Wednesday, October 29, 2014

You Don't Pay For A Gift Given To You

Your grandparents come by for a visit. During their visit they present you with a beautiful gift. You are moved by their love for you and put great value on this wonderful thing they have done for you. Imagine now that you turn around and offer them money for their gift. How do you think that would make them feel? Would it not cheapen their gift of love? Could you even imagine doing this? It is what we do with Father almost every day.

Salvation is a gift. It is a gift of grace offered to us, the enemy of Yahweh. Even though we were in rebellion against his authority, he reached out in a great act of love and offered us an escape from the power of sin and forgiveness for all of our offenses including any future ones. As his enemy, we have deserved none of it, yet in grace he offered it.

This is fantastic but then we cheapen it in our attitude in accepting it. We don't seem to believe it as we continue to cry out for forgiveness, as we try to atone for our sins, as we try to bribe Father with our goodness. We confuse the fruit of righteousness with the price of salvation. There is no price for salvation because Jesus paid it for us.

Paul the apostle, the great teacher of this grace, used Abraham as an example. In fact, Paul refers to Abraham as the father of our faith because he is the first to have lived such faith:

So what are we going to say? Are we going to find that Abraham is our ancestor on the basis of genealogy? Because if Abraham was made righteous because of his actions, he would have had a reason to brag, but not in front of God. What does the scripture say?Abraham had faith in God, and it was credited to him as righteousness. (Romans 4:1-3)

It was credited to him. The simple fact is that Jesus saved you because there is nothing you could do to save yourself. Nothing. All of your sin has been covered, even the future stuff. That is hard for us to grasp but it is the reality of our salvation. It does not mean that we cannot lose our salvation. If we were ever stupid enough to deny Jesus, to turn our back and to enter into rebellion again, we would be lost. But sin alone does not affect our salvation when we are of such a heart to confess it because we don't want it to abide in us. We don't need to seek forgiveness because it has been forgiven but we do need to confess it to be free from it.

As to the clarity of understanding that this is a free gift that cannot be earned or purchased by good living and sacrifice, Paul uses this illustration:

Workers’ salaries aren’t credited to them on the basis of an employer’s grace but rather on the basis of what they deserve. But faith is credited as righteousness to those who don’t work, because they have faith in God who makes the ungodly righteous. (v. 4-5)

If we could finally grasp this we might actually discover the quality and depth of the peace that Jesus has given to us. Only don't rest at the foot of the cross but instead press on to grow in maturity and power. We are called as warriors, to lay down our lives for the enemy of Yahweh because he wants to see everyone saved. Knowing our salvation is sure, go out today to do good for the sake of others.

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