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Saturday, January 28, 2017

Wages Earned Or A Free Gift?

Many people in the world today believe that salvation is by grace, but then they think that their own works somehow keep them saved or helps in the saving of them.
They take certain passages of Scripture to support their views, but they ignore Ephesians 2:8-9 & Romans 3 and many other passages which refute their understanding.

Today I was reading Romans 6, and the more I read the more sola fide jumped out at me.
It's been 500 years since the commonly accepted beginning of the Reformation (although it really started before that).
Much like the Judaizers and Pharisees, the Roman Catholic Church put burdens and rules on people that were not found in Scripture.

Today, Romans 3:23 really struck me in a different way than usual.
I thought about how it relates to the rest of what I've been reading, and I also related it to the conversations I've had online.
The difference between what they hold to and what the Bible says is striking.  
So is the difference between how the unbeliever and believer receives their eternal outcome.

Death is earned by the unbeliever.  All of us are slaves being born into sin, but we also earn death as sinners ourselves...all of us.
We are all born that way.
There is none who seeks after God.  All sin.
God's justice and wrath against sin is justly deserved by all.
The believer does not earn eternal life at all.  It is a FREE gift.
It is not a wage of good deeds.  It is not earned at all.  It is all of grace.

So, why the confusion?  Well, a believer will serve Christ as a freed person...freed to be a slave to Christ.
This is not freedom to earn favor with God to somehow help save ourselves.
It is because God has gifted the believer with a faith that desires to obey.
It all starts with the faith and freedom given by Christ.
So, the living working faith that justifies, is not something that we can muster up to help ourselves be saved.
As said before, it is a gift of God.  The believer is born from above.
Someone who is dead in sin will not seek God apart from God's Spirit.
Even as a believer, it is God who is at work in me both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).

God prepared good works for the believer to walk in,  and a Christian will be known by the fruit he or she bears through the power of the Spirit.  God uses His Word and trials to change us.
It is by His Spirit that we can obey, and it is the work of God that saves.
A living faith is demonstrated by an obedient life, but the Christian is Christ's workmanship...not our own (Ephesians 2:10).

This doesn't mean that a believer can or will achieve a sinless life here on earth, but Christ's righteousness is imputed (2 Corinthians 5:21; to the believer entirely apart from works.
We cannot add to the death of Christ (Hebrews 10:10), and we cannot add to the life He gives.
Yet, if there is no change in us when we have claimed to believe, then it may be that we are not genuine.
So, as a Christian, I'm positionally righteous, while I still must fight the good fight of faith.
I can't lose salvation, because genuine faith is a gift and work of God entirely.
Good deeds should never be an attempt to keep myself in the faith.
They should be an outworking of what God is doing in me.

It's like this....
You can't make fools gold into gold by trying to refine it.
You can wash it or paint it.  You can put it in a fancy setting to dress it up.
It will be a waste of time, but it might look good for a time.
Like doing good works to earn favor with God, if it isn't genuine faith to start with...  your good works will be a waste of time.
If you think any of it is of you, then you are wasting your time.
Only God can take a worthless stone and change it into gold.

Read more about the FREE GIFT Here.

For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.
Romans 3:28 NASB

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