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December 11, 2019, 12:31 PM

Terms and Conditions Apply


 

Tis the season of shopping for Christmas gifts and being inundated with ads and commercials. As with this time of year, many phrases are repeated as a part of the advertisement for certain items. I’m sure many of you are familiar with the saying, “some assembly required” and “batteries not included.” There is one tag line that I hate more than either of those two and it seems to always come at the end of an ad. When the manufacturer has told you how you deserve to have this amazing product they are selling and that now is the best time to buy it. Or if you truly care about someone then there is no way you would pass up the deal being offered. Part of the end goal seems to be to make you feel like you will be crowned the gift-giving champ and still come out ahead in the financial realm. However, just before the commercial is over or at the bottom of the page as noted by an asterisk, are the words, “terms and conditions apply.” And there it is. That catch-all phrase that says there are multiple strings attached. Strings that if they were clearly defined would probably prevent you from giving more than a few seconds of your time to contemplating the product being pushed. There is a reason that phrases like this have led to another phrase common in society, “the devil is in the details.” I just wish sometimes things could be as simple as Paul makes salvation in Romans 10. He starts out by saying that there is no way to earn salvation regardless of how zealously religious a person may be. Good deeds and keeping the law are great qualities to possess but neither leads to salvation. He continues by declaring that salvation isn’t something that is far off in some fairy tale land or distant country. There is no distance that must be traversed in order to find it. He enlightens his readers that it is near them in the form of the words of faith he is proclaiming which is the Gospel. Paul goes on to say that this salvation is available to v.4 everyone who believes, v.11 anyone who trusts in Him, v.12 the Lord richly blesses all who call on Him, v.13 everyone who calls on the name of the Lord. Also, this salvation doesn’t differentiate between color, nationality, sex, age, heritage, or anything else that divides humanity. The simplicity of salvation is based on faith, not works. Paul says in v.9-10 that if you confess with your mouth what you have believed in your heart you will be saved. When you believe in your heart everything the Bible teaches about Jesus to be true, and place your faith in Jesus Christ alone as your Lord and Savior, you will be saved. The mouth confirms what has taken place in the heart. Conversely, it doesn’t matter what the mouth says if you haven’t believed in your heart. A person who is truly saved will then begin to look more like Jesus as God sanctifies and matures them through the work of the Holy Spirit. I’m not trying to oversimplify what the Bible calls a great mystery but we must be careful not to convolute it with religiosity either. There are not secret strings attached, no fine print that requires legal assistance to understand, and you don’t walk away feeling like you traded away your firstborn or signed your life away. It’s simple, faith comes by hearing the Word of the Gospel as believers share what God has done for them. This Christmas give someone the simplest yet most profound gift they could ever receive and you might receive the gift of having beautiful feet, and I don’t mean you’re getting a pedicure.

Robert


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