1 Peter 2:9 – But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. (RSV)
John 8:36 – So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (NIV)
1 Corinthians 2:2 – For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. (NIV)
The cold rain had been falling all morning. Not a fit day outside for man or beast, I thought to myself, quite content to have no reason at all to venture out, away from dry house and hot cup of tea. Then my doorbell rang, and I was puzzled at who could possibly come visiting today, in this freezing rain. Two charming ladies introduced themselves, and asked if I knew that God was building an "Ark of Salvation" today, just as Noah had built in the day of the great flood. After inviting them in for a deeper discussion of their question, I discerned that their "Ark" was actually their religious organization, which they considered an exclusive necessity for salvation, above and beyond the blood of Jesus Christ. How about that! Christ, alone, was insufficient, and needed the help of a human organization to rescue mankind from the penalty of sin!
I realize now that I had briefly entertained two modern day Gnostics, those who believe our salvation rests upon special "knowledge" (gnosis), which they believe only their "prophet", or religious institution, possesses, and not upon the Rock, the Cornerstone, and the essence of our faith, Jesus Christ. Yes, they believed Christ's death was both real and necessary, but they did not believe it to be sufficient, and tried to convince me that something additional was required, which only they could provide. They failed to realize that two thousand years ago, when Jesus said from the cross, "It is finished", he meant exactly what he said. No man, and no organization, could add, or needed to add, anything else to the equation. Christ had handled it all quite nicely, thank you!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, almighty God, in the name of Jesus Christ, and Him crucified, we come eagerly before You, no longer in fear of condemnation, but in joy to praise Your Holy Name. The curtain has been torn, and the Great High Priest has entered the Most Holy with a perpetual sacrifice on our behalf. By faith we are free. By faith we are Your children, and cry, "Abba", "Papa". May we be as faithful in our witnessing to the Lamb of freedom, as those still in human bondage are in witnessing to the human cords that bind them still. Is not faith stronger than fear? Who dares place himself between Christ, and those Christ has already freed? Amen.