Originally scheduled for June 20
talking to someone who doesn’t know much about Christianity, it is
common to encounter certain expectations of just what it takes to
become a Christian. Some people feel that a certain number of good
deeds is a requirement. You have to pass the entrance exam, so to
speak. This takes a number of forms:
“I’m as good as you are…”
If I can compare myself to somebody who thinks he’s going to heaven,
and I decide that I’m better than he is, I get in!
“I went to the right
church when I was a kid.” In other words, I have the right family
“I took care of that… I
made a big offering to the church.” It’s just a matter of knowing
how much they want.
only problem with this particular theory is that it’s false. That’s
not how God works at all. There is the other end of the spectrum,
however: those who think they’re not getting in heaven. Why?
“I’ve done something
“I’ve committed the
unforgivable sin (whatever that is.)”
appears there are socially acceptable sins as well as socially
unacceptable sins. God makes no such distinction.
method is based on a different point of view.
Sins must be paid for.
That’s why the ancient Israelites had animal sacrifices prescribed
for them. Ultimately, however, it would take the sacrifice of Christ
to do what the animal sacrifices could not — take away sin.
Nothing you can do will
take away sin. This is why the Cross was necessary. Only God could
deal with our sin. It was out of his great love for mankind that
Christ went to the Cross.
That’s why communion is open to all who believe. It is a reflection
of the fact that God’s grace is open to “whosoever will.”
As you take the bread,
remember that this represents his body. Out of God’s great love it
was given over to death for you, and for me.
As you take the cup,
remember this represents his blood, shed for you. Only God’s great
love would send his Son to the Cross for our salvation.
Finally, as you do, give thanks to God. Our theories about how to
handle sin don’t work; his way works for everyone. Therefore, give
praise and thanks to God for what he has done for us.