The Battle for Pure Grace ~ blog
Because the idea of being saved completely by the mercy and grace of God was such a radical departure from what the Jews had been practicing for centuries it did not take long for there to be opposition to the idea.
Surely it cannot be that simple that if someone simply believes in the Lord Jesus they are then saved. Oh…wait a minute I think it Paul said to the jailer who asked Paul what he needed to do to be saved in Acta 16:30, the Apostle Paul said;
“Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved and you will remain saved as long as you get circumcised, keep the 10 commandments and the 613 sub-commandments, and maintain all the dietary laws God gave Israel, and stop working on the Sabbath …for starters.”
All he actually said was for him to believe on the Lord Jesus
… and he would be saved.
It just sounds too easy, doesn’t it? Surely there must be more to becoming saved than that. Well, there is more to our entire salvation than just believing in Jesus. Believing in Jesus or placing your faith in Jesus to be your Savior from your sins is not your entire salvation. It is only the beginning of it. Nevertheless, that beginning is extremely important and has eternal consequences.
Because our Father is Merciful and does not punish us for our sins. Because the Son of God, Jesus, became a man, lived a sinless life, and allowed Himself to be slaughtered on a cross God Himself has completely paid the penalty for every single one of our sins. And it is when one puts their faith in Jesus and His death on the cross as THE payment of the penalty of their sins that their salvation begins.
And it is that beginning of our salvation by faith in Jesus that causes us to be born again by the Spirit. We go from being spiritually dead in our sins and transgressions to being spiritually being alive in Christ. That is 100% the complete work of God so that the beginning of our salvation is completely done by Him and not by any of our own works as we so clearly see in Ephesians 2:8-9;
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
It sounds too good to be true, but it is true, and it is really good. So, our entrance into this salvation that God has freely given to us is completely a work of Gods and we have become born-again spiritually into His family, adopted by Him forever and there is nothing we can do to undo this act of justification by God which has given us sonship into his family.
However, there is much more to our salvation than just being born again just as there is much more to our life than our birthday. We were all conceived in our mother’s womb and according to Psalm 139:13;
“For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.”
To my knowledge, there was not much I was doing in there for 9 months to earn my being born. My life began at my conception and for about 9 months I was just hanging out, growing from a 2-cell embryo into a newborn of about 2,000,000,000,000 or 2 trillion cells. I did not decide to become a fertilized egg because I didn’t exist. I came into existence because God decided that I would be created and born.
And for a while, I still had no control over my life. I slept when I was tired. I cried when I was hungry. I emptied my bladder and bowels with me having little to say about the when and where. I was completely dependent on my parents for a time…but eventually, I gained independence and had to make decisions for myself. However, as for my becoming a living being it just happened, and God brought my life into existence.
Now speaking about our Spiritual life in Christ there are some very remarkable similarities. Before we knew Christ, the Bible tells us we were dead in our sins and transgressions. We had physical life but no spiritual life. There was no connection between us and God. As we read in Ephesians 2:1-3;
“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins … All of us also lived gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts…and were by nature children of wrath, just as the rest.”
This was the condition of all of us before we were given the faith to believe in Jesus because of His Mercy and Grace and out of His GREAT LOVE for us…He began our salvation by giving us the faith to believe and we became born again into a new spiritual life and have been adopted forever into His family. At that moment all of our sins, past, present, and future were completely forgiven and we became forever justified by God…becoming members of His family forever.
Now just because we have become members of God’s family forever, does not mean we are always members in good standing. The justification part of our salvation by faith begins our salvation and is completely the work of God’s Mercy and Grace. However, the next stage of our salvation is called our Sanctification and this phase which began at our spiritual birth is where we have to go to work and put in the efforts necessary to become strong and godly believers.
I hope we have all learned that if we become born again and find ourselves sitting on our blessed assurance and do not strive to consistently do the work that leads to our sanctification we will become double-minded and find ourselves falling more and more into our sexual sins.
More Tomorrow …