The Book of the Bible Your Life Depends On ­– ­by Desmond Ford

Oct 14, 2015 2947

GavelThere is only one book in the Bible that systematically sets forth that good news. All of the books in the Bible have fragments of it but only one book sets it forth systematically. This book is the first of the epistles because it is the most important. In the epistles we have letters to seven churches: Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians, but Romans is first.

First and Second Thessalonians are about the second advent, in every chapter. That is not good news unless you understand the meaning of the first coming. Any group that preaches the second advent apart through the lens of the cross is perverting the Gospel. We are not ready for that glorious epiphany until we have taken shelter under the cross – the climax of the first advent.

So, Romans is the first of the epistles and it deals with our first great problem. The power of sin can never be broken in the life until the guilt of sin is removed: that bad temper, that impurity, that gluttony, that worry, that cruelty, that spirit of gossip, that maliciousness. The power of sin is never broken until the guilt of sin is taken away.

It is in the book of Romans where we learn that all our guilt is like a grain of sand along the mountain of God’s forgiveness, that all our sin is like a spark falling into the ocean of God’s mercy. It is in this book that we learn that God is one who justifies the ungodly, is more willing to save you and me than a mother to save her child from a burning home. That’s good news.

We all have a passionate desire, a driving motivation to be accepted. Relationships are what matter most in life, not money, not apparent business success, academic glory. Relationships are what matter most.

But life is triangular. Until I am right with God and I know he accepts me, I cannot accept myself.

Do you know what is the loudest sound in the world? The silent cry of a guilty conscience is the loudest sound in the world. It is usually not for things done because you and I do not have the courage to do terribly bad things, it is about things undone – for our spouse, for our sons and daughters, for our parents, brothers and sisters, for our brothers and sisters in the faith, for our neighbors. The loudest sound in all the world is the silent cry of a guilty conscience for all the things undone.

“Inasmuch as you did it not unto the least of one of these, you did it not unto me.” What a piercing, scary accusation this is against all of us, because none of us can say, “Which of you convicts me of sin?” None of us can say, “I do always those things that please Him.”

So here is a book that deals with our biggest problem: how to be accepted by God so that I might accept myself, and so that when I can accept myself then I can accept others.

I know I have faults, innumerable, so why should the similar number of difficulties with my brother or sister prevent me from accepting them? This is the triangle: accepted of God, you can accept yourself, and when you accept yourself you can accept others.

You can always tell someone that has never found acceptance with God. They are bitter, they are critical, they love to gossip. They feast on the errors of their brothers and sisters. That is the sign they have never been able to accept themselves because they do not know acceptance with God.

So here is a book that deals with this issue of acceptance, deals with how to get rid of guilt. It answers all the great problems of our lives: why suffering, why tragedy, why sorrow” if God is good and all-powerful, then why? What follows death? How should we live? What should our relationship be to governments, to church, to family to neighbours?

How can we avoid being deceived, particularly by bad religion – and never forget it, most religion is bad. Unless the religion we cherish makes us kind, courteous, tender-hearted and pitiful, it is not the religion of Christ. A religion merely of dogma that makes us better than them other folks that don’t know as much as we do – what a deception!

The greatest deception of the human mind is that a mere assent to the truth constitutes righteousness. The Gospel breaks the heart. It changes the mind. We come to it with the ‘excepts’ of Jesus ringing in our ears. “Except a man or a woman be born again, they cannot see the kingdom of Heaven.” “Except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish.” “Except you eat the flesh of the son of man and drink his blood, there is no life in you.”

If people only knew the value of the book of Romans, they would fight to get it. And then they would spend their life studying it as though their lives depended on it – because they do.

– Des Ford. Rom 8:27–32. Adapted from, “The News That Shook The World – Part 1.”

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