Reminders and Final Thoughts: The Foundation of Christianity
The most fundamental foundation of the Christian faith is not the keeping of the laws of Judaism or even keeping the basic 10 commandments. Neither is it belonging to or keeping the laws of Catholicism or Protestantism or any other religion or denomination. It isn’t even obedience to Jesus’ own synopsis of the law, “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like it, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31 Even as simple as these two commandments are, there is no one that can obey them. It’s that little word “all” that defeats us, as in “all thy heart, and all thy soul, etc.” I might love Him with “some” of my heart, soul, mind, and strength, but I must confess that “all” is a pretty big word after all.
“Justification,” is a word that means “being declared perfectly righteous and completely free from culpability.” It can’t be earned by keeping or trying to keep God’s commandments. It is only imputed to us when we trust in Jesus’ obedience and payment for our sin and sins at the cross. Paul makes this abundantly clear in Galatians 2:16, “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” This week’s reminder is that justification (i.e., salvation) comes not by keeping any laws or by doing any good works, but rather by faith. “Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1 “For no other foundation can any man lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 3:11 The foundation of Christianity is faith. Hebrews 11:6
My final thought is this. If I am laying on my death bed with only a minute left to live before I meet my maker, what could I tell Jesus, the Judge of all men, John 5:22; Acts 10:42 to gain entrance to heaven? Could I tell Him about all the good things I’ve done, hoping He will overlook the bad things? Could I tell Him that I’ve tried hard to obey Him, and that I’ve done the best I could? Could I tell Him about the church I belonged to? That I was raised in a Christian home? That I was baptized? Could I remind Him that I’m an American and therefore a Christian, so He should automatically grant me entrance into heaven? Yes, I could tell Him all those things, but none of those reasons will allow anyone entrance to heaven. The only key that unlocks the gates of heaven is the faith and trust in the revealed Word of God; the Gospel of salvation, which is that He paid for all our sin and sins by His death, burial, and resurrection for eternal life. That is the key to heaven He will be looking for. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 Blessings to all, amen