Greetings CrossTrain Family! What a great reminder it was this week from RJ of the importance of being in the word daily so that we may be equipped through reading of the word in order to not be deceived by false teachings and by twisting of the Gospel. False teachings truly hurt people and there is only one Gospel that saves. Unfortunately, even very popular and household name “churches” today deceive many and cause real pain, real deception, and misdirected faith. And how can we identify these falsehoods but through knowledge of the truth of scripture? At family ministry, this is our passion; that we equip our families to pour God’s word into their children and make them so familiar with what God says that they may not be led astray. As we continue to memorize these scriptures, may we remember that, as RJ said, our family is our ministry! Scripture alone is all sufficient to equip us for our ministries.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:23-24
Why this verse? This may be the most concise explanation of the Gospel in the Bible. We’ve built up in these last several months to this point. We’ve already learned that we are all completely dead in our sin and deserving of God’s wrath, and are reminded of this here in Romans. BUT GOD JUSTIFIES US!!! God continues to explain that it is by no work of our own, but it is a gift by grace… it’s a gift gift! It’s completely free without any requirement but to receive it by faith. God then tells us how this was accomplished: through Jesus redeeming us. Jesus paid the price on the cross that we could not pay in order to make us right with God. When we stand in front of the perfect, holy, triune God, he no longer sees us as the wretched sinners we are, but we are clothed in the righteousness of Jesus. Martin Luther once described it as piles of dung being covered with a blanket of snow (that’ll get our kid’s attention!!!) Because of Jesus, God now looks at us as though we had done everything right and perfectly followed His commands. Like we learned last week, our sin was put on Jesus so that we might be credited his righteousness.
This is the good news of the Gospel! As christians, this is what we cling to! We know that we have peace with God and eternal life if we believe this promise of God! As our lives and this world continue to be marred by sin and we suffer through pain and strife, this promise of eternal life, this good news is what we fallen creatures need to be reminded of daily. Just as much, our children need this hope!
Questions for ourselves and our children that Romans 3:23-24 can answer:
Who has sinned?
How can God forgive our sin?
What must we do to be saved?
With all that makes life hard and painful sometimes, what is the one thing in which we can find hope?
Family, the work we put in to minister to our children and those around us will NOT be in vain. God is using each one of us for an exact purpose, and we get to be used by him to help gather his flock into the fold. We pray that God would use His word that He has spoken to us here in Romans to open our eyes to the truth of the Gospel and that the peace of God would overwhelm every worry and angst we may experience in this world until all his enemies have been destroyed. Until next time, may God richly bless you by the grace and mercy won by Jesus Christ!
Adam and Audra Griffin