Esther 9 & 10
Why bother living right?
Shall we continue to sin?
Paul has been explaining how we’re saved by grace and kept by grace rather than any “good works” of our own. Though we could do nothing to save ourselves and no amount of good works will cause God to love us more, it doesn’t mean we should live any way we want.
Chapter 6 begins:
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” (vv. 1-2).
Our obedience shouldn’t come from some feeble attempt to stay in God’s good graces. It should come from our love and gratitude for all He has done.
Maybe you’re thinking, why not just live the way we want since God saves by grace and forgives sin?
God’s saving grace is available to all who call on Him in faith and sincerity (Rom. 10.13), but when He saves us, He also changes us. 2 Corinthians 5.17:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
So while our good works can’t save us and God will forgive the genuinely repentant, our good works are the evidence of a changed life and our lack of desire to live righteously is often evidence of an unredeemed life.
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ ” (Matt. 7.21-23).
“Many will say …” There are many people in the church doing “religious” things who don’t have a genuine relationship with Christ. They may give intellectual assent to the truths of Scripture, but they have failed to see their sinful state and need for a Savior. They have never really put their faith and trust in His finished work on the cross which is the only basis for entry into the kingdom of heaven.
So while they may go to church and say the right things about what they believe, the fruit of their lives on a day to day basis is often not the fruit of a changed life.
Today’s Other Readings:
God’s Word Will Stand
So we come to the end of the book of Esther and our glimpse into the lives of the Jewish people still living in exile. This conflict between Haman and Mordecai actually reached back to the time of the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt when the ancestors of Haman attacked the Israelites. God had declared a curse on them which included their total annihilation. Continue reading