The purpose of religion is to escape damnation; the purpose of The Gospel is to immunize the human soul against Sin…completely and forever!
In immunizing the soul against Sin, God is promising the believer an UNCONDITIONAL, UNBREAKABLE RELATIONSHIP with Himself, very much like the one He has with Jesus Christ…
“Impossible,” you say?
…I always tell people that Biblical faith is impossible without engaging the imagination; because when God speaks He is taking us from from the sphere of what is (or was), beyond the sphere of what can (or should) be, into the Sphere of the Impossible.
This is the primary issue atheists and agnostics (and far too many religious folk) have with the Bible, which claims to be an accurate, historic chronicle of God doing impossible things on our planet. In the New Testament this is taken further with the claim that ordinary people (like you and I) through the agency of the Holy Spirit are capable of doing the same impossible things that God does.
Even more incredible, The Gospel described in the New Testament claims that any human being can in fact BECOME the Impossible: a sin-free Child of God!
This is why the Identity of Jesus Christ is so controversial–and so critical to the Central Message of The Gospel. Jesus Christ claimed to be The Son of God: born–not of a human father–but born of the Holy Spirit of God…which is considered–to this day–impossible. With that Divine Origin, Jesus also claimed to be sin-free–an idea impossible to grasp by His contemporaries who understood (or at least thought they understood) what the Old Testament taught about humanity’s depraved nature and strained relationship with God.
Nevertheless, if Christ’s claims are true…not since Adam had ANY human like Jesus walked the Earth. The Advent of Jesus represents a completely new and powerful paradigm shift: at a time when the human condition was at its worst, God introduced A BRAND-NEW HUMAN SPECIES which is absolutely immune to the power of Sin (Romans 6:5-7)!!! And Jesus is the “Adam” of this new race in which the inheritance transmission factor is not genetics, but The Spirit of God Himself (1st Corinthians 15:45).
Question: “How do I cut in on this ‘new species’ action?”
Answer: The same way anyone gets anything from God: by Faith.
“Then he[Abraham] believed in the Lord; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.” – Genesis 15:6
Here we find a pattern that is repeated over and over throughout the Old and New Testaments:
God comes to a person and promises them something impossible.
That person believes in their heart that God is going to do what He promises; they see themselves (in their imagination) receiving the thing that God promised…they TRUST God. At once their behavior changes in anticipation of the fulfillment of the Promise.
God declares that person to be RIGHTEOUS: in perfect standing with God as though that person had no Sin.
Here’s the catch, though:
Point of Fact: The more impossible the promise, the greater is the challenge to the soul to believe from the heart what is promised.
And believe me: the Promises of the New Testament are the most impossible of all:
“Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the Earth.” – Matthew 5:5 “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the Resurrection and the Life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?’” – John 11:25, 26 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.” – John 14:12 “For Sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under Grace.” – Romans 6:14
These statements defy human logic–and more importantly, human experience. Nonetheless, they are God’s Promises, and GOD NEVER LIES.
There’s another “catch” as well, which speaks to the fear we all deal with:
Point of Fact: The greater the promise, the greater the risk to the believer.
People who have committed themselves to trusting in God and His Word had to risk their good name, their reputation, their possessions and even their lives to follow the path that God’s Promise led them on.
Moses risked his life to challenge the most powerful man of his day to put an end to slavery.
Samson risked his life on the premise that with a piece of bone he could defeat a thousand armed warriors.
Jehosaphat risked his army against an overwhelmingly superior military force by putting the “church choir” at the front of the battle.
These three men received the fulfillment of what was promised, but only at great personal risk.
What are you willing to risk to see God do the impossible in your lifetime? If your answer is “Nothing (of importance),” then you have disqualified yourself from far more than a miracle…
…because the truth is that Salvation itself is NOT an act of man nor the product of human thought, desire or will at all; SALVATION (transforming a sin-loving child of the Devil into a holiness-loving Child of God) IS ITSELF A MIRACLE…a Singular Act of Divine Power no less impossible than the parting of the Red Sea, the defeat of the Midianite horde or the Birth of Jesus Christ.
By the same token, to live as Christ lived and die as He died requires no less than a lifetime of Divine Interventions in which Christians are constantly challenged to walk on water and feed thousands with less than enough!
The Christian life is the most dangerous life that can be lived…and the most fulfilling and exciting life possible!