Blake Allen, Dunbar Cave Campus Pastor, LHBC
7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.
With every year comes New Year’s resolutions. Some people want to start going to the gym. Some want to change their eating habits. Some want to set new life goals. Often times, people start off well. But after the first month, salads turn into pizza rolls. Working out turns into eating out. The challenge is for us not to just have a good start but to finish well. What’s the point of a resolution if it only leads to a good start?
This is what we find in the book of Romans. It’s interesting that in chapter 1, Paul said that the believer’s faith was being reported all over the world. They were known by their faith. They sought after God. They did good things. These were things they did in the past. Fast forward to chapter 2 and Paul says they were storing up wrath for themselves. How did they go from “faith known around the world” to “storing up wrath for themselves?” It is the same church in chapter 1 as it is in chapter 2 yet condemnation follows commendation.
Somewhere along the lines they drifted spiritually. They drifted from the gospel of grace to a gospel of works. They judged others while they were spiritually corrupt themselves. Paul wrote to correct this false teaching and point out their need for grace and grace alone. Good works would not save them; salvation comes through the grace of Jesus. You cannot start with grace and end with works.
Paul then writes in verse 7, “to those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. In describing the meaning of this verse, one commentator writes:
“His word for persistence denotes an active, manly fortitude. It is used of the soldier who, in the thick of a hard battle, gives as much as he gets; he is not dismayed by the blows he receives, but fights on to the end. “Those who with patient endurance look beyond their own well-doing”. Their trust is not in their good works, but in God, the only source of glory, honour, and incorruption.”
The point is, salvation does not come through your own self-righteousness. Salvation comes through Christ. The evidence that you have received salvation is enduring faith in Christ. Salvation starts with grace and ends with grace. When your hope is in God and continues to be in God, it reveals the faith and hope you have received. Salvation is not just a good start; it is the beginning of a new life and a constant dependence upon the source of life, Jesus Christ.
What about you? Do you have enduring faith? We are not saved by our former achievements, spiritual activity, or because of our past contributions to the church. You start with Christ and end with Christ. We are saved by grace alone and the evidence of our salvation is persistent and enduring faith in Christ alone. No matter the times, seasons, or circumstances in life, we are to trust and depend upon our Lord and savior. We are to have enduring faith.
Do you have enduring faith or was it just a good start?
Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Trust God in your season of life. He will strengthen you and help you endure.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Father God, may we have enduring faith in all seasons of life. Strengthen us in our weakness and help us to trust in you. In Jesus Name, Amen
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
Hosea 6:3- Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord;
his going out is sure as the dawn;
he will come to us as the showers,
as the spring rains that water the earth.”