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A Matter of Life and Death

Loved ones, a believer’s witness isn’t supposed to make the Gospel look attractive to outsiders. Our responsibility is not to make Jesus look good to those who don’t know Him. We are here because it’s a matter of Life and Death. Jesus said “I came that they may have life, and have it to the full” and “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life and no one can come to the Father but through me.” And then He died for that very cause: to bring sinners to repentance and relationship with Himself and the Father through the Holy Spirit and His word.


Don’t get me wrong, brothers and sisters. We should absolutely be changed by grace if we’re saved by it. We should do everything we can to follow Jesus’ example of love and mercy. Yet it should all begin with the truth, and the truth is we’re all lost without Jesus! We are all sinners helplessly caught up in our sin! Without Jesus Christ, we’re just on borrowed time, and without Jesus Christ we’re all doomed to eternity apart from God!


So, you see, your life and mine, as they were with Jesus is all a matter of life and death. His Life and Death leads to our physical death and spiritual New Life. And without Him, we’re doomed to death for all eternity. We can have New Life now, and rise again with Him on the last day, perfected in His perfection forever. We need an urgency for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, a passion for His word, and a love for the Father and all people that is radical and sacrificial. I don’t want heaven for myself, and I, like Paul, would give up my eternity that even my greatest enemy would stand before God as a Son or Daughter in Him. So let us, with boldness, led by the Holy Spirit, and rightly dividing the word of God, proclaim His excellencies to all of creation! It’s literally a matter of life and death.


1 Peter 2:1-11


So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.


As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture:


“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”


So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe,


“The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,”


And


“A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.”


They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.


But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.


Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.




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