The Gospel

March 1, 2018

Romans 1:7… To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his saints.

            “Called to be Hs saints” Does that mean that not everyone is called? I think not. Everyone is called but not all hear the call. But, what it does say is that if we are saints, He has called us. And that is the essence of the gospel. He did for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves.

            In essence, He says, “You are lost and you will die in your sins. I will save you; I ask only that you believe me.” He extends that offer to every human. How do you respond? Many will possibly respond as I have in the past, “Thank you, God, but I have it figured out. I can do it.” Or… “I can do this myself.”  We, humans, like to think of ourselves as not needing help. Have you noticed that?

The proper response, the one we need, is, “Thank you, God, I believe.” What we are admitting when we say, “I believe” is that we are incapable of helping ourselves. And that is one of the first things we want to take back. “Lord, I may have acted presumptuously. I think I can do this on my own. Just give me a couple rules to obey.” That is a lie. We cannot even obey a couple rules without the Spirit of God leading us.  But, that is hard to admit. Christians spend much of their life trying to prove that they are worthy.  It is best to get that out of the way… we are not worthy. God, with love, makes us righteous. The gospel is good news to the lost; it is bad news to the self-righteous. And that thought can be at the root of the statement, “I don’t believe in God.” What is really being communicated is, “I believe in myself; I don’t need God.” I have been told by a couple men in my life, “God is helpful to those who need him. I am not needy.”

            Really? We are all needy… desperately so. Pride doesn’t like that. We don’t like it. Don’t let pride rob you of the greatest blessing ever offered. Listen to the call of God. Hear it well. As I wrote yesterday, “Hear with your heart.”  You are called. If you are not yet a saint, you haven’t responded to the call. If you are in a lake drowning and someone throws you a lifesaver on a rope, you must grab onto it if you hope to be saved. The fact that it was thrown will not save you. Likewise, respond to the call of God. He has thrown us a lifesaver.