In the recent article “True riches which are out of this world,” we considered the word “riches” and listed righteousness, inheritance, cleansing, happiness, eternity, and sanctification as those r-i-c-h-e-s which are given to people through Jesus Christ. As we consider how a person actually attains these riches, we merely need to look to the recent lottery winners here in Abingdon as a model.
First, there must a recognition. The anonymous couple that won the $107 million Powerball jackpot first needed to recognize they had the winning ticket; the numbers indeed matched and they were entitled to the payout. You and I too must recognize the truth of God’s Word, that we need a Savior because we can’t save ourselves; we have sinned against God and we can’t make ourselves acceptable to Him. While we acknowledge our own unworthiness, we must also recognize God’s gracious provision—His own Son—the Lord Jesus Christ. In Christ’s perfect life as well as His atoning death in our place, we recognize Him as Savior, Lord, and the only One by whom we can obtain the riches of eternal life.
Then, there must be a response. Upon recognizing the truth of having the winning ticket in their hand, the Abingdon couple then needed to come forward and claim the prize. Likewise, you and I must make a response to Jesus Christ; we must believe in Him and the purpose He came to fulfill to not only save us from the God’s justifiable wrath for our sins, but also to secure our blessings for all eternity. The Abingdon couple could have dreamed of coming forward and taking home the winnings, but that would not have been reality. Similarly, while we might intellectually understand the theory of Christ’s atoning death for sinners, you and I must personally accept and acknowledge our sin and then turn by faith to Jesus Christ. We do that through believing in Him with our hearts and proclaiming Him with our mouths (see Romans 10:8-10).
Finally, there must be a receiving. The area lottery winners are now enjoying their new-found riches. Because of the grace of God, you and I too can enjoy riches, the true riches of Jesus Christ today. We can walk in Christ’s righteousness knowing that because of Him, we can stand before a holy God. We can walk in Christ’s inheritance, a portion of God’s heavenly kingdom that will make $107 million look like chump change. We can walk in Christ’s cleansing knowing we don’t need to live in shame and guilt because Christ’s sacrifice was sufficient to pay for all of our sins. We can walk in Christ’s happiness with the abundant life of peace, joy, hope and contentment He came to bring. We can walk in Christ’s eternity knowing that this world not our home; we will one day soon go to a wonderful place to be with the Lord forever. We can walk in Christ’s sanctification and show the world the Person of Jesus Christ by the way we walk and talk and point others to the true riches that are made available to anyone who would simply recognize, respond, and receive.