I missed gathering on Crosswinds’ Canandaigua campus Sunday for worship but thankful to have worshiped with my family from home. I appreciate everyone who made a home worship experience possible. It is amazing to think that although we could not gather together, we could worship together. Technology can be such a blessing. If you have not participated in the service it is still available on crosswinds.church.
Our world is changing rapidly around us. This will not be forever, but is our current reality. All of us desire serenity, living with true inner peace. The problem is that we live in a world filled with chaos, where all too often, we find ourselves preoccupied with past hurts, unhealthy habits, and destructive hang-ups. Instead of Christ occupying the center seat in our life, we discover that it is these unhealthy issues driving us, leading our souls to cry out in distress. The good news is that our Lord calls us to a life with access to true peace found only in Him. This life of peace, gratitude, freedom, and blessing comes through divine intervention. No doubt, pain, and hardship are universal, but through faith in Christ, we find hope, healing, and serenity in God (see: John 16:33). One of the steps we can take to have the Lord’s peace is to establish biblical belief in our lives. We need to base our lives on Christ and who we are in Him.
Basing our lives on Christ is not merely a philosophical decision. It requires placing our faith in Christ. In the book of Acts, we discover a conversation between Paul and Silas with a Philippian jailer. The jailer asks, “Sirs, what do you have to do to be saved, to really live” (Acts 16:30). Paul and Silas responded, “Believe, put your entire trust in Jesus as Lord, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).
One may ask, “Why do I need to be saved?” The simple truth is that we are all infected by sin and the consequence of sin (Rom 3:23). Sin is described in the Bible as any transgression of the law of God and rebellion against God. We are born with sin, and we all personally choose to sin. Sin divides us from a holy God. Sin is the root of our past hurts, unhealthy habits, and destructive hang-ups. We live in a fallen, sinful world and, without the salvation found in Christ, will suffer the consequences from today into eternity. Due to sin, we all deserve death (Rom 6:23). This death is not just physical death, but spiritual death eternally. We need to be saved from the destructive consequences of sin this side of heaven on into eternity.
Since sin deals with the wrongness in our life and has eternal consequences, only an infinite and holy God could pay the penalty, death. The dilemma is that God, in His divine nature, can’t die. Therefore, God took upon His divinity, humanity, entering into the world as a human being in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus came, took on human flesh, lived among us, and taught us. Jesus came to seek and save the lost (Lk 19:10). He died for our sins on the cross and was resurrected for our salvation (Rom 4:25). Because Jesus Christ is God, His death has eternal and infinite value. Jesus’ finished work on the cross was the perfect and complete payment for our sin (1 Jn 2:2). He paid a price we owed, but could not pay. He paid a price that He did not owe, but only He could pay. Jesus’ resurrection proves that His death was a perfectly sufficient sacrifice for sin and that placing our faith in Him is the way to salvation.
We cannot earn salvation. We cannot work for it. We cannot do enough good to receive it. We are not saved by how we behave. Nor are we excluded from salvation by how we have behaved in the past. We are saved by what we believe today. Remember the answer Paul and Silas gave to the jailer, “Believe, put your entire trust in Jesus as Lord, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). God has already done the work. All we must do is receive, in faith, Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, and we are saved (Rom 10:9). We need to fully trust in Jesus alone as the payment for our sins. We believe in Him, and we won’t perish (Jn 3:16). God offers all of us the gift of salvation. All we need to do is by faith receive it. Jesus is the only way to salvation (Jn 14:6).
If we are not moving toward a biblically accurate understanding of God and salvation, then we are left lost with the inaccurate. Our understanding of God forms the concept of our identity, purpose, and mission. Our belief about God directly influences our actions and attitudes. It is not a stretch to declare that our very lives depend on establishing biblical belief. We need to base our lives on Christ and who we are in Him.
When we rely on God, we are freed from the fruitless struggle of relying on self and others for what God can only do for us and in us. Serenity, true inner peace, is only found in Christ. To believe in something or someone is to commit to. We are to believe in and commit ourselves to Christ. Not only does such belief in Christ lead to salvation, but this right understanding of God and acceptance of the Lord takes us one step at a time further down the path of the purpose God has laid out for us.
Serenity is found in living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, following the Lord through the highs and lows of life. Embracing it all as the pathway to peace in Him. In the end, it is who we are in Christ and who we are meant to be in service and praise to Him that defines our future. Our future is only limited by our own inability to accept the grace God offers. By God’s grace alone, we are saved. By God’s power, we are filled with His peace as we base our life on Him and who we are in Him.
It is my privilege to do life with each of you in Christ. Let’s seek the Spirit’s leading as we establish biblical belief in our lives. Let’s encourage others to do the same in the knowledge that only through basing our lives on Christ and who we are in Him can we find real peace in our life. Lastly. let’s seek out opportunities to share our Lord’s peace with family, friends, and our community. Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God Alone)!