6 Minute Read + Scripture readings

(If you want to listen to an audio version of today’s blog post, simply go to https://anchor.fm/mattellis1997, or search for “Reflections on Truth” by Matt Ellis wherever you download your favorite podcasts.)

Today’s Bible Reading:

1 Samuel 2
Romans 2
Jeremiah 40
Psalms 15-16

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Romans 2:5-8 (CSB): “Because of your hardened and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgment is revealed. He will repay each one according to his works: eternal life to those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor, and immortality; but wrath and anger to those who are self-seeking and disobey the truth while obeying unrighteousness.”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Imagine looking down at your waistline and thinking that you really need to do something about your weight. So, you do some research and find a very popular, apparently successful weight loss program. You signed up for the weight loss program … but didn’t make a single adjustment in your life. You never made adjustments in your diet and you never bothered beginning an exercise program.

Here’s a question: What good is it if you sign up for a weight loss program if you don’t take it seriously?

Here’s another question: What good is the Gospel if you have supposedly said a prayer to get saved and yet never take it seriously?

There is no shortage of people who are comforting themselves in the fact that they have said a prayer to get saved. Yet, they have no desire to pursue holiness. There is no conviction and feelings of guilt when they sin. They are not becoming more like Jesus … yet, they said the prayer so they think they’re OK.

When we look at the verses that I have chosen for today, and as we search the pages of the New Testament for what the true Gospel looks like and what it does in our lives, we realize that it is very different than the Gospel that is being tossed around among so many Christians today.

The true biblical Gospel is received by grace. It is a free gift of God. We are completely forgiven of all wrongdoing before the holy Judge of Heaven as we simply place our trust in Jesus and what He did for us on the cross. In fact, if we try to pay for our salvation through good works, it would be just as offensive as if we tried to pay for a Christmas gift. Salvation is received freely or it is not received at all.

Further, our life continues to be about grace after we are saved. Instead of feeling like we have to perform to keep God happy with us, we instead rest in what Jesus has done for us. It is Jesus in us that makes God smile when He looks at us.

But, the question becomes: “If we are truly saved, will we keep on living for ourselves or will we demonstrate that we have been saved by pursuing holiness?”

The answer to that question is found all over the pages of our Bibles. It is also found in the verses I have chosen for today. Romans 2:5-8 assumes that someone who is truly saved is obedient to God’s commands in Scripture and is becoming more like Jesus. It assumes that those who are not saved are not pursuing Christlikeness.

Romans 2:5-8 (CSB): “Because of your hardened and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgment is revealed. He will repay each one according to his works: eternal life to those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor, and immortality; but wrath and anger to those who are self-seeking and disobey the truth while obeying unrighteousness.”

Again, its not what we do that saves us. But, if we are truly saved, it will change us. We will have different desires. We will want to obey God’s Word. We will want to persist in doing good. We will have a greater sensitivity to those sinful things that break God’s law and break God’s heart.

So, while our actions do not save us, they can help us to realize whether we have truly received the free gift of forgiveness and eternal life.

Have you been saved, friend? Have you trusted in Jesus to forgive you? If so, is there evidence that Jesus has taken up residence in your heart and is making you more like Him? I truly hope so, my friend.

If not, please feel free to contact me. I’d love to help you enter into an incredible relationship with the God who made you and loves you.

* * * * * * * * * *

Lord Jesus, I realize that You aren’t content to simply be my Savior. You also desire to be my Lord, my boss, my master. And the more I read my Bible, the more I realize how blessed a person is who complies with Your commands. Obeying You and becoming more like You really is the pathway to blessing and happiness as I look forward to being with You forever in Heaven. Thank You for loving me and leading me. Help me on my pursuit of becoming more like You. Amen.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash