“The Social Gospel” (Matthew 25: 46, NEB) by Carley Evans

God “separates men into two groups” — with men who behave as goats on His left, and men who behave as sheep on His right. The goats do not come to God’s help while the sheep do. The sheep help those who are without shelter, without food, without clothing; who are in sickness or imprisoned. The goats fail to help, living a life of selfishness, apparently oblivious to others’ suffering. They do not shelter the homeless, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick or those imprisoned. They do not help God.

Both groups ask, “When did we see You, Lord?”

God responds to both, “When you see My brothers, You see Me.” He explains,”What you do or fail to do for them, You do or fail to do for Me.”

The goats Jesus says, “go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous [sheep] enter eternal life.”

He says to these sheep, “You have my Father’s blessing; come, enter and possess the kingdom that has been made for you since before the world was made.” (Matthew 25: 34)

“Treat others as you like them to treat you,” says Jesus. (Luke 6: 31) And as you treat others according to this “golden rule,” you treat Jesus as well.

“God At Work In Us” (Ephesians 1: 7, ESV) by Carley Evans

Paul says that our redemption is “in Him – the Beloved.” Our salvation is not in ourselves or in another. Rather, we are redeemed “through His blood.” We are not redeemed through the blood of bulls, goats, lambs. Rather, Christ’s blood pays our debts. We are forgiven our sins [trespasses, debts] “according to the riches of His grace.” His grace saves us.

Christ “is the mediator of a new covenant, so that [we] who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death occurs that redeems [us] from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.” (Hebrews 9: 15) Christ “appears once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.” (Hebrews 9: 26)

Paul explains that we are “predestined…for adoption as sons.” (Ephesians 1: 5) Our adoption is possible because of “His glorious grace” (Ephesians 1: 6) and “according to the purpose of His will.” (Ephesians 1: 5) We are not adopted by our will, but by His will.

God “works all things according to the counsel of His will,” reminds Paul. (Ephesians 1: 11) God is the one who is at work in us. He seals us with “the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it.” (Ephesians 1: 13 – 14)

Therefore, since God is at work in us, we should praise Him. We should give Him all the glory which is due Him for He sends His Son who willingly dies to make our adoption possible. Hallelujah!