words… All religions are trying to get from Group One to Group Two. Two words will “very simply” show us two theological positions on how to get to group two.

Works vs. Faith

All but Christianity is trying to get to Group Two by “works.” The problem with trying to do it that way is you will ALWAYS fail. You will ALWAYS fall short. NO ONE has obeyed ALL the rules of ANY religion ALL the time! Since that’s true, then what you will need to do is put on a fake face. You will need to lie and deceive yourself and others into believing that you have not transgressed the rules, and you deserve to get to heaven because YOU DID IT! You completed the WORK!

But guess what? In truth… YOU DID NOT! YOU are justifying yourself and denying the fact that that YOU really did not obey all the rules! As a matter of fact there are several of the rules YOU have missed in the past, AND there are probably several rules YOU are not obeying right now!

So YOU say…

“Oh, but you don’t understand. You don’t know who I am. I am WONDERFUL and TERRIFIC. Actually, I’m PERFECT. You just wish you were like me because if you were, you could go to heaven too. I have given to the poor! People come to me for help. I am a totally successful person – I have done this, and I have done that, and if it were not for me, then this would not have happened, and that would not have happened, and then all those people over there would be in a desperate situation. I have built this and I have built that, and I have changed the world for a better place! I am spiritual! People love to hear me speak – they even ask me for advice! I have many talents beyond the ordinary person – I am EXTRA-ordinary! Everybody loves me!”

Oh thou most great and pontifical one! We all wish we were just like YOU!

Let me try it… “I am perfect too! I deserve to go to heaven because I AM ALSO TERRIFIC! Look at my face! Am I not one of the most terrific people you have ever met! I have obeyed ALL the rules too – just like YOU!” REALLY?

Let’s see now, one very important characteristic about Christianity is honesty, right? And if we’re honest, we will have to admit we have broken a rule or two (or three, or four, or five, or six…). We must all admit that unless somebody forgives us we’re in BIG, BIG trouble. James 2:10 says, “For whosoever shall keep the WHOLE LAW and yet offend in ONE POINT, he is GUILTY of ALL.” Did you get that? Miss it on one point and you’re guilty of ALL? Wow. That doesn’t seem fair! Sounds like if the only way to get to heaven is to have ALWAYS obeyed ALL the rules then we are not going! Because we must ALL admit we have sinned and fallen short.

But, that’s where FAITH comes in – thank God. Jesus said He did not come into the world to condemn the world, but that through Him we might be saved (John 3:17). The wages of sin is death, but the GIFT OF GOD is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23).

1 John 1:8-10 (The Living Bible)
8 If we say that we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth.
9 But if we confess our sins to him, he can be depended on to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong. And it is perfectly proper for God to do this for us because Christ died to wash away our sins.
10 If we claim we have not sinned, we are lying and calling God a liar, for he says we have sinned.

1 John 2:1-2 (The Living Bible)
1 My little children, I am telling you this so that you will stay away from sin. But if you sin, there is someone to plead for you before the Father. His name is Jesus Christ, the one who is all that is good and who pleases God completely.
2 He is the one who took God’s wrath against our sins upon himself and brought us into fellowship with God; and he is the forgiveness for our sins, and not only ours but all the world’s.

Do you believe that? If so, that’s called FAITH! Thank God we do not have to work for our salvation. If we did, none of us would make it.

It’s really as simple as 1,2. 1. HE did the work for us, and 2. We receive it – by faith!

Does this mean we should continue in sin? No, it actually gives us the power to be free from it!

Are you trying to go from Group One to Group Two? STOP WORKING AT IT and receive it by faith! Call on Him right now. Ask Him to forgive you and become the Lord of your life.

What if I am already a Christian and I disobeyed one of the rules. That’s simple; 1) repent, then 2) “go, and sin no more” (John 8:11).

Don’t be deceived by the simplicity of the Gospel; the simplicity in Christ (2 Corinthians 11:3 NKJV). Don’t make it complicated. Don’t try and make it sound real difficult and sophisticated; it’s by faith, it’s a free gift, and it’s for everybody. Simple.

Romans 4:16 (NCV)
So people receive God’s promise by having faith. This happens so the promise can be a free gift. Then all of Abraham’s children can have that promise.

Bob Sorge in his book “Secrets of the Secret Place” (Oasis House 2001) has a chapter entitled; “The Secret of Rapid Repentance.” Rapid repentance – that’s a good word! He likens it unto the calibration of the soul. I’ll give it another word – “quick faith!”

Faith – Simple as 1-2!

_______________________________

Pastor Jim Langlois is the Senior Pastor of The Master’s House www.tmhnow.org, President of MKEA (The Master’s Kids Evangelistic Association) www.mkea.org, and an Area Director for ICFM (International Convention of Faith Ministries) www.icfm.org. You can follow him at docinthehouse, on Twitter at jimlanglois, and on Facebook at jim.langlois. His most recent books are “Is it Okay to Pray in Tongues in Church?” and “Will the Real God Please Stand Up!” Both are available at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com

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