They say that the road to hell
is paved with good intentions. I don’t
know exactly what the road to Heaven is paved with but I do know that it is a
toll road and not a freeway. In our passage we see that everybody who aspires
to justification before God has a bill to pay.
We will also see that the currency we have on our own to offer to pay the
toll is worthless. So if it’s not a
freeway and our money is no good, how do we get to our final destination???
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and
all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that comes by
Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement through the
shedding of His blood – to be received by faith…
· The premise
here is that a debt has been incurred and must be satisfied. In our verse above
it says, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” In Romans 6:23 it goes on to say that “the
wages of sin is death”
Hebrews 9:22 tells us that without the shedding of blood there is
no remission of sin
This is in keeping with the Old Testament law of blood sacrifice
found in Leviticus 17:11
the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make
atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for
This is clearly NOT a freeway
· So there is a
toll to be paid on the road to salvation and its currency is blood.
“God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement through the
shedding of His blood”
God has provided the token for the toll road
Salvation is freely offered but salvation is surely not free.
In the same way you can give a gift to someone (and they accept
it), that gift is free to him or her but may have cost you quite dearly.
· “All are
justified freely by His grace”
Ephesians 2:8 – For it is by grace you have been saved, through
faith – it is the gift of God
So the toll has been paid if we will take the token offered to us
Why are works really counterfeit coins in God’s toll booth?
§ Isaiah 64:6 –
“all of our righteous acts are as filthy rags”
· To be clear,
this has to do with salvation, not our good works offered to God after we have
accepted His atoning sacrifice. See Ephesians 2:10
How do we accept God’s free gift?
§ Hint: it’s in
our verse above
§ How would you
§ Hebrews 11:1
- Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do
· In what ways
does today’s study help you think about the road to Heaven?
Has it cast anything in a different light for you?
Are you using the right token on God’s toll road?
The next frontier in computer
science is advancing the technology of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Essentially, AI is the ability for a computer
to try and imitate the human mind, hence the name “artificial
intelligence”. Similarly, man’s
predisposition is to try and approximate or even replace God’s intelligence
with his own. Not unlike self-driving
cars that depend on AI, when we rely on our own form of AI the results can be
Proverbs 14:12 – There is a way that seems right to a man
but in the end it leads to death.
· Our lives are
full of countless examples of decisions we have made or actions we have taken
that sounded good for one reason or the other but ultimately led to a bad
If you can’t relate to this you can stop reading now J
And yet, rarely would we knowingly walk into a bad decision so
there must be a disconnect between what we think and reality
Let’s look at a few suspects that might be culprits leading us to
“If it feels good, do it!”
Unbridled appetites can be a problem. Most of our appetites are God-given and
therefore healthy (food, pleasure, anger, etc.) The problem is when our desires
outpace our needs and we act on a feeling.
The opposite of impulsiveness is self-control, one of the fruits
of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23)
What role does impatience play here?
What have you learned through experience with regard to
controlling impulsive behavior?
In Psalm 10:4 it says, “In his pride the wicked man does not seek Him; in all his
thoughts there is no room for God.”
Pride is an overblown sense of self and one’s abilities. It is the opposite of subjugating oneself to
God’s sovereignty and wisdom.
One way this can manifest itself is in not seeking Godly counsel
but relying on our own judgment.
§ Can you think
of a time when a feeling of “I know best” didn’t quite work out so well?
§ On the other
hand, when have you swallowed your pride a bit and been grateful you did?
Other facets of Pride that can justify poor decisions
§ Unbelief in
God – the ultimate bad decision!
to protect our ego
money we don’t have (or should be using for another purpose)
So what’s the antidote to AI?
How about GI? J
Proverbs 1:7 – The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge
Romans 12:2 – Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world but
be transformed by the renewing of your minds.
Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is, His good,
pleasing and perfect will.
In what ways have you experienced God’s renewal of your mind?
§ Are there
beliefs, habits, or attitudes that you can clearly see now with the benefit of
time that God has brought you around to His way of thinking?