Do you recall the story of Saul (who becomes Paul) in the book of Acts? Saul began as a foe of the Christian faith, of the church, and of Jesus Christ. He approved when Stephen was stoned to death for blasphemy when he preached Jesus (Ac 7). Saul then began an organized persecution of the church, seeking out believers in Jerusalem and all the way to Damascus to arrest, imprison, and even execute believers.
BUT Acts 9 records Saul’s conversion, and immediately Saul began to preach Jesus as crucified and raised from the dead. What a huge change!
For the rest of his life Saul, now Paul, gave himself to preaching Jesus - because “Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Tim. 1:15).
That concept is probably very familiar to you. Certainly the idea that Jesus saves is. But since this statement is true, so new questions come to my mind.
Why the cross? Was there no other way?
How can the death of one man save all men and women from sin and death?
What does the cross have to do with me?
How am I actually saved through the cross?
Paul was absolutely certain of his own salvation. How can that be given all the things he did?
Can I be so certain? Should I be?
There are tremendous answers to these questions in God’s word. As Lent begins on Wednesday March 6 and continues through to Easter, April 21 this is a perfect time to think about the sacrifice of Christ, and what it does for me and you. So I plan to explore all this in messages during the Lent season.
I’m not sure I can answer every question, but I bet we can figure out a lot together as we study the Bible. I hope you will come along on the journey.
As I said, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, March 6. As Jesus fasted for 40 days before he began his public ministry, Lent is 40 days. The length of the season reminds us that in all of life we are following Jesus Christ our Lord. We can fast and pray, study and heed God’s word and be changed to resemble Christ even more.
So I hope you will mark Lent this year. You can fast (that is take no food only water) or abstain (eat limited and simple foods) one day a week during Lent. You can also adopt a practice of service during the season: visit home bound friends or Grace’s shut-ins, help a family with small children with a meal once a week.
And then, study God’s word. I think you will be blessed as you hear and follow God’s voice.
~ Pastor Byron
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