Summary: Paul shares two ingredients that make life worth living.
(Show video—Life is Temporary)
I would imagine that it would be safe to say that a majority of us who are present today desire a life that is fulfilling, meaningful, joy filled, and purposeful - a life worth living.
Now, I guess there may be a few of you who take exception to that - you prefer a life that is empty and meaningless - devoid of hope and joy. If that is true of you, you have permission to fall asleep. What we have to consider from Scripture today will be of no interest to you.
But if you are like the majority of us, if you want to be fulfilled in the life you have to live, then listen up! In these verses, Paul tells us what ingredients make life worth living.
Ingredient # 1 - A personal faith in the Son of God - vs. 8-9
If I am going to live life to the fullest, if I am going to get the most out of life, then I need to “plug in” to the source of all life—I need a right relationship with God Almighty. But how does one establish a relationship with God?
A. Salvation is not by works.
Why? Because sin prevents us from ever being good enough for God.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” - Romans 3:23 (NIV)
Imagine that an airplane flies over the South Atlantic and crashes a thousand miles from any coast. In the plane there are three individuals: an Olympic swimmer, an average swimmer and someone who cannot swim at all. The Olympic star calls out, “Follow me - I’ll get you out of this!” and takes off heading for the tip of South America a thousand miles away. The other two jump in after him. In about thirty seconds, the non-swimmer goes down to Davy Jones’ Locker. It takes about thirty minutes for the average swimmer to be deep-sixed. But the champion swimmer churns away for twenty-five hours, covering an impressive fifty miles.
Terrific! Only 475 more hours to go! He’ll be there in nineteen days if he doesn’t slow down. The truth is, our paddling will never do, no matter how “good” we are. The distanced is too far, and we are too flawed. The Bible says, “not by works,” and that is the truth.
B. Salvation is by grace through faith.
Grace is god’s part. You see, God has taken the steps to “meet us
halfway” by taking human form in order to pay the price for our sin, thereby making it possible for us to have a right relationship with Him and live lives that are fulfilling and meaningful.
“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, (why?) so that you through his poverty might become rich.” - 2 Corinthians 8:9 (NIV)
“For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, (why?) so that we could be made right with God through Christ.” - 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV)
GRACE is God’s riches At Christ’s Expense
This abundance is available to all, but it must be claimed. How? By faith.
FAITH is Forsaking All I Trust Him
Faith is not mere intellectual affirmation of truth about Christ. Faith is not belief alone.
“You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror.” - James 2:19 (NLT)
Saving, life transforming, faith is a personal commitment to Christ: it is belief plus trust.
I can believe a chair will hold my weight if I sit in it. But it is only as I personally trust in the chair by sitting in that I benefit from its strength. Likewise, I can believe in God, I can believe in Christ, but it is only as I personally trust in Him that I will benefit from His saving power.
God has made it clear that is one is to have a right relationship with Him, it will only be through a personal trust, commitment, faith, in his Son, Jesus Christ.
“He who believes in Him [who clings to, trusts in, relies on Him] is not judged [he who trusts in Him never comes up for judgment; for him there is no rejection, no condemnation--he incurs no damnation]; but he who does not believe (cleave to, rely on, trust in Him) is judged already [he has already been convicted and has already received his sentence] (Why?) because he has not believed in and trusted in the name of the only begotten Son of God. [He is condemned for refusing to let his trust rest in Christ’s name.]” - John 3:18 (Amplified)