Condemned Already

Today, I had my massage appointment and this afternoon I have a follow up appointment with my primary care doctor after my recent hospitalization. I like the evidence of God’s hand in the marketplace. Twyla my massage therapist was telling me of a patient that I crossed paths with as I arrived for my appointment. Twyla has been seeing this patient since last September and when she first met her she was in wheelchair. (This patient has given Twyla permission to share some of her story.) On one of the visits Twyla offered to pray for this lady, who is from Saudi Arabia and came to the states largely due to some of her medical issues. The patient consented and later told Twyla how better she felt after she received prayer.

Our friend Phyllis Kovac (92) had a fell last week and experienced a broken bone and has been recovering in a nursing home. We covet your prayers for her this dear saint. Efforts are being made for her to return home soon. Phyllis and her daughter Gwen are dear friends and committed to ministry to others. I recall their faithfulness to visit with me in the hospital. They were always such a great source of encouragement. (The picture above is Phyllis and me listening to Pastor Bob Strauch on the day I left the Rehab hospital in December.)

I am thankful that God hears and answers prayer and no prayer is guaranteed to be answered like the prayer asking God to forgive our sins.

BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”             John 3:16-18

John 3;16 is probably the most familiar verse in the Bible. But I have always felt that it is important to know what is said in verses 17 and 18. Often times people will say something in regard to “God condemning them to……” You know that politically unpopular place to talk about that is the opposite of heaven. The Bible is clear that Christ came into the world to save the world. That means the world was lost and without hope already and condemned to die a spiritual death in….of well hell (there I said it!)

The humanistic perspective is that heaven is the default plan. However, the Biblical perspective is just the opposite, or Christ would not have had to come to earth to die on the cross. Placing our faith in Jesus Christ brings us from spiritual death to life. And the words of John provide a resounding assurance, “whoever believes in Him is not condemned.”

The Apostle Paul writes about the assurance we have through faith in Christ… “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.”  Romans 8:1,2

The “law of sin and death” is human effort to try to be good, only to fail, only to try again, only to fail again. The “law of the Spirit” says the one who places their faith in Christ and relies on His grace and mercy has life and God’s Spirit to lives in them to give them strength to live the life He has for them.

In short, that’s the gospel, that’s good news!