From Rob Hughes, London team leader, currently on mission with JeremiahCry Ministries in Glasgow, Scotland:
Yesterday was a real blessing witnessing with the team. It's truly wonderful to labour with so many faithful men of God in the proclamation of God's Word.
Here are some of the great conversations I had...
I spoke with a chap (David) who beats himself up over the wrong he has done in the past, and so he labours to "fix" the past through many good deeds. This is ultimately a self-righteous pursuit to justify oneself in the eyes of God.
I explained to him that forgiveness found in Christ sets us free. We are saved and transformed, the evidence of which is seen by the good deeds we perform. When we receive salvation our desires change. The born again man wants to perform deeds "...in keeping with repentance." It doesn't mean he never sins, however the new desires born in him propel him to exalt the Lord with his life.
R.C. Sproul explains it like this:
"We are covered in an alien righteousness, a righteousness that is not our own, but under that covering we are still inclined to break the law of God. Justification declares us righteous, it does not make us sinless.
We are granted citizenship in God’s kingdom based only on the righteousness of Christ, but good works are not an optional part of the Christian life. In fact, believers must do good, not to secure justification but to evidence their justification."
There is great freedom found in Christ. We do not live under a heavy burden with regards to living a godly life. As new born believers we do not live godly lives in order to receive favour with God, rather we live godly lives out of gratitude and praise to God because we have already received favour with Him.
This is why we read in Galatians 5:1: "For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery."
I explained this as best I could to David. He did listen and appeared to get what I was saying, although it seemed that he was more concerned with earning favour with God, instead of humbly receiving the grace that God offers. He left with a tract and a New Testament. Do pray for him.
Together with others on the team, I also spoke with two young men who had grown up Catholic. They appeared quite nominal and were very open to hear the gospel. As we shared with them it definitely appeared that the light came on. They really seemed excited to understand and know why the Son of God lived as a man and why He died on a cross for the sin of the world.
~ Jesus lived a sinless, perfect life, in order to be the perfection we can't be, and then He died on a cross to pay the penalty for the sins we have committed. As a result of what Jesus has done, when a man repents and trusts in Him, God treats that man as if he lived Christ's life, and He treats Christ as if He lived that man's life.
It was a blessed day indeed. Do pray for all those who heard the gospel.