This is the week of contemplation for many. Christmas has passed, the presents are opened, the feasts have been consumed, and the new year is upon us. Many take this week to reflect on the areas of their life they would like to change. Things like health, wealth, relationships, and faith top the list.
- I will lose weight
- I will quit drinking
- I will make more money
- I will find love
- I will go to church
Most us us have made a "new years resolution" at some point in our life. I have. But how many do we actually keep? Some we never even start, others we start and give up when it gets a little tough, while others try to accomplish what has already been accomplished. That is the focus of this post.
This often overlooked verse found in one of the minor prophet books is packed with major truth. Paul the apostle quoted this verse in his letters to the Romans, Galatians, and Ephesians. Each of these books have several common elements.
- Justification is by faith alone
- There is no more sacrifice needed to satisfy the righteous demand of God
- Jesus was the only sacrifice worthy of God's acceptance
- We can not work for, or toward our salvation
- People will come and try to lead you astray
In Romans Paul pens 8 chapters of doctrine in relation to salvation. In Paul's greeting to the Romans he explains the Gentiles need of righteousness and ends with a quote of Habakkuk 2:4 in verse 1:17 of Romans.
In Galatians 3:11 Paul explains whom Habakkuk was referring to. Specifically that Jesus was the one God purposed to be the sacrifice for all. In doing so, Paul has wiped out any and all works based justification. It is finished.
In Ephesians 2:8,9 Paul lays it out for all in the simplest of terms.
Once again, it is finished. There is nothing we can do to save ourselves apart from putting our faith in Jesus. To say it another way,
Once again, it is finished. Jesus did it all on the cross of Calvary. He came and lived a sinless life, bore our stripes, died a horrible death, and rose again three days later. His resurrection was God's stamp of approval on Jesus' sacrifice. Those of us who have put our faith in Jesus only need to trust that what He did is sufficient for us to go to Heaven. We have no need of a new years resolution other than to continue to trust in the finished work of Christ Jesus. Either you're In, or you're Out. There is no on/off switch to being a Christian. You either are, and will spend eternity in Heaven, or you are not, and will spend eternity in hell eternally separated from God.
The only question left to ask is this