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Theme of the Week: Religion Won't Get You to Heaven
Tuesday, April 1, 2014

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Key Bible Verse: What the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. (Romans 8:3, NIV)

Dig Deeper: Hebrews 4:11-16

In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve hid when they sinned. Their nakedness was symbolic of their sin being exposed. Immediately after sinning, they covered themselves with fig leaves. This is symbolic of religion. Religion says, "You have sinned! You had better go and cover yourself up so you can be accepted by God." Grace says, "You can't cover up your sin no matter how hard you try. But God, who is good, will cover, forgive, and forget your sin for you as a gift." Check out Genesis 3:21: "And the LORD God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife."

This picture of God sacrificing an animal and clothing Adam and Eve was a precursor to what Jesus would do for all humanity. Think about Galatians 3:27: "You were baptized into union with Christ, and now you are clothed, so to speak, with the life of Christ himself" (GNT, emphasis added).

Religion says, "Clothe yourself." Grace says, "God will clothe you with his precious Son, Jesus." Religion says, "Hide your sin." Grace says, "God hides us in his Son" (Col. 3:3). If you are a follower of Jesus, your acceptance, God's love for you, and every spiritual blessing you receive are solely because you are clothed in Jesus.

—Derwin L. Gray in Limitless Life

Thought to Apply: It is not only by grace alone that we become God's people but by grace alone we remain his people.—Dale Ralph Davis (pastor, professor)

Adapted from Limitless Life by Derwin L. Gray (Thomas Nelson, 2013) by permission. All rights reserved by the copyright holder and/or the publisher. May not be reproduced.

Prayer for the Week
Savior, my natural human tendency is to want to earn your love through my good works; remind me that your love is unconditional and based on your sacrifice for me.

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Thomas Gebhardt

April 01, 2014  2:43pm

Yeah, I put the prayer of the week up on my blog. It reminds me that I must make sure to not entertain the works-based theology that I was raised with and to believe in and enjoy God's unconditional love and free gift to me.

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Curt Schleicher

April 01, 2014  7:52am

Each & every day this week, you've pointed out scripturally some area where my life is unacceptable to you Lord. I lay the latest victim, my personal life, before you and admit its been grossly unacceptable to your holy standards. Today & every day in the future, I will strive, with the guidance & leadership of your Holy Spirit, to clean up this part. Amen.

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