{Isaiah 1:18-20; ESV}
“Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. If you are willing and obedient,
you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be eaten by the sword; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

God gave us a wonderful promise. He promised to remove our sin and make us into new people! In other words: God will redeem our lives.  God will take all the junk, the sin and the pain, and give us a life that is worth living.

This promise speaks to our hearts because we want our lives to count for something, and many of us feel like our lives are being wasted by sin, addiction, and pain. We have experienced the consequences of sin which which twists us into people we don’t want to be and holds in us chains from which we cannot break free. God promises that He will change our experience.

What we need to remember is that God promises to help us, to re-create us, and to take away our sins, but He also expects us to turn to Him for help. The key to receiving God’s help is faith. Faith is not just about having a belief in God, but it is trusting God. I like to say that belief + action = faith.

So how do we demonstrate our faith in God?

  1. We demonstrate faith by believing in Jesus. Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent” (John 6:29; ESV). Jesus is God’s appointed way to salvation, and if we expect to receive help from God we must believe that Jesus is who he says is: the Son of God. Our belief is seen, not in the words we say, but in what we do.  If we believe that Jesus is the Son of God, then we will follow him.  This is not easy to do. One reason it is not easy is because the way of Jesus is the way of the cross.  This means following Jesus demands submission and sacrifice. A second reason following Jesus is not easy is because there of the number of different options available to us.  We can choose another religion, we can follow a certain philosophy of life, or we can life as an atheist.  Only a few will follow the way of Jesus.
  2. We demonstrate faith through repentance. And Peter said to them, Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38; ESV). The main idea of repentance is not merely doing a 180 but changing your allegiance. To repent is like a person from another country denouncing their loyalty to their homeland and declaring their allegiance to the United States. When we repent we denounce our sinful ways and our allegiance to the Kingdom of Darkness, and we declare our loyalty to God and the Kingdom of Light.
  3. We demonstrate faith through love. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35; ESV). When we love each other we are fulfilling the command Jesus gave so all of his followers. To love people seems like the nice thing to do, it is not easy.  It is hard to love people who are annoying, who have hurt us, or who have made poor decisions. Yet, when we sacrifice and extend a helping hand to others, no matter who they are or what they have done, we are showing the type of love Jesus has shown to us.  It is important to remember that by loving people we also prove our love for God.

God has promised us a new life that is free from our sins.  In order to receive this promise we need to have faith in God. By trusting God  we discover life the way it should be lived and we begin to see things from God’s perspective. God’s promises are made real in the lives of the faithful.

 

Questions to Ponder:

  • Does God’s promise of redemption speak to your heart?
  • How is faith in Jesus seen in your life?
  • Have you experienced God’s promise of redemption in your life?
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