So I awoke with another song in my head. Last night my sweet wife had a song pop into her head and she said, â€œI just love how the Holy Spirit puts songs on our hearts.â€ Amen! It is the Holy Spirit reminding us to worship the King. The name of the song running through my mind this morning is Matt Maherâ€™s â€œShout of the Kingâ€ and this song speaks of Jesusâ€™ presence with us and challenges â€œall you people rise to the shout of the King.â€ It continues speaking of the sound of praise all in a name, Jesus Christ, the One who saves. And this is the chorus my mind has camped upon:
Itâ€™s the sound that breaks down strongholds
Itâ€™s the sound that makes a sinner whole
Itâ€™s the sound of freedom falling on the earth
The sound of victory
The victory we have in Christ is our redemption through Him. His blood sacrifice paid the humanly unremitable price for sin. Why is it beyond our ability to redeem ourselves? If we paid the price, it would take our very lives:
â€œ… but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.â€ (Genesis 2:17)
Because of Adamâ€™s rebellion in the Garden, we who are made in the image of Adam are all born into sin, which means we must pay with our lives. And death without redemption through Christ means separation from Him and the Father:
â€œFor the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.â€ (Romans 6:23)
Some scoff at the idea of sin, and far too many preachers refuse to preach on sin, which accounts for much of the scoffing. It also account for much of the universalism in believing we are all going to heaven because of Jesusâ€™ sacrifice. Sounds nice, even preaches real good to a crowd of itching ears, only problem is that it is a lie from the pit of hell.
â€œBut now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.â€ (Romans 3:21-26)
That passage clearly states that redemption comes through Jesus Christ and that God passes over our sins, however in verse 22 is says we have â€œthe righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe.â€ That word â€œbelieveâ€ is from the Greek verb pisteuo and it means â€œto believe, put oneâ€™s faith in, trust, with an implication that actions based on that belief may follow.â€ So our faith in Christ is a commitment we make to follow Him in faith; it simply means repentance. It is repentance that brings redemption; not the opposite.
Some believe that if they live a good life and follow Godâ€™s commandments they can somehow earn their way into heaven, hoping and praying that God grades on some kind of holy curve. In a word, no. The Law, the Ten Commandments, act as a mirror for us to see our sinfulness. In fact the Apostle Paul told the Galatian church that the law was a curse upon us:
â€œChrist has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, â€˜Cursed is everyone who hangs on a treeâ€™), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.â€ (Galatians 3:13-14)
This weekend, culminating on Monday, Americans will be celebrating Memorial Day. For most, it begins the 101 days of summer that runs through Labor Day. Many celebrate the official beginning of summer vacation. For Pensacola Beach, it means Satan has a heyday and releases a modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah upon that island. But for some of us, Memorial Day means remembering those who gave their all so that we could be free. In his majestic Gettysburg Address, President Abraham Lincoln honored the fallen with these words:
â€œBut, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before usâ€”that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotionâ€”that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vainâ€”that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedomâ€”and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.â€
I love the words, â€œ…they gave the last full measure of devotion…â€ Karen and I were blessed to meet Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. In two different books he gave us, he addressed our fallen son Sergeant Eddie Jeffers as one â€œwho gave the last full measure.â€
Our Lord Jesus Christ set the example of giving the last full measure. Remember well His last words on the cross:
â€œSo when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, â€˜It is finished!â€â€™And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.â€ (John 19:30)
Friend, thatâ€™s the sound that makes a sinner whole.
Are you whole?
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Copyright Â© 2012 David Jeffers
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