FALSE ADVERTISING: THE CONCLUSION
During his missionary work, we find Paul entering a city and making a bee-line to the synagogue where he would have an opportunity to share the Gospel. The pattern of response was also much the same from place to place: a few would usually listen and receive Christ, while most would reject the message. The arguments of the Jews often fell along the same lines. So, as the Apostle writes to the church at Rome, he anticipates these very arguments and sets about to deal with them and dismiss them in the opening verses of the third chapter of Romans.
The first issue is the critical one from which all the others flow, “What advantage then has the Jew, or what it the profit of circumcision?” (Romans 3:1). If the things associated with being Jewish cannot make one righteous before God, then is there any advantage in being a Jew? The Apostle emphatically declares that there is! “Much in every way! Chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of God.” (Romans 3:2).
So, if being raised in a Christian home doesn’t save you, is there an advantage to that? “Much in every way!” It is there we are taught about Christ. I shudder to think what would have become of me had I been raised by the ungodly! I was scarcely saved. I was as John Wesley put it, “a brand out of the burning.” The example of Christian parents didn’t save me, but it prepared the soil for the seed of the Gospel.
If having a Bible doesn’t save you, is there any benefit to studying it? “Much in every way!” “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17). The seed of salvation is the Word of God and the more seed that is sown, the greater is the possibility of the harvest of eternal life.
If church membership doesn’t save you, is there any advantage to attending church? “Much in every way!” This is a place where you will hear the Gospel. In a Gospel-preaching church, in Sunday School lessons and in sermon and song, you will hear the way of salvation declared. The door is opened to salvation—and all you must do is arise and go through it. Christ beckons you to come.
Here is the conclusion of the matter; it all boils down to this, “What are you counting on to save you?” Suppose you were standing before God right now and He asked, “Why should I allow you into my heaven?” What would you say? Stop and think about it.
If your answer is, “I was baptized” or “I was confirmed” or “I’m a member of such and such a church” or “I’m a good person” or “I believe in God” or “I go to Mass” or anything that smacks of your own merits—you have given the wrong answer. If that is what you are counting on to save you, your salvation is of no account.
Your answer should be, “I am trusting in Christ and His work on the cross. I believe He rose again and I have repented of my sin and received Him as my Lord.” Now, I’m not saying you have to express it in those exact words—but, you must trust in Christ alone to save you. Only He can. We are great sinners, but He is a great Savior!