May 13, 2018
Salvation, not Condemnation
We are now into week four of “looking again” at what Jesus’ mission was. We have seen, so far, that Jesus’ teachings and the interpretations/reflections of some of our leaders in the Church and in the popular media are not always in step with what Jesus actually taught. In fact, regarding our society’s propensity to condemn and then justify it as God’s work, one need only to take a closer look at probably one of the best known and most often quoted Biblical verses to see that Jesus’ mission was to save and not to condemn. Jesus, in John chapter three clearly states this: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
Jesus did not want us to cower in fear of God. He wanted to restore a relationship that had been lost. He wanted to welcome us home. Salvation was not meant to be a “fire insurance” policy, it was designed to provide us with hope, purpose and an opportunity to discover who we really are.
Maybe what you’ve heard about Jesus wasn’t quite right. Maybe what you’ve come to believe about Jesus was only part of the truth. If Jesus is promising “abundant life” and that He has come that “our joy may be made complete,” then isn’t it time to take another look at our part in seeking a life-giving relationship with God?
Questions to ponder:
What do you think was the main point of Matt’s sermon?
Why do you think we are so quick to condemn others?
What do you think Jesus is trying to teach us through the three parables in Luke 15 (Lost Sheep, Lost Coin, Lost Son)?
How does knowing this affect your relationship with God and those around you?
1. What does this say about God?
2. What does this say about me?
3. What does this say about how God wants me to be?
Do something about it
Relationships are like plants, they need to be cultivated, pruned, watered and receive the proper amount of attention and nutrition. Our relationship with God is no different. His desire to have a loving relationship with us does not change. It is our desire to grow that relationship that is a key to us finding the joy, hope and abundant life that He promises. This week, set aside time to develop at least one aspect of that relationship (prayer, studying the Word, being in community with other believers, worship, etc.).
Luke 15; John 3:16, 10:9-10, 14:6; Matthew 19:16-26; Luke 19:1-9; Rom. 8:38-39, 10:9-10