Mes­sage of faith

Deniliquin Pastoral Times - - NEWS - ■ Con­trib­uted by Chris Tay­lor of the De­niliquin Bap­tist Church on be­half of the Com­bined Churches of De­niliquin.

A friend of mine went to a foot­ball match re­cently.

Near the end of the match he no­ticed that sit­ting in front of him was Aussie ac­tor, Hugh Jack­man.

From that point on, my friend be­came fas­ci­nated by Jack­man’s close pres­ence — which team he was bar­rack­ing for; what did he eat for lunch.

So much so, my footy fan friend missed the al­limpor­tant match-win­ning goal.

It’s easy to get dis­tracted and lose sight of what’s im­por­tant.

In re­cent weeks, it has been easy to get side­tracked and for­get what the Chris­tian faith is all about. For starters, it’s not about moral­ity. Yes, there is a dis­tinct bib­li­cal moral­ity but that is not first and fore­most the mes­sage of the Bi­ble.

The Bi­ble’s mes­sage is not ‘‘get your moral­ity to­gether’’ or ‘‘make your­self good enough for God’’ and then we’ll talk sal­va­tion and ac­cep­tance into heaven.

No. The mes­sage is about faith. Faith alone in Je­sus.

This year many will cel­e­brate 500 years of Martin Luther start­ing a de­bate that changed the world.

A man who re­alised that no one can be made right with God by his or her own ef­fort.

His eyes were opened afresh af­ter read­ing Ro­mans 1:17: “For in the gospel the right­eous­ness of God is re­vealed — a right­eous­ness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is writ­ten: “The right­eous will live by faith.”

Luther fi­nally un­der­stood that it is only by faith in Je­sus, and Je­sus’ right­eous­ness, that we can be ac­cepted by God; not by our own good liv­ing.

What­ever else is preached and pro­moted in our churches and by Chris­tians — and there are many worth­while things — the main thing is faith in Je­sus Christ.

That’s the gospel. The Bi­ble says there is no other way to God.

Take the time this week to con­sider whether or not you have been dis­tracted from the true mes­sage of the Bi­ble.

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