Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”
Two of the most comforting words you will ever hear are these – “no condemnation”. We all know we deserve condemnation, yet there is nothing we can do to deliver ourselves from it without Christ Jesus. He alone paid the price for our sins by His perfect sacrifice upon the cross (Isaiah 53:5-6; 2 Corinthians 5:19, 21; 1 Peter 2:24). So, think about these two words “no condemnation”. Ask yourself:
The coronavirus pandemic has brought a great hardship to many people around the world. It has caused a great problem for the church because most have not been able to assemble as a congregation. If I tell you all today to look with me in God’s word, the Bible, some might respond, “I don’t even know if there is a God. Where is He? What is He doing? Why doesn’t He take this all away? And, what does a book written thousand of years ago have to do with us today?” My answer is, “Yes, there is a God, He will take this all away and everything else in this world; and the Bible has everything to do with us.” All of this is not much different from the persecution endured by the church in Jerusalem when they were scattered from their homes, their jobs and separated from family and friends (Acts 8:1-4). It is to these Christians and others like them that Peter writes his first epistle. He gives them a message of hope that is just as relevant and powerful as it was when it was first written.
Some feel sure that they are. Some aren’t too sure. But how can we know? John helps us to answer this question (1 John 1:5-9).
John first reminds us of the holiness of God. “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all” (v. 5). Light is a symbol of absolute sinlessness, truth and life (cf. John 1:1-9; 3:19-21; 8:12; 9:5; 12:35-36). God is separate from all evil, every falsehood and death. He is holy (cf. Psalms 99:3, 5; Hosea 11:9, 12).
“Just believe. Ask Jesus into your heart. Say the sinner’s prayer. You will be saved, and it is impossible to lose your salvation.”
Those words are popular, but are they true? If we just believe for salvation, why are we told to then ask and pray? What is it, just believe or ask and pray?
Where does the Bible say to “just believe” for salvation? It certainly teaches us to believe, but where does it say to just believe? Doesn’t the Bible teach us that it is only a convicted, trusting, obedient, working faith that saves? Doesn’t the Bible teach us to repent of our sins for salvation? Doesn’t the Bible teach us to confess our faith in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God, for salvation? Doesn’t the Bible teach us to be baptized for salvation?
These are the words of a Christian man that fell into an alcohol addiction. His wife and son left him almost a year ago. His divorce is supposed to be finalized in June.
“I have lost everything, but…
I saw God and have been trying to live as a Christian for several months. Life is hard now but not so bad as many have. My cross is small but it is still a little overwhelming…
Hoping that God will save my marriage and allow me my family going forward, like before, but this time with me different…
I am just a little lonely and concerned about the past, the present and future...
Am very human.”
Most all of us have insurance of one kind or another, such as home, health or life insurance. We see the need to protect ourselves from losing our home, are concerned about not being able to pay for health care and being able to leave something for those left behind when we die.
These are certainly important concerns for us all to consider but have you thought about insurance for your soul? What is going to happen to your soul when you die? Will you spend eternity in heaven or in hell? Can you know whether you are saved or not?
Robert Dodson is the Preaching Minister for the Northwest Church of Christ.
6059 Azle Avenue
Fort Worth, TX 76135