Everyone knows that Salvation is a free gift and it can't be earned by works. These facts are a given. The questions I have are these and you only have to answer one......
When you handed your life over to Jesus, did that mean part of your life, some of your life, or your whole life?
How many would consider themselves to be true slaves to Christ as Paul professed to be?
Is there anything of this world that is holding you back from absolute and total devotion to Christ?
Thank you for responding to the second question. I agree with you 100%.
Since God judges our hearts, then someone who is making every effort to love God and serve him is actually better in Gods eyes than someone who appears to be doing everything right but isn't putting forth all their effort. Example: If you are putting forth all your effort to please God and still feel like you are falling short, and I am not putting forth all my effort and I feel proud, then in Gods eyes, your are redeemed, and God is displeased with me. It makes no difference what you or I think or feel about that statement. In Gods eyes you would be more pleasing to him.
Example: If a well known television evangelist is saying all the right things and getting people saved but he isn't desperate for God, then he is less in Gods eyes than some poor homeless soul who is crying out for God and has nothing to offer. God will pour out his love, mercy, and compassion on that homeless person first. Why? Because God wants our souls to to be stripped bare (spiritually) before him....Example: The story of the poor widow who gave two mites touched Jesus. To our way of thinking she didn't give very much at all, but to Jesus it was everything she had....Example: When the tax collecting sinner went to the temple and prayed and cried out to God to have mercy on him as a poor sinner, and the Pharisee stood next to him and said, Thank God that I am not like this sinning tax collector, Jesus said, that the tax collector went away redeemed in Gods eyes. Did the the tax collector himself know he was redeemed, or did the people who still hated him since he was a tax collector know he was redeemed? It makes no difference, since in Gods eyes he was redeemed. God’s opinion is the only one that matters. So we can’t go by what we feel or what makes sense to us, we have to go by what makes sense to God. Example: When television evangelist Jimmy Swaggart cried out to God for mercy on National Television for the sins that had brought down his ministry, people didn’t forgive him and they stopped watching his ministry for many years. But God heard Jimmy Swaggart and forgave him according to his word. We know he was forgiven because Gods word says so. In Gods eyes Swaggarts confession and open weeping may have been his finest moment. So yes, we do give something to God, we give all that we have to give at that moment in time. All that we have to give may mean all of our sorrow. He wants that too.
When I say slave I do so since if he is the master, then what are we. The word master denotes that someone must be the slave otherwise why have someone who is called master? We are designed by God to serve God. We call the ones who wait on us in restaurants 'servers' because they serve our needs while we dine. One who serves food is a servant to many but is not owned by anyone in the restaurant. One who serves Christ belongs to him. If Christ paid the price for our sins, and we willingly turned our lives over to him, then doesn't he essentially now own us? Doesn't the word slave mean one who was purchased? We happen to be purchased out of bondage so we are no longer slaves to the world but his slaves. We now serve another master. Paul referred to himself as a slave to Christ but was he in bondage? Of course not, he was released from bondage and was now serving our master Christ Jesus. This is my reasoning on it anyhow.
Well it sounds like you have the whole thing figured out. Your troubles must be few and your rejoicing abundant. Maybe someday God will bless me with the wisdom he has blessed you with.
Many Blessings in Christ.
Thank you for responding. I like your answer "Some things I believe because I was taught them, and some of those...my Father has re-taught me." and it makes a great deal of sense to me. :-)
Yes, I agree we are weak creatures who are hopelessly lost without Christ. I try to remember that love trumps everything else including even my own understanding. If I do not agree with another Christian, my love for them must supersede all else including my own constructs of what Christianity means to me.
When we look at it from God's POV salvation is not free, it is a gift that cost Jesus His life to purchase (Rev. 5:9). He paid the debt that we ran up and still run up from time to time if not but for the continued covering of His blood. Praise be to God that the account is paid in full in Jesus and that salvation is offered as a gift to us in Christ Jesus (Rom. 6:23).
Ephesians 2:8-10 are stated in an exact order.
Grace is first, then faith follows the grace of God. Through grace by faith we are saved ... this not of works. Once the fact that we are not saved by works is established we are then taught that we were created for good works, and these good works follow the salvation experience. They do not add to it, but rather flow out of our new life in Christ.
Amen, I think its the book of James that says, "Faith without works is dead"
We are saved by grace according to our faith and after we are saved we should be producing good works and bearing positive fruit out of our love and desire to do the will of Christ who saved us. I believe as you do!
When a person is born-again they begin as a babe in Christ and it takes time to grow. If we use the picture of a babe, as the Bible does, it helps us to understand the process. A baby is totally dependent upon mom and dad at birth. It cannot do one thing for itself. Then eventually it learns to rollover, sit-up, walk and eventually run. The child learns new things over time and then is able to apply those things once learned, not before. It is a travesty when people expect the new believer to act as if they had been walking with the Lord for 50 years. The Bible tells us to make disciples, not converts. Discipleship is a lifelong journey as we seek to know more about Jesus and follow His footsteps as we go. Be encouraged that it is God in you who will finish the work started (Col. 1:27; Php. 1:6)
I would also encourage you to know that you are His. I recognize that not everyone believes in eternal security, but it is God's will to keep the child of God. Your works flow from the new nature out of love seeking to please your Father in heaven. These works are not given in order to see if one can live up to a standard in order to retain their salvation. If that were the case we would all be lost forever, for we all struggle from time to time. It is through Jesus that we have new life and this new life is forever in Him.
Understood and PTL that you are seeking to reach out to the new borns. That is so important.