Sunday, July 27, 2014

Trinity 6

Matthew 5:20-26 - Trinity Six - July 27, 2014
Exceedingly Righteous in Christ
If I were to ask someone whether he knew he were going to heaven or not, and that person replied by saying something like, “I sure hope so,” what would that amount to other than “I don’t know for sure”?  Such a response would be an indication that that person is not going to heaven, because it would be an indication that he puts his faith in something other than Christ – something uncertain.  Faith trusts in what is certain, because it trusts in what God has done to save us.  That’s why God teaches us to trust his word.  Faith is confidence.  But this is not because faith is some great work of ours.  It is not our own capacity to believe that makes faith certain.  No.  It is God’s word.  There are many elements of doubt in our faith, because we are but flesh, and therefore susceptible to the devil’s wiles.  But there is no element of doubt in the promises of God.  So that is what we cling to.  God’s word stands sure no matter what storms of doubt might be swirling inside of us. 
One who is not certain of his salvation is uncertain for one very simple reason. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Trinity 7

Romans 6:19-23 - Trinity VII - July 14, 2014
The Wages of Sin & the Free Gift of God

Romans 6 is a wonderful chapter of Scripture.  After having established in the clearest words possible the doctrine of justification in the preceding three chapters, St. Paul here in chapter 6, addresses the new life that the Christian lives here on earth.   This is an important thing to do, and for two main reasons.  First of all, because it pleases God that we live holy lives to the praise and honor of His holy Name.  That’s what He called us to do.  He called us to live in righteousness, not to die in soul-destroying sin.  We should consider the new life of the Christian for a second reason too: because if we are to stand on the doctrine that we are justified by grace alone through faith apart from any works we do, we had better learn how to defend ourselves against those who falsely accuse us of forbidding good works.  We don’t.  We uphold good works.  We teach that they are necessary. But we put them in their proper place, as fruits that necessarily flow from true faith.