Bible Salvation

24 12 2010

There is a debate  in Christian circles that involves salvation. The question is “Free Grace” salvation as opposed to “Lordship” salvation. Free Grace Folks want us to believe that a person can be saved, take on a new nature, and partake in the Holy Spirit, but never have a change in lifestyle and continue to live for this world. These folks are usually the same ones that promote easy believes which only requires a mental acceptance of Christ but not a heart acceptance. The only Scriptures used to defend Free Grace salvation are the ones that use the word believe so that as long as in your head you believe then God saves you as if He is saying “don’t worry about following me just don’t go to hell.” This low view of salvation and God is why our churches are filled with carnal, worldly, self-absorbed false converts. These people want the benefits of Heaven without losing their “hopes and dreams” in this life.

This view of salvation is completely absent from Scripture. Paul says that when we are saved we put on a new nature (2 Corinthians 5:17) Paul asks and answers a rhetorical question in Romans 6, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life… Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.”

John when speaking of those that had left the church he points out that they did so because they were not truly saved, had they been saved there is no doubt they would have continued. (1 John 2:19). When a man told Jesus that he wanted to follow Him but wanted to go tend to family matters first Jesus told him to leave those matters to those who were spiritually dead and to come follow Him (Matthew 8:21).  In Matthew 16:24, Jesus makes the terms of salvation very clear, “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” When speaking on the subject of money Jesus lays the terms out again very clearly in Matthew 6:24, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Jesus also points out that on the Day of Judgment many who had a mental acceptance of Him will face him. In Matthew 7:22-23 he says, “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

The Gospel is a life changing message; it creates a new heart with new desires. It craves the things of God, it is grieved by sin. The idea that a person could be saved but not have a changed life, not desire to follow Christ is foreign to the Holy Scriptures. Not one time do we see someone wanting to be saved by Jesus but not wanting to follow Him and Jesus passing that off as “well at least they’re not going to hell.” This does not mean that salvation is of works, but it does mean that salvation causes works. Paul said to examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5) this would be impossible if the Gospel didn’t change your life. All you would have to do to test yourself is to make sure you prayed the prayer, but the Scriptures give another test. This is a test of action. In Galatians Paul is dealing with a church that had many unsaved people within it. Many were relying on their obedience to Jewish law to complete their salvation.

Paul gave a simple test in Galatians 5, “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” Paul made it clear in Romans 8:13, “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” The Gospel is radical and life changing if indeed we have truly believed unto salvation, although I fear that many have as Paul said, “Believed in vain.”

Written By: Rick Garland


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