Phil Cox

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Our Choices Have Consequences

4th March 2011

We believe in a gospel of grace. We believe that we're saved from the penalty that our sins deserve, through faith in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. All who repent and believe enjoy the unmerited favour of God:

Romans 3v21-25a
But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood.

This means that, no matter what sins we have committed, if we truly turn away from our sin, choose to follow Jesus, and trust in His redeeming blood, then we will stand on the day of judgment in the certain knowledge that our sins are forgiven, and we will enter God's eternal rest.

But it doesn't mean that our choices today make no difference to our futures.

This week, we look at one example that makes this clear:

1 Timothy 6v9-10
People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

This is quite clear: if we choose to run after financial prosperity, to the point where money becomes more important than God, more important than our church, or more important than our neighbours, then we fall into temptation and a trap, not only because when we're obsessed with money, we are more open to temptation, but because putting our careers (or anything else) before God is idolatry. God loves us but, if we treat him with contempt, there will be consequences. We may wander from the faith and pierce ourselves with many griefs.

But it's not just money. Those who give themselves to the acquisition or preservation of anything risk putting God second in their priorities, and there are consequences. Some are more interested in their hobbies, or their families, or their holidays, or their position in the church, or an inappropriate relationship, than in Jesus. Many will fall away, and many will piece themselves with griefs.

Our sins are forgiven, our eternal destiny is assured. But if you put your hand in the fire it will burn. If you run after anything - dedicate yourself to anything - more than to God, it will cost you. Because you will fall into sin. And because He is God and they are not.

And you will dishonour the One who died for you.