Monday, October 28, 2013

Saved by grace


Our pastor spoke these words yesterday - "God's love can't be achieved.  It can only be received."

For so long in my life, I lived under legalistic presumptions.  I felt pressure all the time that I was not saved or going to heaven due to the sin that was still in my life.

It wasn't until the last few years when God showed me that His grace saved me and all I had to do was receive it.

Will I still sin and mess up? You bet your life on it that I will.  But, if God's salvation left me just because I may sin, who would want that kind of salvation?

I can guess that no one would want that.  That would be a scary thought to constantly be questioning my salvation as I once did.

As I have read through the old Testament this year, I have found so many people who God chose for His purposes, yet they constantly messed up.

God didn't create us to be perfect.  I would even venture to say that if sin was not in our lives, we would never grasp the true depth of this grace that He willingly lavishes upon us.
"For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;" 
Ephesians 2:8

Our pastor talked of the apostle Peter yesterday.  Peter sinned and even denied Christ. Denied Him!  
And yet.  
And yet, Christ did not give up on him.  In fact, He made him leader of the church!!!
"I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it."  Matthew 16:18  (NASB)

Now, truly, I am not saying that this gives us free reign to sin after we become saved. Not even close.  I believe that when we are saved, our heart is changed.  That doesn't mean that there will not be sin, but it does mean that God's conviction will be in our heart.  

I don't want to sin.  I hate feeling that feeling of conviction.  But just because I am saved and don't desire to sin, it does still happen.  Probably more frequently than I care to admit.

So this brings me to another issue - judgement.

Oh, yes, I said it.

As Christians, we seem to do this quite frequently and yet, not consider it a sin.  

Whether we are judging those who are unsaved, or those who are saved, but are "messing up," it is still a sin.

I believe we can speak to people out of love and try to lead them to the right path, but I also really believe that we should always try to edify everyone we come in contact with.
"So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another."   Romans 14:19 (NASB)

I believe that most of being a Christian is pretty simple.  We seem to like to make a lot of rules and judgments, but what it comes down to is - your relationship with Christ.  
"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."  Romans 10:9-10

I believe James chapter 1 paints a perfect picture of life and how to live a Christian life.  
Give it a read :)

God's Word is so important to hide in your heart.  My goal for the coming months is to memorize scripture.  This has always been so hard for me.  I'm not sure why, but it has been.  
Being in His Word is how we become close to Him.  See?  It's not very complicated.  
"Draw near to God and He will draw near to you."  James 4:8a  (NKJV)

I've been working on my testimony that I hope to share in the next month.  I want to share how my life was changed by these revelations.  I pray that if you feel like you can never be good enough or being a Christian is too hard - read these scriptures and pray and ask God to impart truth to your heart.  

It really is pretty uncomplicated.  Remember the song we teach our children?

Jesus Loves Me

Jesus loves me! 
This I know, 
For the Bible tells me so. 
Little ones to Him belong; 
They are weak but He is strong.
Jesus loves me!
Loves me still,
Tho I'm very weak and ill,
That I might from sin be free,
Bled and died upon the tree.
Jesus loves me!
He who died
Heaven's gate to open wide;
He will wash away my sin,
Let His little child come in.
Jesus loves me!
He will stay
Close beside me all the way.
Thou hast bled and died for me;
I will henceforth live for Thee.
Chorus:
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.
--Anna B. Warner, 1820 -1915

3 comments:

  1. This is such a beautiful picture of grace! You explained my beliefs so well. I wish everyone could hear this message! I'd love to read your testimony, too!

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  2. YOU DIDN'T BELIEVE THAT

    Do believers who believe that Jesus is the Christ, the only Son of God believe because they heard the gospel preached and believed of their own free-will or because God forced them to believe it?

    The proponents of the five points of Calvinism make the point that a believer in Jesus only believes because of "Irresistible grace." In other words "You didn't believe that," God believed it for you.

    "Irresistible grace:" This doctrine, also called "efficacious grace", asserts that that saving grace of God is effectually applied to those whom he has determined to save (that is, the elect) and in God's timing, overcomes their resistance to obeying the call of the gospel, bringing them to a saving faith. This means that when God sovereignly purposes to save someone, that individual certainly will be saved. The doctrine holds that this purposeful influence of God Holy Spirit cannot be resisted, but that the Holy Spirit, "graciously causes the elect sinner to cooperate, to believe, to repent, to come freely and willingly to Christ." (Ref:Calvinism-Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

    First, if the Holy Spirit cannot be resisted, then it is not free-will. God believed for you. "YOU DIDN'T BELIEVE THAT."

    John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

    The Calvinistic interpretation of John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, to save a few preselected men and to let the remainder burn in hell for all eternity."

    The "grace alone" advocates proclaim that God forced you to believe. Their unspoken motto, "YOU DIDN'T BELIEVE THAT."

    John 3:18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

    Why would God judge men who do not believe if the only avenue to belief is through the "irresistible grace" of the Holy Spirit. The non-believers motto would be "I DIDN'T NOT BELIEVE THAT." Their plea would be, "The Holy Spirit did not force me to believe."

    John 3:36 He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."

    If "irresistible grace" were factually correct, it would be impossible to disobey God and not believe.

    2 Corinthians 4:4 in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ.

    The unbelieving have been blinded by the god of this world. God want all men to be saved. If there is "irresistible grace" then Satan could not blind anyone from seeing the light of the gospel. Men choose not to believe, they have free-will.

    Hebrews 2:9 But we see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of GodHe might taste death for everyone.

    Jesus died for everyone, not a select few who are saved by so-called "irresistible grace."

    Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who week Him.

    God is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
    God does not select a certain few who He saves by "irresistible grace."


    GRACE ALONE ADVOCATES ARE IN ERROR WHEN THE IMPLY THAT CHRISTIANS "DIDN'T BELIEVE THAT."


    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY BLOG. http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete

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