Acts 16:27-31 – “But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Do yourself no harm, for we are all here!” 29 And he called for lights and rushed in and, trembling with fear, he fell down before Paul and Silas, 30 and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved, you and your household.” NASB
I am convinced that everyone with a basic knowledge of God’s Word knows the simple path to salvation. It is through Jesus Christ by Grace in repentance and faith. However, knowing the path without taking the appropriate action is inadequate. We need to keep in mind that the first step is not the entire race, there is more!
I would like to address some very simple and fundamental principles. It is my conviction that there are Three R’s of Christianity that everyone needs to keep in mind. We need to progress beyond step one in order to become constant and consistent in our Christian walk. If we are to be victorious, we must grow in His Grace, Love, Peace, and Power.
THE FIRST R – – REPENTANCE.
Repentance is required for us to gain access to God. Acts 3:19 informs us that we must “Repent therefore and return, that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;” We need to heed the warning of Acts 17:30 – “Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent,”
Repentance opens the door for cleansing of the soul from sin. The oft-quoted passage from 2 Chronicles 7:14 is germane and offers an understanding of what we need to do. 2 Chronicles 7:14 – “My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” The words of Isaiah are valuable. We read in Isaiah 55:7 – “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the LORD, And He will have compassion on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.”
Repentance is the first step in Christianity. It opens the Door to Salvation! It ushers us into the presence of the Savior!
THE SECOND R – – RESISTANCE.
That may sound strange in connection with repentance, but resistance is a vital element in our Christian walk. Once we have received the Cleansing of the Blood and the Forgiveness of God for our sin and entered the New Birth we must Resist. Resist what? We must resist the devil and all his devices, schemes, and temptations. We must exercise a certain amount of will-power. God is not going to do it all for us. We are required to Resist the devil for him to flee from us.
This will-power of which I speak is the enabling power of God through grace. We have power over all the power of the enemy. We can resist the devil and he will flee. We can walk in the righteousness of God and have our minds transformed and renewed.
Paul gives a beautiful explanation of the value and benefit of the full armor of God in Ephesians 6:11. James offers valuable instruction telling us that in submission to God we find the strength to resist the devil and when we do the devil is forced to back off. (James 4:7). We need to learn to say NO! The writer of Proverbs tells us that when sinners seek to entice us, we are to refuse. (Proverbs 1:10).
It is important that we guard our life’s activities and follow the directive of Proverbs 4:4 and refuse to enter into the path of the wicked. We are to resist temptation and resist yielding our bodies, our minds, or our abilities to the devil and commit our entire selves to God and His purposes. (Romans 6:13).
We must learn to avoid error and that requires an investment of time and energy in studying the Word of God. (2 Peter 3:17 and Hebrews 2:1). Resisting is necessary if we are to be complete in our Christian walk.
We will pause here and pick up the last R in the next devotional. Until then, may the LORD of God keep guard, and guide you in your pursuit of His purposes.
I pray that your day will be prosperous and filled with peace! Blessings!