so that you may know that you have eternal life.
1 John 5:13
For most of us the message of salvation is not new; we've heard it before. And certainly the call to continue to develop a confident faith, to finish well is not new at Valley. But we need to be reminded of the basic truths of our faith and to have those truths reinforced in a way that causes us to affirm what we believe in our hearts. This morning was one of the scared moments in which many of us could boldly, confidently declare: I know that I know, that I belong to Christ!
Aren't you glad that God has made the message of salvation so clear that even a child can understand it! The reality is, we are all sinners, For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) And we understand, sin separates us from God, The wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:23) We also understand that in and of ourselves we cannot change this reality; we cannot do enough good to offset our record of violations against a Holy God and we cannot cut a deal with God. Our only hope is the cross of Jesus Christ. The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
Paul writes in Colossians 2:13-14…When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.
John says the cross is the ultimate display of God’s love for a fallen, sinful man; a truth he emphasizes over and over again in I John. This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. (1 John 3:16) This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 John 4:9-10)
The cross of Jesus Christ is our only hope. But, at some point you must trust what Christ did for you on the cross rather than trust a form of religion or your own works. You must own up to the reality of your sinfulness, confess it and repent of it and trust the only One who can forgive your sin and offer you a pardon; to erase your record of violations. You must accept the gift of salvation, freely offered in Christ.
And when we do, we find in Christ, saving grace, forgiveness and the sure hope of heaven. We are then able to have and to continue to build a confident faith that will carry you through all the days of your life, across the finish line to home a home already being prepared for you in heaven. This is God's great desire for each of us and my desire you, my friends at Valley. that you might know that you know, you belong to God! And that you might live with a confident faith until Christ comes or calls us home!