This is the second part of my “review” of the Gospel. Since the Gospel is so important, there will be more info provided before I get into the “meat” of this topic related to the meme.
Colossians 2:13-14 says, “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.”
So, Jesus took care of all the work to remove our sin and provide us a means to enter heaven. The only thing we need to do is accept His actions (sacrifice) and acknowledge His death and resurrection that conquered death (or sin).
It seems very clear to me that the only reason we are righteous, holy, or can enter into heaven is because we believe and trust that the death and resurrection of Jesus saves us. Nothing we have done or will do can accomplish this amazing feat.
Galatians 2:16 says, “yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.”
John 3:16 says, “for God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
You’ll notice that these scriptures do not add anything to the list to require justification. In fact, it clearly says that works, or actions we attempt to offer to God, do not justify us. So we cannot act holy, we cannot be a better Christian or even a better person by doing ANYTHING as it relates to our righteousness and holiness. That also means that things that we do on earth do not negate the blood of Christ, because we have nothing to do with the process in the first place.
Grace is a FREE GIFT that Jesus gave us even though we didn’t deserve it. If I gave you a gift for your birthday and then handed you a list of things you must do to DESERVE that gift, you’d think I was crazy. Jesus did not give us a list of things we must do to be saved, and it is crazy when we add conditions to people to “prove” they are saved when their salvation is 100% a gift provided for each of us. It can be argued that when we humans insist that we must take part in our salvation and add criteria (works or actions) to REALLY be saved, we haven’t really and truly accepted the Grace (free gift) of Jesus, but instead rely on our own efforts for salvation.
Romans 11:6 says, “But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
To be saved, we must trust in Jesus and repent. Here I’ve taken the wording directly from the article linked below:
WHAT SAVING REPENTANCE IS NOT:
1. Saving repentance is not being sorry for your sins.
2. Saving repentance is not turning from your sins or reforming your life.
3. Saving repentance is not the willingness to turn your life over to God so that He can direct your path.
Saving repentance has absolutely nothing to do with regretting your sins or resolving to turn from them. God is willing to save you just the way you are. The Bible says:
While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
WHAT SAVING REPENTANCE IS:
Saving repentance is to stop trusting in gaining eternal life through religion, religious rituals, or obedience to God’s laws. The word “repent” comes from the Greek word which means “to change one’s mind.” Those who believe that eternal life can be earned through good works are commanded in Scripture to change their mind or “repent.” They are told to stop trusting in their works, and come to God on the basis of grace through faith alone.
When we’ve trusted in Jesus and repented from our own effort, we receive real assurance that we are saved – we are Christians! We know when we die, we will go to heaven.
John 5:24 says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.”
Again, this scripture does not go on to say “and go to church, and refrain from using foul language, separate from sinners, etc.” Because, that would mean our efforts really control our salvation and that is absolutely not the Gospel.
Additionally, if any of us sin after receiving the free gift from Jesus (and if we are honest, we realize we all continue to sin), we are still secure in Christ. The blood of Christ finished ALL sin; past, present, and future.
Hebrews 10:10-12, 14 says, “And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.”
Before I end this, I want to emphasize that I am NOT saying, nor do I believe, this means we can continue to sin and run around doing anything we want. There are real and painful consequences to our sin on the earth. Relationship can be broken, lives can be lost, we can absolutely fill our lives with pain, and we will not be very good ambassadors for our Lord. God wants more from us, and His Holy Spirit that is in us will help us to grow in Him to become more like Him. But even as we sin, because of the free gift of Grace, nothing can separate us from God. That is the Truth.
I welcome any comments on this and will base subsequent posts/vlogs based on this foundation. The article I used to help explain the Biblical Truth of Grace can be accessed here.