Monday, January 30, 2012

the promises of Christ

As Christians we are constantly being called and calling others to "believe the promises of Christ". I fear that for the past eight years I have been simply nodding my head in agreeance to this idea. I admit I have not known what "the promises of Christ" meant, nor had I given it much thought. I am in my ninth year of getting to seek Jesus for all that I need and want, my fifth, soon to be sixth, year of ministry at Pickerington North, and my second year of marriage. It is here that I have found myself more sinful than I could ever imagine. Every day I wake up finding myself less capable of being good on my own, and therefore, I have a greater need for the gospel of grace and the blood of Jesus Christ everyday. It is this that has led me to the promises of Christ, and this week, I finally understand. 
Why are the promises of Christ essential to be believed and remembered dear Christian? Because the promises of Christ are things that we have freely gained by God's purposes through Jesus, by no merit of our own. They are essential because as I continue to walk the narrow path I am confronted with my fleshly failings that tempt me to believe I am not capable of change, or maybe worse, I am not chosen. They are essential because I am constantly tempted to believe that my salvation must still be earned and worked for. They are essential because when God is gracious enough with me, to allow me to see myself clearly, in all my schemes and wickedness, I know that the completed promises of Christ are my only shot at life. Because of these things I had the great joy to read Scripture in a new way this week. Not looking for a call to strive after righteousness, though I still need and believe this call, but rather seeking diligently the places where Christ says that his work has already purchased something for me. I have nothing to add to these promises, even the faith to believe them has been given freely. The work is finished. The promises are mine. What an excellent reality. So here are 40 promises carried out and completed by Christ in the book of Romans.
We have received...
  1. grace
  2. apostleship
  3. the obedience of faith
  4. a call to belong to Jesus Christ
  5. the righteousness of God
  6. justification
  7. peace with God
  8. access into grace in which we now stand
  9. God's love poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit
  10. saving from the wrath of God
  11. reconciliation to God
  12. abundance of grace
  13. the free gift of righteousness
  14. opportunity to reign in life because of grace and righteousness
  15. justification, life and righteousness
  16. ability to walk in newness of life
  17. unity in a resurrection like Christ's
  18. ability to be no longer enslaved to sin
  19. ability to live with Christ
  20. freedom from sin
  21. slavery to righteousness
  22. sanctification
  23. the free gift of eternal life
  24. death to the law
  25. ability to bear fruit for God
  26. freedom to serve in the new way of the Spirit and not the law
  27. freedom from condemnation
  28. freedom from the law of sin and death
  29. fulfillment for the righteous requirement that was demanded from us
  30. ability to walk according to the Spirit
  31. life to our mortal bodies through the Spirit that dwells in us
  32. the Spirit of adoption as sons
  33. ability to become children of God
  34. ability to become heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ
  35. predestination to be conformed to the image of his Son
  36. a predestination that has called, justified and glorified us
  37. a promise that he will graciously give us all things
  38. assurance that we are more than conquerors of the things that befall us through him who loved us
  39. righteousness
  40. assurance that Satan will be crushed under our feet
Nothing to add, nothing to earn. Enjoy believing them dear Christian!

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