From Gospel Translations
(Difference between revisions)
Sometimes we need to put things on pause and reflect deeply on the simplest and most basic of Christian truths. The author of Hebrews helps us with this, telling us in chapter seven and verse twenty-five of his letter that Jesus “is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.” A couple of brief observations should suffice. |+|
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|-|First, '' '''only''''' Christ can save. My emphasis is on the word '''''only'''''. Don’t be swayed by the politically correct mood of the culture which says that it is nothing more than arrogance and elitism when Christians insist that the only hope for salvation is through faith in Jesus Christ. If you ever hope to “draw near to God” it can only be “through him,” that is, through Jesus and what he has done in his life, death, and resurrection for lost and hell-deserving sinners. |+|
''of and the lost.
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|-|It isn’t through the saints of the Roman Catholic Church that we draw near to God. They don’t pray for us or make intercession for us: only Jesus does. It isn’t through his mother Mary that we draw near to God. Nothing in Scripture indicates that she prays or intercedes for us: only Jesus does. And you can throw into the mix the Buddha, Mohammed, Confucius, and every other religious leader or philosopher. |+|
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|-|Second, only Christ can '''''save'''''. Save from what? Only Christ can save from the righteous wrath of an infinitely holy God. It does no good whatsoever if during this life you are “saved” from financial bankruptcy only to face an eternity of separation from God. It does no good whatsoever if during this life you are “saved” from an Islamic terror attack or from a painful and crippling disease only to face an eternity of condemnation and judgment. It does no good whatsoever if during this life you are “saved” from psychological distress or emotional turmoil only to face an eternity of suffering for the guilt of your sins. My point is that Christ is able to save us from the wrath and judgment of God, and that to the uttermost! |+|
. . to . are to of . are to the . ,
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|-|And never think for a moment that what this means is that God the Son, Jesus Christ, is for you and that God the Father is against you. It was the unified purpose of our great Triune God from eternity past that out of love for lost sinners God the Father would send God the Son to voluntarily and freely and with great joy endure the wrath of God that we each deserved. Thus as I often say, '''''the love of God sent the Son of God to die under the wrath of God that we might draw near to God. ''''' |+|
a , that is the of . , to to .
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saves! Praise God ! |+|
Current revision as of 16:21, 4 November 2020
The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. (Luke 19:10)
Christianity is summed up in these words: Jesus came to seek and save the lost. If we were asked to describe in a sentence the heart of the gospel, there it is.
There is no other news like this. Every other religion says it backwards. Every other religion tells us to seek. We are advised to climb trees like Zacchaeus, to depend upon our own exertion for any hope of ascending to the divine. We are told to bridge the gulf by our effort. If you want salvation, they say, then seek it.
In a sense, that is the world — we live in a planet full of seekers. We are, in one way or another, tree-climbers, maneuvering ourselves to gain some advantage, to achieve some perspective, to find personal peace. And then Jesus comes.
We are lost in our own seeking until Jesus comes and says to us, “Hurry and come down” (Luke 19:5). Stop your searching. Stop trying to save yourself. I have come to seek and save the lost.
Our exertion is then silenced. All our seeking — our trying to reach the divine on our own — is silenced when we learn that the divine has reached down to us . . . by becoming one of us. Here we are, spinning our wheels in hopes of getting God, and then God, despite our belittling works, comes to get us. That gulf we couldn’t bridge is the burden he takes upon himself.
We were lost, sinners who rightly deserve God’s judgment. And Jesus came to take the judgment for us. He suffered in our place on the cross, was dead and buried, and then on the third day was raised to life. He ascended to the Father’s right hand from where he reigns over all. Jesus sought us, and he has saved us, if we trust him. Do you believe this? Do you feel the wonder of this salvation?
Jesus, you are the one who saves, not us. Thank you for rest, for hushing the furious winds of our faithless works. Thank you for stopping the strivings of our souls. Overcome us more and more with the glory of your grace, and make our posture toward others echo this summary of your gospel: “the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”