Did you happen to see the moonrise last night? Wow!
Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Romans 1:19-20 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
I hesitated to include Romans in this because it seems like a downer. But, is it really? I don’t think so. In fact, not at all because if we really want to give Psalm 19 its proper due, we must recognize how little we actually regard God despite his unmistakable presence. Romans 1 is brutally blunt, yes, but we must also see this in Psalm 19. This is actually part of the gospel, the good news as we like to call it.
Let’s face it. Sin is a big problem. Romans 1:19 is talking about every human – we are all without excuse. For some of us, we have escaped Romans 1:18 “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.” We have escaped the wrath of God, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have a problem with suppressing the truth. Right? We must not kid ourselves on this. But, for today, I want to enjoy the fact that we who are saved have escaped His wrath.
Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
v. 6, 8-11 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly…. – but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Big stuff, my friends. We have glimpses just how big. Even so, it’s almost scary how easy it is to lose sight and get caught up in the cares of this world. In fact, if it was up to us, we would completely forget who we are and who God is. Don’t think that’s possible? Then a little study of the Old Testament is in order. Suffice it to say, God revealed himself time and time again only to be forgotten, time and time again, by the very people he called his own. Things are different now. God has removed our ability of choice from us. Now, before you tune me out, think about it. There is one thing, and only one thing, different between us and the Hebrews of old. That one thing is the Holy Spirit who now lives in us.
Ezekiel 36:26-27 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.
Romans 8:9-11 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
Let’s face it, you and I would have been dancing naked around the golden calf while Moses was receiving the Ten Commandments. Am I not right? Thanks be to God that things are now different. Yes, I still struggle with sin, but the fact is that I now am greatly troubled by my sinful nature. Even so, there is a clear distinction between the old me and the new me, the day that God removed my heart of stone and replaced it with his Spirit. That’s the struggle Paul goes into great detail in Romans 7 & 8. I think he makes a good summary statement in another letter:
2 Corinthians 5:17-18 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;
I’m going to leave this with a couple of verses that should give you assurance of just how secure this new creation is. Probably one of the most frightening thoughts for me is that my salvation is not permanent. I think this is a throwback from errant doctrine I received way back when I was a child. I was taught that my actions could forever separate me from God. I lived in fear that I might somehow blow my chance to heaven. In fact, I was positive I would. What a shame that was because we don’t see this teaching in the pages of scripture. In fact, we see almost countless references that our salvation is secure. This first one is probably one that you wouldn’t guess, but I think it is.
Mark 10:6-9 But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
Are we not the bride of Christ? “Let not man separate” isn’t a wish, it’s a proclamation just as in the very beginning, “And God said, ‘Let there be light.’ And there was light.” Go ahead and think about that and look up Ephesians 5:25-33 when doing so. I think you’ll agree that God permanently adjoins to himself those whom he saves. I have one more for today:
John 10:27-30 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
So, tell me, did you notice the moon last night?
Father, let me not be ashamed of the gospel. Let me not hide any of it so that I may fully appreciate the depth of what Jesus has done for me. Without an appreciate of just how desperate my condition was, how can I appreciate what I now have? Let me be an instrument of yours to carry on the ministry of reconciliation. Amen.
Copyright © 2018 Scott Powers