Tag Archives: grace

FIVE REASONS TO BE A HAPPY CHRISTIAN (PART 2)

“May the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and thankful” (Psalm 68:3).

Last week, I shared with you three wonderful reasons why you should be a happy Christian. If you recall, they are:  We have been justified, and that we have peace, and access. Those alone are enough to make us extremely happy, but just in case you’re one of those hard-to-be-happy people, I’ll share two more reasons with you.

  1. We have grace. “We have access by faith into this grace in which we now stand” (Romans 5:2a). Grace is wonderful! It is the unmerited favor of God. That means you didn’t do anything to earn it. He saved you because he loves you and he loves you because it is in his nature to love everyone (John 3:16).
  2. We have joy. “We rejoice in the hope of a glorious God” (Romans 5:2b). We rejoice in the gift of God which we have received. We rejoice that we can now live a Godly life. We even can rejoice in suffering (Romans 5:3-5). People can be happy with little and miserable with much. One of the secrets of finding happiness and contentment is to think about all the things you have, not the things you don’t. Learn to be like Paul who said, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances” (Philippians 4:11). If you are a Christian, smile. You’ve got a lot to be happy about.

Robert Wilkerson is a minister, Christian writer, and co-founder of People for the Christian Way. drbobwilkerson@bellsouth.net   www.PeoplefortheChristianway.com

Oh, You Can’t Get to Heaven

Can you remember that old song we sang as kids, “Oh, You Can’t Get to Heaven”? It listed several different ways you couldn’t (such as a motor car, a boat, etc.). It was sung in fun, but there are several ways adults try to get to heaven that won’t work, and one way that will.

You can’t get to heaven by following the law. The law is good as a guide, but the law can’t forgive. As the Bible says, “The law was given by Moses, but grace (God’s unearned favor) and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17).

You can’t get to heaven by following man. John the Baptist is referred to in the Bible as one of the greatest men, yet he said, “After me will come one more powerful than I, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit” (Mark 1:7-8).

You can’t get to heaven by only belonging to a church. An old evangelist said going to a church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to a garage makes you an automobile. The question is not to what do you belong. It is to whom do you belong.

The one way that anyone and everyone, no matter how good or bad, can get to heaven is through Jesus Christ. He said plainly, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

Have you found the way yet?

 

Dr. Robert Wilkerson is a minister and Christian writer. He is the founder of People For the Christian Way. He can be reached through peopleforthechristianway.com

 

DON’T LOSE IT

Read Galatians 5:1-13

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then, and do

not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery

–Galatians 5:1

 

On July 4, 2012, we celebrate our freedom as a nation. It is wonderful to live in a free country and no country is freer than America. Among the freest of the free are Christians. Christians not only enjoy the freedom of government, they enjoy the personal freedom that Christ alone can give. As Christians, we have been set free from the law and the power, punishment, and guilt of sin. We are saved by grace through faith. It is not of our own doing. It is the free gift of God. We cannot work for it or earn it. We cannot buy it. We can only receive it as a gift from Jesus Christ.

This wonderful freedom that we enjoy can be lost if we aren’t careful. We can lose our freedom by becoming legalistic. That means we have a set of rules we live by. We believe that if we keep all the rules, we are OK with God, and if we don’t, we aren’t. Legalism builds pride in us, makes us think we’re better than other people, and robs us of our abilities to be non-judgmental, compassionate, forgiving, and kind. Living by the law makes us legalistic. Living by grace makes us Christian.

We can lose our freedom by lapsing back into the sin that Jesus saved us from. God’s Word finds this so disgusting that it compares it to a dog returning to its vomit (Proverbs 26:11). The call to become a Christian is a call to come forward—never to go back.

Let us be diligent not to lose the freedom Christ suffered and died to give us. Do we still have Christ’s freedom?  If so, don’t lose it.