Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Follow the Leader and Family Trees

Reading:

1) Heidelberg Catechism

20 Q. Are all saved through Christ just as all were lost through Adam?

A. No. Only those are saved who by true faith are grafted into Christ and accept all his
blessings.

2) Scripture

Isaiah 53:6: We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

Comment:

Sheep have a funny trait. They tend to follow the leader. If one sheep starts off in a direction, all of the sheep tend to follow.

Isaiah 53:6 compares people to sheep. We have all gone astray from the Lord. Adam was the lead sheep, and in him we sinned and went astray.

Because of Adam’s sin, even little babies are born with a bias toward sin and self-will, which takes us away from the Lord. Unless the Spirit of God directs us back to the Lord, we will keep following our sinful leader, Adam.

Every human being has turned away from the Lord and “turned to his own way.” We have all followed Adam in his sin. Q&A 20 teaches us that all people “were lost through Adam.” We all played follow the leader and went astray from the Lord.

But God in his grace sent his Son to bring us back to himself. Jesus is the Good Shepherd, who brings lost sinners back to his Father. Jesus came to seek and save the lost. In Luke 19:10, Jesus says of himself, “The Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” Jesus is our new leader, our new Adam, who brings us back into a right relationship with God!

But notice that the catechism says that in order to be saved, we must be “grafted into Christ” “by true faith.” By birth, the human race is lost in Adam. In order to be saved we have to move from the family tree of Adam into the family tree of Jesus Christ.

The way to become a part of the family tree of Jesus is by true faith. We enter the family of God by believing /receiving/welcoming Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior into our lives. As John 1:12 says: “But to all who did receive him (Jesus), who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”

Discussion: Why does Isaiah 53:6 compare people to sheep? In what ways is Adam like the lead sheep, whom the whole human race has followed? Who gathers people who have strayed from God, so that they might be in a right relationship to him?

Prayer Starter: Thank the Father for sending his Son so that we might be able to return to him. Pray for someone whom you know needs to return to the Lord. Ask Jesus to seek him or her, for his glory and his or her blessing.

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