By JOHN FREDERICKSEN, Pastor
Scripture Reading: Romans I5:13
Believers in the age of grace have perhaps more reason to rejoice in their salvation than believers of any previous time.
Very early in man's history, God revealed His plan to bring spiritual blessing to the entire world through Abraham. God promised him, "In thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed," (Genesis 12:3). Progressive revelation unfolded the details of Abraham's seed providing a specific Saviour as a sacrifice for sin. Then the remainder of the nation was to become a kingdom of priests ministering to the world. When Christ came the first time, it was "to confirm the promises made unto the fathers," (vs. 8). Had Israel responded in belief, the millennial kingdom would have been established and Gentiles would have at last enjoyed blessing. They would have glorified "God for His mercy," (vs. 9), rejoiced" (vs. 10), and praised the Lord because they too would trust in Him (vs. 11-12).
The problem is, Israel refused to believe and God's plan to bless the Gentiles could have been frustrated. But "the God of hope" found a solution. Romans 11:11-15 explains that God is now blessing Gentiles NOT through Israel's rise to prominence, but through her fall from God's unique favor. Today salvation is offered to all apart from Israel's promises or instrumentality, and solely on the basis of grace. No wonder then that Paul exhorted his readers to be filled with joy and peace in believing. He even exhorted them to abound in the confident expectations of eternal blessings.
Ours is a salvation provided by the determined purpose of a merciful God. Let's truly rejoice in it today!
The guy in the Rolls says, "Yes, of course I do."
"I got one too... see?"
"Uh, huh, yes, that's very nice."
Then the man in the Granada says, "You got a fax machine?"
"Why, actually, yes, I do." "I do too! See? It's right here!"
The light is just about to turn green and the guy in the Granada says, "So, do YOU have a double bed in back there?"
And the guy in the Rolls says, "NO! Do you?"
"Yep, got my double bed right in back here — see?!"
The light turns and the man in the Granada takes off. Well, the guy in the Rolls is not about to be one-upped, so he goes immediately to a customizing shop and orders them to put a double bed in back of his car. About two weeks later, the job is finally done and he picks up his car and drives all over town looking for the Granada. He finally finds it parked alongside the road so he pulls his Rolls up next to it. The windows on the Granada are all fogged up and he feels a little awkward about it, but he gets out of his newly modified Rolls and taps on the foggy window of the Granada. The man in the Granada finally opens the window a crack and peeks out.
The guy in the Rolls says, "Hey. Remember me?"
"Yeah, yeah, I remember you. What's up?"
"Check this out — I got a double bed installed in my Rolls."
And the man in the Granada says, "YOU GOT ME OUT OF THE SHOWER TO TELL ME THAT?!"