Today’s guest blogger is Nathan W. Bingham. Nathan is a Christian, husband, dad, and self-described geek living in Melbourne, Australia as well as a part-time blogger, social media experimenter, and theological student. You can find Nathan on Twitter here, Facebook here and read his blog here.
The objective and historical news that Jesus Christ lived, suffered, died, and rose again to secure salvation for sinful men and women, is shockingly and totally unbelievable.
Not unbelievable in that it cannot be believed — for God in His grace gives us the gift of faith to be able to believe — but unbelievable in that it is so amazing and so simple in its essence, that the why is hard to answer and the how so easy to confuse.
Why would God save wretched sinners?
No other reason than for His glory alone can begin to answer the question of why a holy God would set His love upon and determine to save wretched, rebellious, sinful creatures, like you and me.
God is self-sufficient. He doesnʼt need you and me. He has never been lonely. Nothing compelled Him to save us…yet He did.
Read the graphic description of your state in Ephesians 2:1-3, and then allow yourself to be reminded afresh of the shockingly and totally unbelievable words in verse 4, “But God…”.
And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God… – Ephesians 2:1-4a
You mean I donʼt have to pay for this gift?
The most generous and undeserved gift ever given was just that; a gift! You cannot pay for it. You cannot earn it. You are unworthy and always will be; yet you can have it eternally.
Jesus didnʼt call sinners to earn salvation. Jesus simply preached, “Repent, and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:15)
Paul, only several verses after the incredible “But God…” passage in Ephesians reminds us that you have been saved “by grace…through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Eph. 2:8-9)
Despite the simplicity of the gospel — a free gift for undeserving sinners — we can so easily confuse it and set our affection upon something other than Christ alone. Sanctification doesnʼt justify a sinner before God. Church attendance doesnʼt justify a sinner before God. Actively sharing your faith with others doesnʼt justify a sinner before God. All good things in and of themselves, but theyʼre not to be confused with justification. It is only the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ that leaves a person declared righteous before God.
John Calvin is noted for describing the human heart as “a perpetual factory of idols”. This idol factory can so easily lead you away from Christ alone toward a theology of Christ ʻplusʼ. Remember, when it comes to the gospel Christ plus anything equals nothing.
A holy God freely reconciling sinners to Himself through the person and work of Jesus Christ. Unbelievable? Shockingly and totally so, but believe it any way…Christ commands you to!