Salvation from sin requires faith and obedience!

Alex Honnold free solo climbs El Capitan’s Freerider in Yosemite National Park. (National Geographic/Jimmy Chin)

A free solo rock climber is climbing a challenging rock face… he slips and falls… Fortunately he lands precariously on a treacherous narrow ledge… The climber cannot go up, and to try to go down means certain death. His only hope is rescue! Those who have observed his climb urgently summon help and a helicopter arrives! What can they do to rescue him? What must the climber do for his life to be saved?

The instructions are given from high up in the helicopter … if the climber follows them explicitly he is saved! …No argument, no debate, no bargaining – simple, direct, explicit obedience is required!!!

Salvation from sin and its deadly eternal consequences works much the same way! This morning I read a passage that precisely makes that point…

“Look on my suffering and deliver me, for I have not forgotten your law. Defend my cause and redeem me! Preserve my life according to your promise. Salvation is far from the wicked, for they do not seek out your decrees. Your compassion, Lord, is great; preserve my life according to your laws.” (Psalm 119:153–156 NIV)

The consequences of sin are painful, deadly, and eternal! People are trapped and bound! They cannot save themselves! The only hope is Divine rescue – God’s provision and rescue through Christ! God sent His only Son to rescue them through what He accomplished on their behalf through the cross. The provision is there – the rescue is available! But it requires faith and obedience – confession [acknowledgement] of sin, repentance [turning from the sin to Christ} and explicit, complete trust in Christ to save! No argument, no debate, no bargaining! (Romans 10:9-11; 1 John 1:9)

A powerful prayer of repentance…

Ever fail the Lord?  Ever stumble and do something that displeases Him… even more than once – repeatedly?

Here’s a wonderful, God-inspired prayer to pray – sincerely!  (Read it this morning during my time of “coffee with the Lord.”)…

“Turn to me and have mercy on me, as You always do to those who love your name!  Direct my footsteps according to your word!  Let no sin rule over me!” (From Psalm 119:132-133)

The Lord will hear that prayer!  He will answer it!  He will forgive and restore!!!  If you doubt that, please read 1 John 1:9-10:  “If we confess [acknowledge and ask for forgiveness] our sins, He is FAITHFUL and JUST and WILL FORGIVE US our sins and cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness.”

Having a “Great Heart” – the “Heart of an Apostle”

What do genuine Spiritual leaders – “Great Hearts” – pray about? What is their passion – their heartbeat and desire for those they lead?

Colossians 1:3-14 gives us a glimpse through the “apostolic prayerlife” of Apostle Paul

First of all they’re thankful…That the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world!

Then they have two major prayer requests for fellow Christians…

1. That they might fully comprehend God’s will (1:9b)

2. That their lives might honor and please the Lord (1:10a) By…

  • Continual fruitfulness evidenced by good works
  • A growing, deepening, personal relationship with Christ
  • Endurance and patience in trials, faced with the strength that God supplies
  • Expressing gratitude to God for His salvation

This is not an exhaustive list of the kinds of things “great hearts” (those with the “heart of an apostle”) pray about (other things are revealed in the other “apostolic prayers”)… but this is a partial, representative list.

Oh, listen to me… I want to have, and exhibit, the “heart of an apostle!”

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