Weekly Pastoral Devotional Week 21

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Cedar Street Baptist Church

“Where Heads, Hearts, and Hands are Being Transformed

Through the Gospel of Jesus Christ”

Week 21 May 20-26, 2018

There is no other book in the entire Bible that helps sinners understand God’s eternal plan of salvation more thoroughly than Romans.  

Through each chapter, the Apostle Paul unpacks the deep truths of God’s sovereign will to draw sinners to Himself through the atoning work of His Son Jesus Christ.

However, there may not be a more definitive description of this plan of redemption than in Romans 3:23-25, which states, “…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, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.”

In just these three short verses, Paul presents us with seven significant words that serve as the key to unlocking the true purpose of God’s plan to reconcile sinners and restore their eternal relationship with Him. These seven words include sin, glory, justified, grace, redemption, propitiation, and faith. Below is a closer look at how these seven words each serve as puzzle pieces that together give us a complete picture of how our salvation has been secured through Christ.

The first word is sin, and this includes anything we say, think, or do that violates the will and character of God. We are creatures made in His image to be a reflection of His holiness and love, and our sin symbolizes the many times we have misrepresented our Creator to the rest of His Creation.

The second word is glory, and this denotes the recognition of praise and honor God deserves for His unsurpassed greatness. When we sin and violate the unblemished character of God, we fall short of our divine calling to offer Him the glory that his due His name.

The third word is justified, and this is a legal term that means in God’s courtroom we are declared innocent of breaking God’s law. Through justification, we are also reclassified as righteous people through the finished work of Christ, which means we not only avoid punishment as law-breakers but also receive rewards as law-keepers through Jesus who kept the law on our behalf.

The fourth word is grace, and this is defined as God’s unmerited favor where He works in us, through us, and for us to accomplish what is required of us. He offers us grace for both our salvation and our sanctification because He understands we were not capable of fulfilling our holy requirements due to our sinful limitations.  

The fifth word is redemption, and this describes how we were rescued from our sinful path leading to eternal death and separation and restored to a righteous path of eternal life and adoption into the family of God.

The sixth word is propitiation, and this concept explains how through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, God placed His wrath and judgement into the blood of His Son so that His wrath could be turned away from us because He knew we could not bear it.  

The seventh and final word is faith, and this is when we respond to God’s plan by placing our total trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ as our savior, and committing our lives to be obedient to Him as our Lord.

When these seven words are all put back together, each piece helps gives us one complete and total picture of how our amazing God secured our eternal salvation through the unspeakable act of sacrificing His own Son. These seven words teach us that God is holy and we are not, and that He alone is worthy of our praise, our trust, and our obedience. This is because he died for us when we were ungrateful sinners, declared us innocent when we were blatantly guilty, offered grace to us when we were disgraceful, and loved us when we were simply unlovable. Our only responsibility is to respond in faith by trusting in His plan and obeying the commands of His Son, so we can enjoy an eternal relationship with Him in His kingdom forever.

Seven Words that Spell Out Our Salvation

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MORE GLITTER FROM

THIS WEEK’S GOLD

Standing on the Promises of God

In Acts 28:1-5, we encounter the unflappable Apostle Paul who overcomes a shipwreck only to be bitten moments later by a venomous snake. But as others anticipated his death, verse 5 says, “He, however, shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm.” Paul was able to calmly persevere in this situation because earlier in Acts 27:24 he was promised by an angel of the Lord that he would survive long enough to address Caesar with the gospel. That one promise not only gave him confidence that he would survive a storm at sea, it also reassured him that God’s plan would not be derailed by an unexpected serpent.

When Sinful Desires Lead to Spiritual Death

When we encounter the tragic story of Amnon’s rape of his half-sister Tamar in 2 Samuel 13:1-22, we see a vivid portrait of how sinful desires can quickly lead to spiritual death. In verses 12-13, Tamar pleas with Amnon to stop his pursuit by saying “No, my brother, do not violate me, for such a thing is not done in Israel; do not do this outrageous thing. As for me, where could I carry my shame? And as for you, you would be as one of the outrageous fools in Israel.” She tried to use logic and reason to force him to see the severe consequences of his actions, but he had already become blind and deaf to her words because his sin had already corrupted his soul.

The Evidence of Experiencing the Lord

Skeptics of the Bible are always looking for creative new ways to attack the authority of God’s Word. But, there is still one argument for the divine nature of Scripture that is indisputable: Personal experience.  Psalm 34:8 says, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” While skeptics may doubt the Bible’s authority and scholars may struggle to understand its meaning, no one can disprove the personal evidence of opening the pages of Scripture to taste and see firsthand the eternal goodness of God.

Week 22 Readings:  May 27 - June 2

-Day One:  1 Chronicles 22-25; Psalm 78; Romans 5

-Day Two:  1 Kings 1; 1 Chronicles 26-28; Romans 6

-Day Three:  1 Kings 2; 1 Chronicles 29; Romans 7

-Day Four:  1 Kings 3; 2 Chronicles 1; Psalm 42; Romans 8

-Day Five:  1 Kings 4; Proverbs 1-2; Psalm 43; Romans 9  

TOOLS FOR NEXT WEEK’S TREASURE HUNT

Tips to Keep You on Track

          Our assigned readings this week will lead us into Proverbs, and this book has many unique characteristics to be aware of. First, the book of Proverbs is a collection of practical principles that teach wisdom for living in the Kingdom of God. Each proverb is a concise statement that reflects divine truth through the proven test of real life experience. As you read each proverb, look closely at how God is revealed as the source of wisdom, and we as human beings are given the opportunity to willfully reflect His character by making wise choices and rejecting foolishness. Through these choices, we will learn to cultivate Godly virtues personally, relationally, financially, sexually, and devotionally as we walk in obedience to the Lord. These words are simple yet profound, address each reader individually yet apply universally, and are relevant for every culture and generation of the past, present, and future. Finally, notice that there are 31 total chapters in the book of Proverbs. Due to this unique feature, many chose to read one chapter a day so that they can read the entire book each month throughout the year to learn and grow in the wisdom of God.

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PO Box 555

Metter, GA 30439

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