You’re empowered for God’s pleasure

Pastor Erasmus Makarimayi

ONE excuse often proffered by non-believers for refusal to confess the Lordship of Jesus and start going to church to fellowship with others is that they don’t have the capacity and willpower yet to lead a righteous life.

They have a picture of a perfect person holy without blemish as an ideal candidate to worship God. Some have committed sins hitherto that they feel are unpardonable because of their gravity. Christianity is not an exclusive club for those who have never sinned, but a commonwealth of whoever confesses Jesus in spite of sins committed.

You don’t have to meet certain standards of morality to be acceptable to God. Trying to attain perfection before Christ is impossible. We’re made righteous as a gift from God for accepting Christ. Let it sink in your heart that righteousness is a gift. It’s not a result of human upright living. We don’t work for it, we simply receive it and manifest it. You may be in witchcraft right now or in adultery or have committed sins that have resulted in you or the whole family or community condemning you to a state of no redress. If you decide now to follow Christ, God will forget all those sins and declare you holy and righteous. God assures you in Hebrews 8:12, “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” It’s only the devil who will try to bring the issue of sins that the Creator chose not to remember.

A prophet attends to a client as other church members follow the proceeding near the Borrowdale racecourse recently

In case you want to keep certain laws to be accepted by God, that’s not the way. Moses himself couldn’t keep the very tablets of stone and broke them out of anger. The law barred him from entering the promised land. So salvation is only by grace of God that we receive by faith in Jesus Christ. That’s why no one should brag about meeting standards. Paul puts it thus in Romans 3:27-28, “[27] Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law?of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. [28] Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” So don’t feel belittled or condemned, grace qualifies you.
Whatever state or condition you are in, just determine and decide to meet Jesus, His arms are open.

The other fear that people have is that they may fail to live up to expectation. Some say they don’t want to be hypocritical by going to church while they’re in sin back home. They want to clean up the mess first and have been trying since time immemorial. If you confess to Jesus and commit to Him, He Himself empowers you to become what He expects. All you need to do is yield or surrender to His power. The Bible says in John 1:12 says, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” You don’t work for your salvation, grace works for you. Maybe someone misquoted the following verses to you to make you work for salvation and therefore you ended up abandoning your newly found hope. Philippians 2:12 reads, “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Many are trembling trying to be upright lest they end up in hell fire.

Reread correctly, it says work out not work for. You work with and through the power that comes from God. The next verse makes it clearer. Philippians 2:13 reads, “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” It’s God who works in you and gives you the willpower for His pleasure.
Let no one like the Pharisees stand at the door of God’s grace and require you observance of certain practices to gain entry. God wants to see the good out of you not bad or evil. He enjoys when you manifest His glory. For that reason, He invests in you to bring out the good. It’s not your effort, it’s God’s grace for His pleasure. Grasp and grab it, you’re empowered for God’s pleasure. You’re going somewhere.

All Scripture quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible

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