The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
As the Apostle Paul sailed to Rome after having appealed to Caesar regarding accusations made by his Jewish countrymen, contrary winds slowed the voyage of 276 men, many prisoners like Paul. Finally, the ship foundered and was broken by a rushing current of waves near the shore of a land called Melita. The soldiers purposed to kill the prisoners, believing they would seek to escape. However, Luke records that "the centurion, willing to save Paul, kept them from their purpose; and commanded that they which could swim should cast themselves first into the sea, and get to land, and the rest, some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land" (Acts 27).
A simple truth, brightly glimmering with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, presents itself to our hearts in Luke's account. For the sake of one, many were spared. The centurion showed mercy to the Apostle's fellow prisoners, recognizing the importance of Paul, and doubtless being impressed by Paul's actions and demeanor during the ill-fated voyage. One man became the basis of rescue for many men. No more vivid illustration of the saving grace of the Lord Jesus exists in the pages of Scripture.
"By the righteousness of One the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life… By the obedience of One shall many be made righteous" (Romans 5:18-19).
God made a way to rescue lost sinners in a manner that provides freely given grace by a solitary Figure whose Person and work so flows with a rushing current of righteousness He can eternally justify all who come to Him. "The grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many… They which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:15; 17). Indeed, when we one day stand before God, if we utter "One" as the basis of our acceptance with Him, our Father will completely understand and receive us. This raises the question: how well do we know and affirm the righteousness of the Lord Jesus as the sole basis of our standing and relationship with God?
A good answer for all of us would be "Not well enough." Indeed, eternity will not suffice in fully revealing the wonder of Christ's atoning earthly work for us, and His ongoing Heavenly intercession. Our Father is so pleased and satisfied with His Son's redeeming work on our behalf that nothing can remove the robe of Christ's righteousness from our hearts once we have received it. Better knowing such truth accomplishes a sanctifying and motivating work in our hearts that leads to our longing to live a life that reveals the wonder of God's freely given justification. Indeed, we live by One no less than we were spiritually birthed by One when we received God's grace in Christ.
"The mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear Him… Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness" (Psalm. 103:17; 119:142).
God sealed us in His Son when we believed, determining to forever thereafter view us through the lens of Christ and His pristine righteousness, freely given and freely maintained by the Savior. In our present lives, we certainly do not always walk in accordance with this wonder of being "the righteousness of God in Him" (II Corinthians 5:21). Our Father, in love, deals with us accordingly. However, nothing changes the justifying truth of One. While many have received and will receive the redeeming grace of God, all will come by way of the One. No other way exists. No other way is required. "I am the way" (John 14:6).
One. Long ago, a solitary individual became the basis of rescue for hundreds in danger of execution. Far more, long ago One become the hope of all for rescue from our deserved condemnation. Those who look to Him alone find pardon and infinitely more as were rejoice in the glory of One so pleasing to His Father that His righteousness avails for all united to Him by faith. Yes, in that day when we stand before God, if we simply affirm "One" as our basis of approach, He will perfectly understand and receive us by that solitary Individual who rescues all who trust Him and Him alone.
"The grace of God, and the gift by grace… is by one man, Jesus Christ."
Weekly Memory Verse
"The fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth."