Lesson 2 -- second quarter 2002
March 10, 2002
© Copyright 2002, Christian Light Publications
My children come from a long lineage of Christians. Our family tree has had its roots in the faith for generations. Christian life views, values, attitudes, and goals are absorbed with little thought or effort. Godly patterns of thought, speech, and action seem to come naturally. Does this mean we are perfect? No, not even remotely close. But without a doubt, we have been tremendously blessed with and because of our godly heritage. We clearly enjoy a great spiritual advantage.
Perhaps your story is markedly different. Maybe you are a first-generation Christian. This whole business of living the Christian way is so contrary to so much of what you lived. Nothing about it seems to come naturally, and if you don't stay focused, you miss the mark more often than not. You have no godly heritage to back you up. You are at an obvious spiritual disadvantage.
Well, in a way, yes. However, I want you to consider just three spiritual advantages that are the birthright of every child of God. As you read these, keep in mind that these represent only a portion of the heritage and inheritance that God bestowed on you when you yielded to Him.
Forgiveness. The long-term Christian and the novice Christian would find themselves in desperate straits without forgiveness. We all need it because we all fail. Forgiveness gives us the privilege of returning to right standing with God. Forgiveness enables us to try again without our past sins weighing us down and hindering our efforts. Forgiveness stands us upright after we have fallen.
Fellowship. God knows that no one (neither I nor you) can walk in the narrow way alone. So He comes to walk with us by living in us. He comes to be our companion, friend, guide, and encourager. Without Him, we would be disadvantaged beyond help. With Him beside us, we truly live! While you rejoice in God's companionship, though, don't overlook another way He has blessed us. You see, in addition to walking with us, God also provides us the fellowship of the believers. Do not despise, minimize, or underestimate the value and importance of God's people. God has put them in your life for blessing!
Grace. I wonder how long it would take to count all the definitions that have been used for this term. As a dimension of spiritual heritage, though, let's simply consider it as the desire and power to do God's will. Every Christian receives from God an ample supply of grace! Without it, victory would happen infrequently, if at all. Without grace in our lives personally, we are doomed to defeat without regard to how long we or our ancestors have been in the faith.
All have sinned
I am not the exception. Neither are you. No matter how much worse someone else might seem, the same awful judgment falls on everyone: "All have sinned" (Romans 3:23). But, praise the Lord, we needn't live under that condemnation! So I ask you, are you still damned? How about your friends? Just because someone else is worse than I am doesn't make me any less doomed if I haven't repented before the Lord and surrendered my life to Him
Thank the Lord, He has redeemed me! I am saved by the blood of the Lamb. Clean! I am clean! And you too can be "justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" (Romans 3:24).
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