the first faith to the last faith…

Artist: Sean Seal

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Romans 1:16-18

How can there be shame in the gospel? For it is Good News of the revelation of God , of Himself, to mankind to show perfection and flesh as ONE. What we first ‘heard’ we then ‘saw’ and now ‘do’.

The shame in the gospel is thus: Jesus was denied by those closest to Him. Jesus was mocked and scourged (Mark 10:34). The Messiah – the unblemished Lamb that came to be the propitiation, or complete appeasement, of sin, was spat upon and hung on a cross with a thief.

But even, more! We deny speaking His name as it is not a part of our cultural vernacular. Jesus is considered and outsider to conversation because we are uncomfortable and the one we converse with is as uncomfortable.

It can be said shame exists even in our walk with God. However, here it is said “I am not ashamed”. Say it and pray it.

In the gospel is God’s revelation of righteousness.  As Matthew Henry states (paraphrased) the first faith is from God, Christ yet unseen, to the last faith, Christ thus come and risen. The just or righteous, the obedient and law-abiding, shall live by the last faith and we shall know this faith is evolved. For as once faith was unseen and then fulfilled through the stripes on Jesus’ back,  it is also our initial commitment to Him,  and the works of obedience we do and loyalty we have thereafter.

Wrath of God is now the eternal separation from our God because there is no righteousness where faith is absent. Where faith is absent, God yearns for our heart. We believe God.

No wrath is greater than eternal separation in our unrighteousness and what seems righteous to the world is folly. Every man has his set of values. Each man a little different. Without a focal point of moral judgement and an Absolute moral standard, all is relative, it is Relativism. The concept is a simple one. A relative moral standard is diluted by the very body that claims it’s truth.

“Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men” 1 Cor 1:25

Man alone in a self-centered wisdom cannot even approach God’s wisdom. Therefore, a claim that has been diluted holds even less merit. Man is foolish in his claims of goodness.

So let is be said, we are saved into righteousness through Jesus Christ and our hearts soar to His elevated throne. Righteousness is for we who are just. We who are just are righteous because we have faith. We have faith because we know that faith was first heard then seen on the cross. I plead you hear these words. Seek Jesus unashamed. Follow Him unashamed. Speak His name to the world so man will hear. It is Good News that all sin is appeased and placed on the cross and death is defeated. Life is born for we who seek it. We have eternity. We are the just and faithful.

Rick Stassi

2/5/2012

…the sinner’s gospel

The World’s Bible

Christ has no hands but our hands to do His work today;
He has no feet but our feet to lead men in His way;
He has no tongue but our tongues to tell men how He died;
He has no help but our help to bring them to His side.

We are the only Bible the careless world will read;
We are the sinner’s gospel, we are the scoffer’s creed;
We are the Lord’s last message, given in deed and word;
What if the type is crooked? What if the print is blurred?

What if our hands are busy with other work than His?
What if our feet are walking where sin’s allurement is?
What if our tongues are speaking of things His lips would spurn?
How can we hope to help Him and hasten His return?

Annie Johnson Flint

Does the Lord need us?

Our commission is to go forth and be His ambassadors of the living Word. The true Good News conveyors. The miracle has happened and it cannot be erased. Jesus lived, died, and was resurrected to His place next to our Father in heaven. All for us. When we ask if God needs us, the answer is probably no. If we ask if He desires us to walk in His way as He proposes to His saints, the answer is yes. Moreover, our desire should be just that: To follow in His steps and clarify a blurred print, be the Bible people will read, be the sinner’s gospel. 

It is in our straying walk that delays His love upon a darkened heart. We cannot stand in front of that. We cannot be obstructions. For we can do damage to God’s work here. However, He is in control and He will straighten us and then He will work on a world gone astray upon His return. We may delay or hasten His return, but it is important to know every step we take in the furtherance of His way, there is another soul appearing in our path with anguish and hopelessness. Lay your hand empowered by our loving God on his head and bless him in Jesus’ name. We are the vessels that emanate the Living God who resides within. Do not obstruct the shining Light – do not place a cover on the lamp of salvation. Be the Bible the aching, hopeless world will read. Begin today.

Rick

October 2011