Crosses             LBG                  HateLove

Devotional - week of July 29, 2007


TEACHING THE LIFE OF GRACE TO THE UNSAVED

 

Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, “Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you.”  Acts 24:25

 

 

Paul is reasoning with Felix, the governor of Judea who engaged in all types of cruelty and lust, about righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come. This indicates that there are times when God leads us to teach the message of grace to people we are seeking to lead to Christ.

 

Paul’s letters show that he believed in two types of righteousness—declared righteousness that is experienced at one’s conversion and realized righteousness that is experienced following conversion.

 

Paul taught that one is justified—or declared righteous—by receiving Jesus as his Lord and Savior. He taught that believers could experience God being righteous in them when they live by grace. Through believers, God expresses His righteousness.

 

present …  your members as instruments of righteousness to God.   Romans 6:13

 

Paul mentions “self-control” only one other time in all of his writings. In Galatians 5:22-23 he says that one aspect of the fruit of the Spirit is self-control. And believers who live out their union with Christ are filled with the Spirit—and the fruit of the Spirit.

 

We can understand why Paul was speaking to Felix concerning the judgment to come, but why would he be talking to him about something only believers can experience?

 

Paul must have been explaining to Felix about righteousness and self-control as a way of explaining to him what God could do for him if he would only receive Jesus into his life. Paul also must have been teaching Felix the difference that receiving Jesus would make for him when he faces God’s judgment.

 

Paul’s teaching of Felix is an example of how God may lead us to teach the message of grace to those who have not received Jesus into their lives.

 

Because this message of grace can be an effective tool in evangelism, believers have added motivation to understand and experience it.