Thursday, October 11, 2012

Weekly Devotion: Two Opinions

“And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.” 1 Kings 18:21

Of all the questions that could be asked, I believe this to be one of the grandest, “How long halt ye between two opinions”? God sent Elijah to boil down all of Israel’s problems to the root issue, i.e. if God is God, follow him or if Baal is God, follow him. Israel was at a spiritual crossroad, and their situation is not unlike the question that we all must face; who are you following?

Baal worship was a system of merit / works that affected the outward appearance but it did not address the sin nature of the inner man. This issue of “works” is the common thread that connects the false religions of today too. However, this mindset that “I” must “do” something to become righteous before God is exactly opposite of what the Bible says.

“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

Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone plus nothing! Many religions try to cloak their “works” by combining them with “grace”, but again, the Bible tells us that grace and works are like oil and water, they don’t mix.

“And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. Romans 11:6

This verse tells us that even 1% works + 99% grace = 100% works! Grace and works are mutually exclusive, if we could become righteous by the works of the law; Christ’s death was in vain.

“I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. Galatians 2:21

A preacher once said, religion is spelled “DO”, but a relationship with God is spelled “DONE”. If you think that church attendance, keeping the golden rule, giving money, being a good person, getting baptized, etc., merits eternal life, you have been deceived. These are all things you “do”, whereas salvation is a choice based on believing what Christ has already “done”.

“Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” Romans 4:4, 5.

These verses make it clear that grace is only reckoned to him that “believeth” and “worketh not”. Have you believed on him that “justifieth the ungodly”? Friend, if you are halting between these two opinions and the Holy Spirit is pricking your heart, why not pause right now and do what Israel did as soon as they saw the true God, defeat the prophets of Baal; and begin following God today?

And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God.” 1 Kings 18:39

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