Precious friend, we have been studying in this series of lessons about the care, concern, and love that God has for you, and for all mankind. The apostle Paul said, "For we also once were foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when THE KINDNESS OF GOD OUR SAVIOUR, AND HIS LOVE TOWARD MAN, APPEARED, not by works done in righteousness, which we did ourselves, but ACCORDING TO HIS MERCY HE SAVED US, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, which he poured out upon us richly, through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that, BEING JUSTIFIED BY HIS GRACE, we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life" (Titus 3:3-7).
We simply cannot earn God's gift of salvation, but we must show our gratitude for what He has done through Jesus Christ. "For by grace have ye been saved through faith; and that NOT OF YOURSELVES, it is the gift of God; NOT OF WORKS, that no man should glory" (Ephesians 2:8-9). Thus, our duty is clearly seen is such passages as these: "Wherefore, receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us have grace [show gratitude], whereby we may offer service well-pleasing to God with reverence and awe" (Hebrews 12:28). And, "Even so ye also, when ye shall have done all the things that are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants; we have done that which it was our duty to do" (Luke 17:10).
Thus, in the words of the prophet, we now ask you about your response to what God has done for you, "Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by?" (Lamentations 1:12). What will you do with this man, Jesus? What will you do with what you have learned regarding your soul, your sin, your salvation, and your only hope? Understand, "God was pleased to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is CHRIST IN YOU, THE HOPE OF GLORY" (Colossians 1:27). He is your only hope. Will you accept it and become a part of Him, His body the church, and allow Christ to dwell in you by faith (Ephesians 3:17)? Or, will you be like the majority who "thrust it from themselves and judge themselves unworthy of eternal life" (Acts 13:46). If so, then you too will be "separate from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of the promise, having no hope and without God in the world" (Ephesians 2:12).
It is our hope and prayer that you will be like the noble-minded Bereans "in that they received the word with all readiness of the mind, examining the Scriptures daily, whether these things were so" (Acts 17:11). Then, be like those we read of in Acts chapter two, "They then that received his word were baptized" (Acts 2:41).
These lessons were written for you, that as we have our fellowship with God through Jesus Christ, so you too may have the same fellowship with God and with us who send these lessons to you. This was the motive for John to write to fellow believers as well. "That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you also, that ye also may have fellowship with us: yea, and our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ: and these things we write, that our joy may be made full" (1John 1:3-4).
There is but one last question to ask. It is the question that was asked of Paul when he became a Christian: "And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on his name" (Acts 22:16).
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Questions for Lesson Twelve
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