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Friday, November 20, 2009

The Rescue Mission

Humanity was created in God’s image and enjoyed perfect fellowship in right standing with God until the fall when sin entered in and humanity's condition changed from perfect and blameless to condemned and lost. Humanity would thereafter be separated from God. Yet, God promised in Genesis 3:15 that the seed of the woman would bruise the head of the serpent and thus restore humanity to a state of sinless and blameless fellowship with him through this seed that we know to be Christ. God sent his Son to serve as a perfect sinless sacrifice able to satisfy the wrath of God that was due to humanity because of sin. Jesus, “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” (Hebrews 1:3)

As Jesus was sent by the Father with the means of salvation, now those who received that salvation are sent or commissioned to take that saving grace, love, hope, and charity to those who need it in the entire world. The condition of the lost cannot be overcome without the efficacious grace of God. Without this grace, the lost are condemned by the depravity within them to spend eternity separated and estranged from God. Without grace there is no hope. Without grace there is no improvement of the condition. Without grace there is only darkness without even the possibility of light. Only by God’s grace can the lost be rescued from eternal spiritual death and damnation. Without grace, the unmerited generosity of God directed towards humanity, one would not be capable of desiring to be rescued. By faith in God’s ability to save and in the expectation of the availability of the grace and means by which salvation is made effectual, namely repentance, confessing with the mouth the Lord Jesus, and believing in the heart that God has raised him from the dead, the lost can be saved. (Romans 10:9) Hence the work of salvation is of God through the external means (the “doings” of the church) ordained by Him to those who are in turn entrusted with the responsibility of communicating this grace to the whole world. “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)

God pursues the lost because of his love for his creation and it is with this perfect love that he gets their attention and begins drawing them to himself. If the church is full of the fruit of the Spirit and walking in God’s love, only then can the church be a truly useful instrument in the service of God’s purpose. “The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” (Jeremiah 31:3)

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