Easter is a message of hope and salvation for us!
“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.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
But doesn’t God command and require our good works that we may live?
Yes, he does, but we would have to obey God’s law which means loving God and our neighbor perfectly.
Can anyone keep God’s law perfectly by loving God and our neighbor?
No man or woman has ever loved so perfectly - except one, the Man Christ Jesus. He who was God’s eternal Son humbled himself and came into the world as a man to redeem us from our sin and our rebellion against God.
How does God save and reconcile us back to himself?
God saves us through his one and only Son who became a man to represent us. Jesus Christ lived the perfectly obedient life we ought to live, died the death we deserve, and rose from the dead that we may live forgiven and justified in him forever.
What were Jesus’ life and death for?
By living a perfectly obedient life as a man Jesus qualified to become both the perfect sacrifice for our sins and a High Priest forever. We deserve to die, yet Jesus offered himself once for all and died as a substitute for us.
What about Jesus’ resurrection?
God the Father raised Jesus to live forever and never die again because the Father has accepted Jesus’ perfect, once-for-all sacrifice of himself for us. Jesus has ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of God where he reigns in glory and honor, exercising his power and authority in order to bring salvation to us.
How does Jesus bring salvation to us?
The Father and the Son sent the Holy Spirit to apply the perfectly obedient life and death of Jesus to those who put their trust in him. When we trust in Jesus, God declares us righteous and forgiven of all our sins.
Who are those to whom the Holy Spirit brings the grace of God’s salvation?
They are those whom the Father gave to Jesus. “...Jesus...lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him.” (John 17:1-2)
Do the previous words from the gospel of John 17:2 apply only to the twelve disciples?
Just before his death, Jesus prayed to his Father, “I am praying for them [the disciples]. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours…I do not ask for these only, but also for those [that’s us] who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us”. (John 17:9, 20-21)
Since God saves us so freely by his grace in Jesus, is there any value in doing good works?
Our good works are valuable as a response to God’s free gift of salvation received by faith. God’s Spirit works in us to love God and others as Jesus loved us. "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:10)
“The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times.” “The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.” (Psalm 119:130,12:6)
We pray that these words from God may bring you hope and salvation this Easter season.
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