What a wonderful gift from the Lord our friendships and our fellowships are. Dogwood enjoyed a great day yesterday, starting with the Sunday school hour, and followed by the worship service. Then several hours in the afternoon and evening were spend with a great many friends at our annual October-fest, at Lonnie and Sally's. For our thought for today, let's look at relationships.
In our relationships here on this earth we run into all kinds of situations. Have you met people that surprised you with such comments as: "From the first time I met you, I really liked you and knew that we would be good friends." It seems that this happened without a cause. In the same way I'm afraid there are people in our lives that would say: "From the first time I met you, there was just something about you that made me take a disliking to you. I just did not want you to be part of my life." And again that seems to have happen without a cause. The truth is that the cause was not within you in either situation, but within the person who liked or disliked you. We have a High Priest in Jesus Christ that has faced everything in this life, that we face.
God tells us in His Word that believers are "justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 3:24). The word "freely," here, does not mean "without cost," but "without cause." The same original word is also translated in John 15:25, where we find the words of Christ: "They hated Me without a cause."
Therefore, we see that sinners hated Christ "without a cause," yet God justifies sinners "without a cause." How can this be? Let's see:
What had Christ done to earn the enmity of men? Nothing whatever. He had been kind and good, had helped those in distress, had healed their sick, had made the dumb to speak, the deaf to hear, the blind to see, and the lame to leap for joy. Why, then, did they hate Him: The Bible says they hated Him "without a cause, i.e., without any cause in Him. The cause of their hatred lay in their own evil hearts.
But on the other hand, what have sinners done to merit justification before God? Again the answer is: Nothing whatever. They have broken His commandments every day, lying, stealing, and committing hundreds of other sins. Yet in love God gave His Son to die for them on Calvary "that He might be just and [at the same time] the Justifier of him that believeth in Jesus" (Rom. 3:26). He loves and justifies believers "without a cause", i.e., without any cause in them. The cause is to be found in His own compassionate heart, for "GOD IS LOVE."
Thus those who trust in Christ, who died for our sins, are justified without a cause, by God's grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
"God commendeth His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:8).
"By this man is preached...the forgiveness of sins, and by Him all that believe are justified from all things, from which He could not be justified by the law of Moses" (Acts 13:38,39).
May the good Lord bless you today, and always remember that you are loved!!!