DAY 25 - Read Daily25-11-2019 | Emily Middleton | YOUTH
Day 25 - Motivation for a gospel shaped citizen, part 2 (God rescued you)
- How serious do you take your sin? And how serious is it in God’s sight?
- How often are you tempted to feel like you can’t approach God when you know that you have messed up or strayed away from Him? For some help and encouragement, read 1 Peter ch2vs24, Psalm 103vs12 and Hebrews ch4vs 14-16, ch7vs25.
- How has God rescued you? Read Isaiah ch53.
Devotion Transcript (Watch on Baptist Youth Youtube Channel)
Be amazed. Be in awe. Let yourself become lost in wonder at the truth, more powerful than any other - the truth about what God has done.
Allow what Paul writes to Titus to speak directly into your own life. He writes in Titus ch3vs 3-6,
“For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Saviour appeared, He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, Whom He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Saviour....”
The way in which Paul describes how the Cretan followers of Jesus lived before they were saved is a pretty good description of the human race in general. Your life and my life were stained by sin. In Psalm 14vs 1, David writes, “The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good.”
You and me were that ‘fool’. We lived as if “There is no God” because we chose to live by our own rules, in complete ignorance of how we were created to. We were dead in sin and destined for eternal death in Hell because God, in His holiness, hates sin and must punish it. ‘ But ’ as followers of Jesus, God has saved us and we have ‘tasted’ and ‘seen’ (Psalm 34vs8) of His ‘goodness and loving kindness’.
We aren’t saved ‘because of works done by us in righteousness’ - in Crete so many people were listening to the false teachers as they promised righteousness through religion and rituals - a message just as prevalent today. However, the Bible makes it abundantly clear that all the religion, good works and charity in the world cannot save us. In fact, because of sin, our best effort at righteousness is like a ‘polluted garment’ (Isaiah ch64vs6) to God.
In vs5, Paul writes that we are saved ‘according to’ God’s ‘own mercy’. God has not given us what we deserve - He has not punished us and as followers of Jesus, His judgement is a future that we do not need to dread. ‘The goodness and loving kindness of God our Saviour’ has ‘appeared’ in the person of the Lord Jesus. He was the sinless One with Whom God was ‘well pleased’ and yet God ‘laid on Him the iniquity of us all’ (Isaiah ch53vs6). God’s wrath was satisfied as Jesus gave His life on the cross and so we can be confident that when we come to God and admit our sinfulness to Him, ‘He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John ch1vs9)
Praise God that Jesus rose from the grave, leaving the tomb empty and ascending to Heaven where He remains today. Praise God that death is defeated so that ‘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’ (Romans ch10vs9). You will then have a sure hope of eternity in Heaven either when we die or when Jesus returns. What could be more wonderful?
Paul then goes on to write to Titus in vs 5&6 that God ‘saved us...by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, Whom He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Saviour’. As followers of Jesus, all of our sin has been washed away and we have been raised from being dead in sin to living a wonderful new life in Christ - just like being ‘born again’. The Holy Spirit then comes to dwell within you, guiding you and helping you to become more like Jesus as you seek to honour Him.
Listen to what God says to Israel in Ezekiel ch36 vs 25-28, a promise fulfilled in the Lord Jesus and a promise for all those who have put their trust in Him:
“I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules”.
It’s the Holy Spirit working in your life that causes you to choose God’s ways over your own. The new life that you have been given leads to a completely new way of living.
So why does Paul remind the Cretan followers of Jesus of all these great truths? Why should we live in awe of them?
Because the Gospel is not just for the point of conversion. The Gospel is vital for your entire Christian walk - it’s the truth that you must cling to. Just like the Israelites began to sin when they forgot how God had rescued them from slavery in Egypt, so too do we slip towards sin when we forget the Gospel. God has saved you from eternal death. He gave His One and only precious Son for you. He has given you eternal life and has sent the Holy Spirit to dwell inside of you. That’s incredible.
So remind yourself of it again and again. You will become a Gospel-shaped citizen.