The “Onlies”

Let’s get your family together and continue our journey through the Westminster Confession (for this devotion, you will need your Bible, and either all the ingredients to make a pizza or this video on weird pizzas):

Let’s have some fun by either making a pizza or watching this video on weird pizza toppings. There is a point where something is no longer pizza. If I swap out the sauce for peanut butter and the cheese for bananas and the toppings for honey and jalape├▒os, is it still a pizza? In fact, pizza purists will tell you that if you depart from ANY of the essential ingredients (dough, sauce, cheese, and select toppings), it is no longer pizza! Even if you cook it differently it stops being pizza? Can you have fried pizza, or boiled pizza, or microwaved pizza? Not really. Pizza is dough only, bolognese sauce only, mozzarella cheese only, a few toppings only, and baked at 500 degrees Fahrenheit only. These are important “onlies”!

The Gospel is just like pizza and that there are “Onlies.” You cannot change or add anything to it and it still be the Gospel. You cannot say “Believe in Jesus and be really good and you will be saved” and it still be God’s Gospel. You cannot say, “Believe in a different Jesus that looks and thinks more like me” and it still be God’s Gospel. You cannot say “Believe in Jesus and speak in weird languages” and it still be God’s Gospel. No! The Gospel comes to us by Scripture only, saves by God’s grace only, is received by faith only, provided and performed by Jesus only, to the glory of God only! That’s five “Onlies!”

Let’s start by reading Ephesians 2:1-10 together. Our passage today tells us about 3 of these “Onlies” (We’ve already mentioned the “Scripture only” and “God’s glory only” in our previous devotions). If you add anything to Jesus to save you, you no longer have a faith that you can be sure about, because it depends on something besides God. You also lose grace because it is no longer “the gift of God” but is something earned or deserved. If you come to Jesus by anything other than faith, then you have works. And can you ever work enough to earn God’s favor? No!

The Gospel is so much more important than pizza. If we don’t hold to these “Onlies” and defend these “Onlies” then we can have no certainty that we have a saving faith. This is because we cannot trust our own strength (2 Corinthians 1:9) or our own intellect (Romans 1:22) or our own hearts (Jeremiah 17:9). They all fail us. Only Jesus has loved God perfectly with all His heart, with all His mind, and with all His strength. In the last 10 seconds we have all failed at this. We can only trust in Jesus as God’s gracious and kind gift to do all of this for us.

Let’s praise God that through the “Onlies” he offers us the greatest gift we can imagine: A forever home with Him!

Reaction Activity

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  • Let’s sing Not In Me together again today as a family.
  • Let’s thank God for each of the Onlies!
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