You Can’t Add to a Finished Work
But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
It’s interesting to note in the biblical account of the crippled man being healed at Lystra that even as hearing the gospel of grace produced a wonderful miracle of healing, it also produced outright opposition to it.
The Jews there who held on to the old covenant of law came to see what all the commotion was about, won the crowd to their side, and began to stone Paul and left him for dead (Acts 14:19).
The gospel the apostle Paul preached is not a man-pleasing gospel and was opposed by legalists everywhere he went. (Today’s legalists are still doing the same thing. I call them the “religious mafia,” those who depend on their own efforts to achieve their own sense of righteousness.)
Yet, Paul preached the truth of the gospel even if it meant being stoned by his opponents and being expelled from cities. Why? Because the gospel is the power of God to salvation!
Are you faced with an impossible situation today? Are you trusting the Lord for a breakthrough or wanting to see more of His power in your life, body, finances, or career? If so, make sure you are hearing the gospel that Paul preached.
I encourage you to get hold of good teachings that are full of the good news of Jesus. The more you hear about Jesus, His beauty, His forgiveness, and His finished work, the more you will stop being preoccupied with yourself, your lack, and your weaknesses. You will become fully occupied with Jesus, His glory, His perfection, and His grace, and freedom, healing, and wholeness are the result!
Josephine, who lives in Virginia, adds a heartfelt “Amen!” to this truth. She is in her twenties and has been a Christian since she was very young. However, when she went to college, she fought a losing battle with depression that lasted seven years. Treated with therapy and medication, she had to constantly increase the dosage but still felt completely miserable and in her case, continually terrified.
People told her she just had to love God more, but she never seemed to measure up. She struggled with depression to the point she couldn’t even get up in the mornings because she was so tormented in her mind.
Then, her mom gave her one of my books. Josephine wrote to me and said, “After reading your book and accepting God’s love for me and trusting in Him and His finished work, I was totally and miraculously healed. I learned to just say, ‘God, I know that I cannot overcome this on my own. I rest in You. You live the victorious life for me. I know I cannot overcome these thoughts on my own, but I can rest in You.’
“I now live a life of joy and peace that I never imagined was possible for me. I am so in love with my Savior and now the gospel all makes sense. He first loved me and healed me, and now I have the ability to love and to live life with peace and joy. Just like the Word says, knowing the truth set me free!”
What an amazing testimony of the power of simply hearing and believing the gospel of grace. My friend, if you have been struggling with a particular challenge, keep feeding on the abundance of God’s grace through the hearing of the gospel.
Don’t let anyone from the “religious mafia” add more conditions to your forgiveness. You are already forgiven of all your sins simply because you believe in Jesus! Nothing more, nothing less.
This is the gospel that Paul preached. And when you get a hold of this truth and simply believe it, you will see the power of God come into your situation to give you the breakthrough you need!
This devotional is taken from the book Reign in Life—90 Powerful Inspirations for Extraordinary Breakthroughs.
If you or a loved one are facing a health issue, know that we are praying for you. We would also like to encourage you to read
"How do I walk in faith and wisdom as I look to the Lord for healing?"
to help you build your faith as you wait for your breakthrough.
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All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version ®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.