As this Easter weekend of 2011 draws to a close, I delight in sharing a few reflections. Easter meant something different to me this year .. I understand differently, more fully, my need for a savior.
I loved the message at our church this morning. Our pastor faithfully preaches the Word of God each Sunday and this Easter Sunday was no exception. The passage was Romans 1:16-17
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
and the message was as clear of a presentation of the gospel as I can remember hearing.
He boldly answered the question, “what are we being saved from?” the answer, in part, being, “we are being saved from God. From the wrath of a Holy God.”
We are sinners. God is Holy.
Because he sacrificed His sinless Son for our sins, as our substitute, He now sees us as righteous and not as the sinful beings that we are. Those of us who believe, as Paul states in this passage, are declared righteous.
The implications of this are what most impacted me …
He talked about the efforts we make in life to validate ourselves. I’m most prone to validate myself and my worth by the opinions of others. Ultimately this makes an idol out of people and their opinions.
Living in light of the Gospel .. not just for salvation, but daily, tells me and reminds me that I don’t need the validation of men, I have the Gospel. I’ve been declared righteous by my creator.
The truth is, I want people to think I’m amazing. My self-striving in this endeavor only leaves me exhausted. My heart cries out, “validate me!”
What I must acknowledge daily is that only in the Cross am I proven and accepted. And living in this reality daily could and would radically change my life.
I would approach my relationships in ways that allow me to accept others the way Christ has accepted me.
The gospel reminds me that no matter how impressive I am, I am still a sinner.
God is saying to me, “Give up! And trust in My perfect work, not your own.”
I have learned and continue to learn much about myself and my shortcomings. Thankfully, God has shown me much more about Himself.
At the close of this Easter of 2011, I will choose to ‘give up’ & rest on the Gospel.