Reports on what God is doing through Bible believing evangelical Christians in Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru, India and Ecuador. Jesus said, "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you" (John 15:7).
SELAH! Pause - reflect- just think of that!
How Bad is It?
When I go to my medical doctor with a physical complaint he will usually ask, “How bad is it?”
Romans chapter three summarizes the spiritual condition of every individual apart from the grace of God in Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul states clearly: “There is no one righteous, not even one, there is no one who understands, there is no one who seeks God” (Romans 3:10-11 NET).
What does that statement mean in practical terms? Every individual is unable to do a single thing to please, understand or seek after a righteous God. We may even be very religious, but you and I cannot in any way merit or earn a right relationship with God. If sinful man can be saved it must be according to God’s free, unmerited, unearned grace and mercy alone. This is what Bible scholars correctly call “total depravity.” It simply means you and I cannot in any way influence God in a positive manner to obtain a right relationship with him.
The Bible does not permit us to treat sin lightly. Religious persons especially have a hard time accepting this spiritual truth. It cuts across our religious pride. We really are radically depraved sinners.
The apostle stresses that apart from the grace of God we are not just spiritually sick, but we are “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1-3).
There are three basic views of human nature. The evolutionist says man is well and getting better and better all the time. The humanist says man is sick, but he can probably be treated with education, social manipulation, and good welfare programs. However, the Biblical theologian accepts the clear teaching of God’s inspired and inerrant Word, which says we are dead spiritually.
A friend and I went to the police morgue to retrieve the body of a colleague. There were many bodies in the room. He reached over and pulled back the sheet over a cadaver’s head and said, “Here, Wil, tell this man about Jesus.” He was dead. He could not respond to me or anyone else.
That is the way we are spiritually. We cannot respond to God until the Holy Spirit reaches down into our hearts and brings about a spiritual birth. We are dead spiritually until God in His Spirit raises the spiritually dead.
Jesus insisted on a spiritual birth. He told a religious authority and leader: “I tell you the solemn truth, unless a person is born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:5 NET).
The apostle wrote: “So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away – look, what is new has come!” (2 Cor. 5:17 NET)
From God’s perspective human beings have no righteousness. “There is no understanding, no one who seeks God.” But what we could not do God did in the perfect righteousness of His Son, Jesus Christ. “God made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we would become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21 NET).
Let’s be very clear about salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
Many highly religious people trust in their baptism by immersion or sacraments or Holy Communion or confirmation or church membership or knowledge of the Bible or doctrine orthodoxy for salvation.
However, if you are trusting in anything other than or in addition to Jesus Christ and his death on the cross for your salvation abandon it to Jesus Christ right now. Put your trust in Jesus Christ alone to save you for all eternity.
God gives the sinner who puts his trust in Christ alone his righteousness, which is the righteousness of Jesus Christ. He gives us what we need and cannot provide for ourselves. The all-sufficient righteousness of Jesus Christ is the only sufficient basis for our salvation.
Read and ponder the following statement carefully. “God made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we would become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21).
“And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among people by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12 NET).
“For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so that no one can boast” (Eph. 2:8-9 NET).
“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and thus has righteousness and with the mouth one confesses and thus has salvation. . . For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Rom. 10:9-10, 13 NET).
If you have never confessed you sin and unbelief to Jesus Christ take a few moments right now, and put your trust in Jesus Christ. Ask him to be your savior right now. It will be the greatest decision in your life.
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006
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Unless otherwise noted "Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.""Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE" © Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)
Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NET) are from the NET Bible copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://www.bible.org/. All rights reserved.
Wil is a graduate of William Carey University, B. A.; New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Th. M.; and Azusa Pacific University, M. A. He has pastored in Panama, Ecuador and the U. S, and served for over 20 years as missionary in Ecuador and Honduras. He had a daily expository Bible teaching ministry head in over 100 countries from 1972-2005. He continues to seek opportunities to be personally involved in world missions. Wil and his wife Ann have three grown daughters. He currently serves as a Baptist pastor and teaches seminary extension courses in Ecuador.
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