Instead of obeying the clear warnings of their Creator, Adam and Eve deliberately and willfully chose to rebel. And we’ve been living with the consequences ever since—humanity is mentally confused, emotionally afraid, and spiritually dead. However, the good news is God didn’t abandon us in our rebellion. In mercy and grace He provided the way out of our self-made mess through His Son, Jesus Christ.
A substitute is someone who takes the place of or acts instead of another. In education substitute teachers stand before a class usually taught by someone else. In the game of baseball a substitute hitter or runner is commonly used to take another player's place. Even the prime minister, if necessary, appoints a substitute and gives him or her the full authority of leadership. What is true in the classroom, sports, and politics is also true in our relationship with the living God.
In the previous lesson, we studied several faithful men from the Reformation era. Time failed us, though, to tell the whole story of the greatest difference maker of that period, Martin Luther. Let’s pause for a while at his portrait and draw courage from his example of faith.
Erosion is a slow and silent process and no one is immune from it. If you don’t stop yourself in a downward spiral, then last week’s wrong choice doesn’t seem so bad this week. And on and on.
If salvation was based on works we’d never know when our good works outweighed our bad works. And we’d never know when we were good enough. We’re saved by grace, and there’s nothing we can do to earn God’s favour. That’s why it’s a gift.