Genesis 22:2 He said, "Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering upon one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.
Romans 8:32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, will he not also give us all things with him?
Whatís the short answer? How are we saved?Romans 10:9 if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Now there is nothing wrong with the short answer, the problem is that many people believe that all that is necessary is to mouth the Words. But there is much more to a confession, than saying some words; a confession is words that are reflected in who you are and how you live. Confession are the words that agree with all that you do -- in other words, you life, and your confession should be identical. So the first question is. Do you live the words you say? Not saying the words, really isnít an option -- it merely says you have no plans to be saved at all.
But there is a second problem, and perhaps thatís even greater: Is Jesus really your Lord? This is not a question about Jesus or His identity. Jesus knows He is Lord, and Jesus has proved He is Lord of All. The question turns on this, is Jesus YOUR Lord? A Lord is an absolute ruler, and subjects do their Lordís bidding without question, and with firm confidence and faith.
How do you decide? There are 2 models: you can consider your options and choose the most probable best course leading to the best outcome -- or -- You listen to Godís Word, and do what he commands: God says it, that settles it. Every time you choose the first model, you confess that something else is Lord of your life. Every time you confess another Lord, you break the 1st commandment, and if you desire to receive what you have earned, you will receive suffering, death, and eternal damnation. Who can rescue you from this? Jesus can, but he must come first, and we must trust in him completely [and not just when it is convenient or it makes sense].
What will you give up for Jesus? In our Old Testament Lesson, God called Abraham to give up the one thing that was most important, or you might think so. God said to him, sacrifice your one and only son, who you love, who you waited for all your life, offer him as a burn offering to the Lord your God. So Abraham took his son, whom he loved, and went off, following Godís command. And as Abraham raised his hand to slay the only son, whom he loved, God sent an angel to stop him, for God had seen Abrahamís obedience, an obedience, even unto death. God had seen that Abraham was faithful, and that the words he confessed, were also words that described how he lived his life. And Abraham saw how God provided, for God provided the lamb for the sacrifice.
We see something similar, as we learn about Jesus. Jesus too was obedient, even unto death. Jesus trusted in God, and Jesus lived in such a way that Godís will always came first. God called upon Jesus to offer himself for the sins of the world. God sacrificed His only Son, whom he loves, for our sins. God spared Abraham his son, but God could not spare his own son, and so Jesus was given to die for our sins, so that God might give to us everything we need: life, peace, and forgiveness of sins. Abraham lived a life which called on him always to be trusting in God, and Abraham saw, how in life God had provided. Abraham left home, because God called him to a new country, and Abraham left -- God provided, and God blessed Abraham abundantly. God promised Abraham that he would be the father of a great nation, and when in his old age, he had the son of the promise -- he still trusted in God -- even when God called on him to give up this son of the promise whom he loved. Abraham trusted in God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness. Abraham trusted in God, and God provided in every need, and every day. And that is what living a life of faith is all about. And it is that living life, that is the confession of what you believe, and of who is your Lord.
Sometimes we talk about Lent as a time for giving up something. Usually it ends up something we didnít really want. But Lent is a time when we consider that God did give up something, He have up his son, a sacrifice for our sins. Thatís whatís at the center of Lent, Jesus, our sacrifice. And the question, is quite simply is Jesus, who loves us so much as to die for us, even while we were sinners -- is this Jesus, Lord of our life? If so we know we will be ready for the resurrection of the dead, and life everlasting - in his name.