"Boil it all down, and what do you have?" I love the boiled down, bottom-line approach to all things, including faith. If I could tell you four "onlys" that will serve you well in understanding the "good news," it would be what follows. These four truths address the plan of God to get us connected and continue growing in Christ by the power of the Spirit.
When I travel across town, there are usually several paths to take. Many believe there are multiple paths to heaven. The hope is that if there is a hell, the road they're on will help them avoid it. But the savior of the world, Jesus, who set in motion 2000 years ago a global transformation of souls says there is one path, one way and it is through him.
John 14:6 "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
The only way of salvation is Jesus. Believing in his death and resurrection ushers you into life for eternity, and overflowing life today.
Many people are on a treadmill of good deeds. Some believe that the good in their life will, in the end, outweigh the bad. The hope is that we will somehow do enough good things to receive an entry into an eternal home, with a God we don't even know. Scripture is clear; we are saved by the grace of God – we can't possibly earn our salvation.
Ephesians 2:8-9 "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast."
The only means of salvation is grace. The life you desire will never be discovered in self-effort; it was paid for by the blood Jesus spilled when he was crucified for your sins.
When we were little children, we placed our hand in the grip of someone we trusted would get us to the other side of the road. This is why Jesus asked his disciples to demonstrate childlike faith. The gospel is clear that when we set our life in God's hand, we demonstrate faith that saves. And even that small act of trust is only because God called us to join him.
Hebrews 11:8 "By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going."
The only small act we make is faith. Put your life in God's hand today and set off into a radical new adventure today.
Self-will can't save our lives, and self-will can never grow our lives. The way up is down. In humility, we are postured to receive life, and God blesses the humble. The gospel proves that the pressure to prove yourself is over. And there is no gray zone between prideful self-reliance and humble dependence – God presses against pride and promotes true humility.
I Peter 5:5 "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."
You have given God your pride to receive salvation. Now stay low and allow Jesus to bless you with a life you could never make for yourself.
If today you believe Jesus died for you and rose up from the tomb of death and lives today, surrender your life to Jesus and pray these four "onlys." Affirm your faith in Jesus today. And when you know you're ready to walk with Jesus for the first time in your life just click this link. This resource will help you with your next steps with God.
Hello, Karl here. I invite you to visit 180 Chicago Church. We're a church that meets in person, online, and in homes around Chicagoland. If you want to be part of a dynamic and diverse church, intent on making disciples, then check us out at 180chicago.church