I am reading a book called Transforming Grace: Living Confidently in God’s Unfailing Love by Jerry Bridges. In the first chapter he talks about filing bankruptcy – either Chapter 7 or 11.
Chapter 11 is chosen when a business is fairly healthy, and given enough time, can work out of its financial troubles. Chapter 7 is filed when a company is so deep in debt that there is no way to continue as a viable business. The owner loses everything, and the company is dead. Thus in layman’s terms, Chapter 7 is permanent & Chapter 11 is temporary.
Many people try and claim Chapter 11 spiritual bankruptcy. They believe, given enough time, they can work themselves out of their spiritual bankruptcy and revive themselves.
However, this not the case. We have a debt we cannot pay – the wages of our sin (Romans 6:23) – which causes death. We are spiritually bankrupt (Romans 3:10-12), and as such, can do nothing to revive ourselves. We are permanently dead in our sins, and unless someone pays our debt, there we will stay
This coming week is the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Over the past few weeks, I have been learning about church history and some of the names that have helped shape the church; names like Spurgeon, Edwards, & Martin Luther.
During Luther’s day, after death, if you were not yet holy or “clean” enough to enter Heaven, you ended up in a place called Purgatory. The belief was that there were still sins in your life on earth that needed to be atoned for.
Family members on earth could “assist” someone out of purgatory by buying an Indulgence. This payment would then allow the person into Heaven. Luther saw the error in this belief and thus wrote his 95 theses to counteract and show the truth of the Gospel.
I am thankful for men like Martin Luther who stood up and proclaimed the truth of the Gospel. That it is not by works, or your own merit, that shall cause you to be saved or made righteous. It is by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, His death on the cross, and resurrection from the dead.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not as a result of works, so that no one can boast” – Ephesians 2:8-9.
As each day moves us closer to the return of Christ, may we always remember to proclaim the truth of the Gospel, no matter the circumstances, to all people – foreign and domestic.