Summary: God’s call and our need to give diligence and endure until the end.

Run and Don’t Lose Heart

Matthew 20:

1 "For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard.

2 "Now when he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard.

3 "And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the marketplace,

4 "and said to them, ’You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went.

5 "Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did likewise.

6 "And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing idle, and said to them, ’Why have you been standing here idle all day?’

7 "They said to him, ’Because no one hired us.’ He said to them, ’You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right you will receive.’

8 "So when evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, ’Call the laborers and give them their wages, beginning with the last to the first.’

9 "And when those came who were hired about the eleventh hour, they each received a denarius.

10 "But when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise received each a denarius.

11 "And when they had received it, they complained against the landowner,

12 "saying, ’These last men have worked only one hour, and you made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the heat of the day.’

13 "But he answered one of them and said, ’Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius?

14 ’Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you.

15 ’Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?’

Enter into the Race

One of the great truths about knowing Jesus Christ is that we are never too late to answer His call or to enter into His kingdom. God is a restorer of what has been lost regardless of what we have done in our lives. The greater our failure, the greater God’s grace is revealed to us! Look at Romans 5:

20 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more,

21 so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?

2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?

3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?

4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

God is not limited by our ability to be strong or righteous; in fact, grace is made available only to those who understand that they are sinners. The scriptures tell us that God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble and while we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly. The grace of God redeems us from our old life and we respond by dying to ourselves and living for Christ. This is exactly what the scripture teaches about baptism. After a man or woman surrenders their life to Christ, we follow up with baptism as an open, public profession of faith and identify ourselves with the death of Jesus Christ. When I obediently follow the mandate of baptism, I am testifying that I am dying to myself and God has given me new life. I am buried with Jesus Christ through baptism and He has raised me up as a new creation who is now a citizen of heaven. If you have never followed Christ in baptism as it is taught in scripture, it is very important to do so. Jesus was baptized as an example to His followers, the apostles and the early church all followed this example. Jesus even stated that it was necessary to fulfill righteousness.

Even though we know that baptism is not what saves the believer, it is the first act of obedience of the believer who desires to follow Christ. We are made righteous by the blood of Jesus Christ; however, once we receive the gift of salvation, we then walk in righteousness by obedience to Christ. Romans 6 states:

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