• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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The Greatest Treasure Is Closer Than You Think

“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience- among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ-by grace you have been saved- and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:1-10, ESV)

Telling people that they are dead in their sins will not often make you many friends.  Yet, much of the world is controlled and run by people who are spiritually dead.  They walk according to the ways of the world and are, actually, followers of Satan – even though they may deny the existence of the supernatural.  They are rebels against God who are consumed by their own fleshly passions.  We, who are now Christians, were once dead along with the rest of mankind.

In spite of our rebellious lust for the temporal pleasures of sin, God – because of His great love – has shown us mercy through Jesus Christ, His Son, and our Lord.  God has made us spiritually alive “together with Christ.”  We were dead and He gave us life.

“Grace” is the key to understanding this wonderful gift.  “Grace” may be defined as the “unmerited gift of divine favor, which brings about the salvation of a sinner.”  Since the ideas of merit and grace are mutually exclusive, we cannot rely on our own unaided efforts to live good lives in order to be deserving of salvation.  Grace alone will turn the soul to God and perpetuate the ends of this conversion.

By grace through faith, we are not only given life, but we are seated with the Son in heaven as members of the royal family.  From that vantage point we see fully the great riches of God’s grace.  The veil is completely lifted.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith.”  It is not of us.  It is fully the gift of God.  It is the fulfillment of His purpose to the honor and praise of His glory.  It is the only message of true hope to a dieing world.

Nothing good within me lies;

Except for You O Lord, I die.

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