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Freshen Up

Freshen Up

It’s tax time! This is the time of year I find myself needing to file a document or piece of information into a place I can find later. Admittedly, I’m not really great at this and often find myself saying my “ABCs” in an effort to find the right place in my files. While filing a document this week I found myself quietly reciting that familiar alphabet tune and it reminded me of how important it is to review the basics. Basics are what we hold on to when other things begin to fail us. In my career as a band director, I found that problems often could be solved by going back to the simplest of basics. As believers in Christ (Christians), it is no different. It applies to our personal journey as well as how we start others on their own journey. So, let’s freshen up with our ABCs. It’s a good self check and a good way to be prepared in and out of season to share God’s love with others.

A = Acknowledge

We must begin our faith walk by acknowledging that we are a sinner. As difficult as it is to admit, we all have sin and failures in the past and no matter how much we try, we continue to sin in both thought and action every day. Honesty to ourselves also tells us that we will likely fail in the future. Sometimes these sins are against our fellow man and sometimes we sin against God. It’s easy for us to attempt to rationalize how “good” we are when we compare ourselves to a mass murderer, but in reality we’ve all broken God’s laws. We’ve all told a lie, even if it was a small one. We've all stolen, even if just an idea or some homework answers. The list goes on and on. If honest, we have to admit we are guilty. None of us is able to perfectly keep God’s intended perfect law.

For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23 

Since God is holy and just and cannot have sin and evil in his presence, he sentenced those who sin (all of us) to eternal life separated from himself, his love, and his glory. He had to do this because he is God and could not go back on his word and his perfect justice. But, he is also a God of Love. What a mess…How could He be perfectly just and perfectly loving at the same time? Quite the conundrum! Punishment had to be paid (perfect justice). Blood had to be shed for our sins. Here we are staring the death penalty square in the eye. There is no way out. But wait...God had a plan to demonstrate both his perfect justice and his unfailing love!!! He himself would come to earth and be born from a virgin (without
sin). He would live a sinless life both as an example and so that he himself could be the perfect sacrifice, be beaten, punished, ridiculed, and shed his own blood in our place. This would allow God to be perfectly just (sin was punished and blood was shed as promised). The perfect sacrifice would also show his unfailing love by willingly substituting our death for his son’s. It’s difficult to believe (have faith), I realize, and I won’t go into all of the historical and biblical proof that exists. I’ll save this for a future blog. This brings us to:

B = Believe

We must individually believe (express faith) in Jesus as the sent son of God to address our sin problem by being the sacrifice once and for all. Understand that God is Love and God is Holy and that to fulfil both of those, He had to remain just and demand death while sending Jesus through His love to take the demand of death in our place.


“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 

C = Confess

Christ's grace is a free undeserved gift that we cannot earn and if we cannot earn it we cannot lose it. There is nothing we can DO to be saved. God is just calling us toward Him through Christ. We must CONFESS our sin and sin nature to God, accept His grace, and CONFESS before man (to others publicly) our faith.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9

It’s really that simple. It’s as simple as ACKNOWLEDGING your sin and sinful human state, BELIEVING that God really is a just God who loves YOU and sent Jesus to take your place of punishment, and CONFESS your sins to him and CONFESS him as your Lord and Savior to man. It is a gift you cannot do anything to earn; God is extending his grace!!! It is God finding a way to spare you from what you have earned which is death. God is Merciful!!!

DO YOU BELIEVE?

You can right now confess to him (name your sins and sinful state), ask for his forgiveness, believe he has forgiven you. Let some people know what you did and begin to publicly tell others he is Lord. If you prayed that prayer, please make every effort to find a group of believers you can meet with regularly. Don’t go it alone.

Also, be sure to check out our blog titled “Resolved” and reflect on the parable of the farmer. It will be important to your resolve as a new Christian.

Blessings New Brothers and Sisters. We would love to hear your story. It’s encouraging to us.
Feel free to text, call, or email if you have questions or need guidance or prayer.

Eric Bowman
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Eric Bowman ovalEric is our associate pastor, working with outreach and youth ministry as well as adult discipleship and growth. Eric retired from a 28-year career in public education as a high school band director in 2019 and is now living his lifelong dream as a pastor.  Eric and his wife, Diana, continue to live in Henry County where they have been lifetime residents. They "raised" three children and are now making their best attempt at "raising" themselves.


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