Do you know where you’ll go when you die? If you’re a Believer, do you have the trust to confidently state, “Yes, I’m going to heaven.” Or do you stand there today just hoping you’ll make it? This verse should then refute that gnawing uncertainty in your mind once and for all. For when we put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ, we are reconciled and placed in right standing with God. And the peace brought about by this reconciliation to our Heavenly Father overshadows any doubt or fear our minds may have. So stand now in faith and righteousness through Jesus Christ our Lord and be assured of your eternal life.
The Apostle Paul was given a thorn in his flesh…some chronic, painful condition that plagued him continually. And even though he had prayed three times for the Lord to take it – it remained. This was the same Paul who preformed extraordinary miracles, (Acts 19:11)…cast out evil spirits, (Acts 16:18)…and raised people from the dead, (Acts 20:10). But the prayers of his own healing went unanswered. Now many of us would react very badly if we had a great Ministry but were unable to be healed personally of some very visible disease. But Paul didn’t allow it to make him bitter, or doubt his worth. Rather, he looked at it from the viewpoint of his dependence on the Lord and his need for humility. For he writes in Philippians 4:13, “I can do everything through Him Who gives me strength.” Paul gained his strength through his weakness…for God in His infinite wisdom gave Paul what he needed, not what he wanted.
In God’s perfect plan, not one human-being would experience Hell and eternal death. But He’s also not sitting up in heaven with a big sledge hammer, relishing the thought of punishing sinners. Quite the opposite, for in II Peter 3:9 it says, “The Lord is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” Our Lord is graciously waiting for all to turn to Him…but we have to make the first move…not only admitting our sin, but accepting responsibility and confessing… we need You, Lord.
You can’t have it both ways. When you say “Yes” to Jesus, the broken relationship between God and you is restored. But that doesn’t mean you can manipulate His unearned and unmerited favor to your advantage. That’s what we’d call cheap grace. It’s an attitude of entitlement and presumption that you’d rather beg forgiveness than ask permission.
It is simply by God’s unearned and unmerited favor that we have the chance to be saved. It’s by His absolute free expression of His loving kindness towards us that we may come into a right relationship with Him through His Son Jesus Christ. This divine gift…the gift of eternal life is not to be taken lightly, or with a casualness that doesn’t fully take into account the terrible price Jesus Christ paid for our freedom. The gift of salvation can not be bought with a price…for what Jesus did for mankind was priceless.
But grow in grace and knowledge…what does that exactly mean to you? Is your life a shining example of Christ’s love within? Do you exhibit the same virtues and excellence you have on Sunday at Church as in the Board Room on Monday? Does the holiness you strive for follow you everywhere, or just to certain places? Growing in grace and knowledge of our Lord is a process…hopefully, an ongoing, ever-growing process…so that when people look at you…they just see Jesus.