The Gospel of Pedigree and Association

Last week I asked, "What is the Gospel?" You'll remember we began to look at Paul's letter to the Romans. In it he goes to great pain to explain what his gospel was. He made the point that there are other gospels vying for our attention.

In the second chapter of Romans he talks about one of those other gospels. It is, "The Gospel of Pedigree and Association."

Pedigree is all about who we are at birth. We are born into a family and we are what they are. I was born into a large family of Irish Catholic Democrats. I never challenged that until I was in my twenties.

When confronted with the Gospel, I had a choice to make. I chose Jesus' calling on my life, and was born again. I immediately was faced with some tough choices. Would I let Him have all of my life, or would I resort to the second part of the other gospel I mentioned . . . the gospel of association? By this I mean "I am a Christian because I know a lot of them, and I go to church, so I am, by association, a Christian like they are."

Paul talks point blank about these myths [and that is what they are], and tells us that we are saved not by merely hearing something, but by accepting something and obeying someone.

Being born in a garage doesn't make me a car. Being around Church doesn't make me a believer. Being around Christians doesn't make me one, either. Having a personal encounter with the Lord, where I accept His claim on my life and committing to obey His Word, does.

The Jews trusted in the rite of circumcision as some sort of insurance to ward off judgment. Let's call it "fire insurance." Perhaps you've heard the really tragic stories over the years. A fire burns a house to the ground. The family discovers to their horror that the insurance policy that they trusted was no longer in force and is now useless.

What about you? In what or who are you trusting? Are you absolutely confident that if you were to face the Lord today He would welcome you into life with Him forever? Or would you hear the words that some will hear, "Depart from Me, I never knew you?"

Let's find out.

Pastor Jim
October 1, 2006

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Copyright 2006 by Jim Jenkins. All rights reserved.

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