2008-09-28 (pm) Acts 16:16-40 Faith Alone
Having closely examined the Apostle’s creed, the authors of the catechism ask,
Q. What good does it do you, however,
to believe all this?
A. In Christ I am right with God
and heir to life everlasting.
Faith, belief in Jesus Christ is real. It is not an empty faith. It is not something we do in hope that the future will turn out better. It is something we do because we believe the future will turn out better.
You see, faith in Christ, faith that is summarized in the apostle’s creed, that is believing that his life, death on the cross and resurrection from the dead, all of these truths are believable on very good eyewitness testimony. And it is faith what makes us right with God, heirs to life everlasting.
There are no hoops to jump through. You don’t have to make a pilgrimage to Mecca, you don’t have to recite something special, you don’t have to prove yourself by doing good deeds. All you have to do is accept Jesus Christ.
Q. How are you right with God?
A. Only by true faith in Jesus Christ.
Even though my conscience accuses me
of having grievously sinned against all God's commandments
and of never having kept any of them,
and even though I am still inclined toward all evil,
without my deserving it at all,
out of sheer grace,
God grants and credits to me
the perfect satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christ,
as if I had never sinned nor been a sinner,
as if I had been as perfectly obedient
as Christ was obedient for me.
All I need to do
is to accept this gift of God with a believing heart.
In our passage this afternoon, Acts 16:16-40, we have the account of a jailer who became a believer.
He encountered God in the aftermath of the earthquake. He knew what was going on. He realised that something powerful was going on. He was prepared to take his own life, thinking that with the jail open, all the prisoners were gone. The Romans would have taken his life in a heartbeat.
But they were all still there.
Immediately, he asked, how can he be saved?
The answer is simple. Believe in Jesus Christ. They told him the word of the Lord, probably a summary similar to the Apostle’s Creed. Then, after he’d heard it he believed! He was filled with joy because of giving his life over to God.
So, where are you today?
Is your life filled with Joy because of believing in Jesus Christ?
Are you right with God? Are you an heir of Christ?
Believe in Jesus Christ and you will be! Amen.