Baptism is only two days away. During our study time tonight, we read from Romans 5 and 6. Awesome way to prepare for baptism. I want to share a few of my favorite parts:
When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.
How amazing and simple this is. I love it. Christ saved us as sinners! Not, after we cleaned ourselves up, not after we have become pure in heart - no - He saves us just as we are - sinners.
18 Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. 19 Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous.
20 God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant. 21 So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Through Adam comes condemnation, through Jesus comes grace. And it's abundant.
And of course - the following passages really struck Steve and I - because we're getting baptised this Sunday:
1 Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? 2 Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? 3 Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? 4 For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.
New lives with Jesus. While I'm a bit nervous about the baptism - it's a huge step for me - I'm incredibly excited.
I want to share about a ministry I heard about today on Focus on the Family. The segment was called, "Cries from the City" and it discussed inner-city ministries. The stories they shared would break your heart - the work they are doing for God is amazing and inspiring.
"All too often the church of Jesus Christ doesn't hear the cries from the city. Sometimes we don't hear because we don't listen. Sometimes we don't listen because we don't want to hear." -