Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Luke 3:10-14

     And the crowds asked him, "What then shall we do?"
     And he answered them, "Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise."
     Tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, "teacher, what shall we do?"
     And he said to them, "Collect no more than you are authorized to do."
     Soldiers also asked him, "And we, what shall we do?"  And he said to them, "Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages."  (ESV)

Luke 3:10-14

"We are saved by faith alone, but not by faith which is alone"

Martin Luther

     In America, many claim to be a "Christian". Turn on the television, and you will see a young teen pop star make the claim that she is a Christian. The next time you see the same pop star she is pole dancing on a music awards program, or she's singing a racy song titled, I Can't Be Tamed. Somehow, there is a major disconnect here. They are all over the place. The person who claims to love Jesus, but is not an active member of any local congregation, or has even stepped into a church for years.  The person who is a member of a local church, but has no conviction about owning the local liquor store.  The unmarried couple, that has no intentions of marrying each other, who are living together and claiming to "love the Lord".  I could go on giving many other such examples, but there is something majorly wrong in each one that I have given. So, what is the problem here?


     In the just previous verses of the same chapter of  the Gospel of Luke (7-9), John the Baptist warns the religious leaders that they needed to show evidence in their lives that they had truly repented toward God and have come to salvation.  Their later hostility toward Jesus Christ was sure evidence that they never did, nor had any interest in doing so.
     2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us that a true disciple of Jesus Christ is a new creation of God, and that the old life has passed away.  Anyone who has ever truly repented toward God, and has come to trusting the finished work of Christ as their only hope for being accepted by God, will have a changed life.
     Zacchaeus, the tax collector (Luke 19:1-10), is a perfect example of this kind of change.  When Jesus went to the home his home to dine, and salvation came to the home of Zacchaeus, the "wee little man" was willing to do even more than what the Law of Moses required to right wrongs that he did to those around him.
     Does this mean that a true Christian never sins? It does not mean that at all.  The first chapter of the First Epistle of John clarifies that issue.  The Christian will never reach any sort of level of sinless perfection on this side of eternity.
     There is a well known common saying amongst the true disciples of Jesus Christ.  It goes something like like this:

"I know that I am not the man I should be, but thank God I am not the man I use to be."


2 Corinthians 13:5

     Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?-unless indeed you fail to meet the test!  (ESV)

2 Corinthians 13:5


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