My posts come from my personal daily scripture readings and a part of my personal accountability. If we are going to grow as followers of Christ, we must be in the Word! If you miss these a few days, something has kept me from it; but if they're gone for too many days, call me on the carpet. We need to hold one another accountable. I follow the readings and journaling from lifejournal.me. Join me on this journey as our lives are to Reflect the Image-and Jesus IS the image. Peace, Carla Sunberg
Sunday, December 2, 2012
Confess. Believe. Saved.
that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;
(Romans 10:9 NASB)
for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
(Romans 10:10 NASB)
Paul lays out a simple plan for those coming to Christ. They are
to confess that Jesus is Lord. This is in contrast with the popular
culture of the day which openly and proudly confessed that Caesar was
lord. The Emperor was worshiped as a god, and to confess that Jesus was
Lord was to say brazenly not accept the Emperor worship of the day.
But it was not enough to simply confess, but to truly believe in your
heart that God raised Jesus from the dead. So often today we focus on
the death of Jesus Christ and what he did for us on the cross, but for
the early church they constantly celebrated the victory which was his
resurrection. It's why we worship on Sundays -- it's resurrection day.
It's the reminder over and over again that God raised Jesus from the
dead and it is his resurrection, the first of those to be raised again,
which provides for us the power and the promise of the resurrection to
come. This is what we must believe in our hearts. And if we confess
and we believe, we will be saved!
Today is the first Sunday of Advent, one of my very favorite
seasons of the year. Having been born and raised in my early years in
Germany, Advent has always been a part of my life and of our family
tradition. As long as I can remember I always had an Advent Calendar
and we had the Advent wreath on the dining room or kitchen table.
Throughout the month we would light the candles as the time drew closer
and closer for the Christ-child to come on Christmas Eve. The
anticipation throughout the month was almost more than a child could
bear! He's coming -- He's coming!
It is with this childlike faith that we move into anticipation of the
hope of things to come and in which we find our salvation. With
childlike faith we must declare the Jesus is Lord! No, we have no
Emperor worship these days, but we have other worship. To declare
publicly, for the world to know that we believe Jesus is Lord is that we
have to stand up to the things of the world. Jesus is Lord -- not
sports, not family, not friends, not weekends away -- but Jesus is Lord!
Jesus is number one in my life, there is nothing that I would place
before him. That's what we must confess to our world, both by our words
and by our behavior. This is a human choice, a choice that says I have
decided to put all things aside and by the grace of God to declare that
Jesus is Lord of all things in my life.
We continue with childlike faith and we believe in the resurrection
of Jesus Christ. If Jesus is not resurrected, then what faith do we
have? He simply becomes another prophet who has come and gone. Jesus
is the only one who has come and been raised again, paving the way for
all of us to participate with him in a new humanity. This is God's
plan, the redemption of all things. Today, the first Sunday
(resurrection day) of Advent, we celebrate and anticipate the coming of
Jesus, but also his victory over death, for we celebrate both his coming
and his victory at the same time, since it all happens on a Sunday!
Why are we going to church to gather today? Because we celebrate his
resurrection, and through advent we anticipate his coming. May we
believe this in our hearts, down to the very depths of our being!
Childlike faith of declaration and belief results in salvation. As a
child I anticipated Christmas Eve when the Christ-child would finally
come. The gifts arrived! I knew they would come! Today, with
childlike faith, a declaration that Jesus is my Lord, and a solemn
belief in my heart that he has been raised from the dead, I have the
greatest Christmas gift ever -- salvation. The gift has already arrived
and I have the pleasure and joy of enjoying the gift with him
throughout all eternity.
Lord, thank you for your coming and your resurrection and the hope of the season. Amen.