I came across this photo/verse today and was reminded how it came to be: My nephew’s friend took this awesome photo of the Grand Haven Lighthouse on Lake Michigan on a very windy day. My brother asked for this verse to be added to it, after God performed a miracle in his life.
As I reread the verse from Romans 1:16 I began to ponder the words and what they meant to me. First, they reminded me of the incredible gift God worked in transforming my brother’s life from alcohol to one of peace with God. My brother has become very vocal in his love for God, is not ashamed of the word of God and tells pretty much everyone he can about God’s saving grace.
But second, these words started to challenge me. I know I BELONG, body and soul, in life and in death, to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ. But am I always full of assurance and confidence that I have a Savior who can forgive ALL of my sins and still LOVE me? During this Holy Week, where Christians around the world remember that God gave His only Son to die in every sinners’ place so we didn’t have to face God’s wrath, I have been reflecting on these things.
Looking at God’s Word from the Old Testament to the New Testament, we can see time and again God’s prophecies from hundreds of years before fulfilled in Christ’s birth, death and resurrection. Isaiah (between 701-681 BC) told of Christ’s birth to a virgin in Isaiah 7:14 (fulfilled about 5 BC). Micah prophesied (between 750-686 BC) that a ruler over Israel would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2).
Here are some for Christ’s death and resurrection
- Psalm 41:9 – foretells of Jesus being betrayed by a friend (over 1000 years before it happened)
- Isaiah 50:6 – speaks of Jesus being beaten, mocked and spat on (roughly 700 years before)
- Isaiah 53:4-7 – The Messiah would be beaten and pierced, yet remaining silent (700+ years)
- Psalm 22 – speaks of a man who cries out to God for deliverance from intense persecution. The parallels to Jesus’ crucifixion are amazing when you remember they were written 1000 years before the events actually happened.
- Psalm 16:10 – King David wrote that God would not allow His Holy One to be abandoned to Sheol (Hell) nor undergo decay.
Back to my second question – If God used the Old Testament Bible writers to prophecy and foretell of the incredible gift He planned to give us through His Son being the sacrifice for our sins and the Savior who redeems us from the penalty of death we deserve – how can I NOT say these words from Romans 1:16 –
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel for it is the Power of God for Salvation to EVERYONE who believes.” Romans 1:16
I want people to come to a believing, saving
faith in Jesus Christ so that no one will perish
but will enjoy eternal life with God forever. I need to be bold and confident in God’s word when I speak of God’s power and gift to save everyone from sin. Do I do that? Will I do that? People are persecuted and dying around the world when they speak freely about Jesus Christ. Am I willing to stand with them or let them suffer alone by “taking the easy way out” and not risk offending someone with the truths I hold dear?
Praying you will be filled with God’s saving grace during this season of remembering Christ’s persecution, death and resurrection to save each one of us from our sins.
Only a sinner saved by grace ~ Faye
- Grand Haven Photograph ©2016 Megan McCloud
- Painting of Jesus Accepts the Cross ©2016 Jeffrey Gorman
- The New International Version of the Bible
- The New Living Translation version of the Bible
- John Piper – DesiringGod.org – John Piper tells of how we can see the glory of Jesus Christ more clearly when we see him in relation to the Old Testament – http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/how-christ-fulfilled-and-ended-the-old-testament-regime.