Greetings Project Ezra brothers and sisters. This week’s reading is Peter 1. I got the chance to do my reading early this week at a local street fair, and really enjoyed. There are a number of possible lead-ins to the gospel, but I chose to use verse 13, which tells us to put our trust fully in grace through Jesus Christ. This is such a perfect place to start, because everyone outside of biblical Christianity is putting their trust in something other than Christ. This not only separates us from world religions, but separates us from the cults and apostate branches of the church who claim the name of Christ, but want to add something to his work on the cross.
More often than not, the thing they want to add is works. A person’s pride makes it impossible, outside of the grace of God, for them to admit their own incapacity to meet God’s holy standard. This is why the use of the law to convict people of their sin is so vital. People would rather try to establish their own righteousness than accept God’s (Romans 10:3), and most think they are good enough to merit heaven on their own. The conscience, God’s law written on their hearts, tells them differently. And better yet, they may try to forget your words, and they may throw away your gospel tracts, but they can’t get away from God’s word written on their hearts, with their conscience bearing witness (Romans 2:15).
So challenge those listening to examine what they are trusting in. Don’t be afraid to be specific about false beliefs that they may be accepting, and to preach the exclusivity of Jesus Christ. God’s standard is perfection, and anyone who will listen to their conscience knows they are guilty and deserving of judgment. Once they face up to that fact, then Jesus sacrifice on the cross and the payment it provides starts to make sense. This chapter also has some amazing verses on Christ’s sacrifice and our salvation in him. It says:
Vs. 3 – According to his mercy he caused us to become born again through the living hope of Christ’s resurrection. We serve a living God!
Vs. 4 – This hope is imperishable, undefiled and unfading.
Vs. 9 – We rejoice with joy inexpressible at the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Vs. 18-19 – You were ransomed through the precious blood of Christ
Vs. 23 – Be born again of imperishable seed, through the living and abiding word of God
What a joy and a blessing the salvation of our souls is! Those we preach to should hear that joy. In fact, pour yourself into your preaching completely. Don’t try to just sound emotional, but be truly transparent emotionally. We should be anguished at the prospect of people spending eternity in hell, since we deserve the same fate and are only rescued by God’s grace. We should have a sober view of sin, and present God’s law in humility, since are sinners as well. And we should be filled with joy in preaching God’s grace and salvation.
Thanks to all of you who participated last weekend. It was an amazing time of outreach here, and I pray that it was for you too. We already have some great pictures and videos to post, and would like to see yours too. Also, as we make our way through summer (for us north of the equator at least) and there are more people out and about, please consider posting our group on your social networking pages and emailing Christian friends, encouraging them to join and participate. Public proclamation is still one of if not the best way to reach the world for Christ, and anyone can read aloud. Please pray about Project Ezra, and that God will help us grow and continue to make an impact for the kingdom.
All for HIS glory!!