A clip from the Garden Tomb...
This is just a brief portion of Allen's comments to us at the Garden Tomb which I was able to record on my digital camera. I thought I would share the clip. You can hear believers from other countries as they sing praises in the background. There were church services going on all over the place that day. It was amazing.
As we approach Christmas, Allen has been talking to us about our desperate need of a Savior, about God sending His Son and our salvation being solely through our faith in Christ, His sacrificial death and resurrection. He preaches obedience on a regular basis and one of the things I have been so grateful for in his preaching is that he continually challenges and encourages us to live lives of obedience. But he always reminds us that it is not our obedience that saves us. Salvation is the gift of God through Jesus Christ. We are saved through Christ's perfect life and sacrifice; not our own. Among the scriptures he referenced, he quoted the following passage:
9 That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
I loved what he said after quoting this passage. I will have to paraphrase from memory, but it went something like this:
"I want you to notice something. There is no mention of me in this passage. It is all about Jesus and your faith in Him, it's about making Him Lord of your life. It's not about this particular church or me as pastor. Salvation is through faith in the person of Jesus Christ and your confession of Him as Lord and Savior."
Allen actively discourages us from placing him on any kind of pedestal. I so appreciate that in him.