Friday, November 20, 2009

The Gift of God


“The gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8)

Today it is my honor to make my 400th post on this blog. I consider it a great honor to use the internet as a tool to spread the fame of Jesus Christ. I hope everyone has been encouraged, convicted and challenged by God’s word as I have. Today I wanted to speak about salvation which is “the gift of God.”

How does a person earn salvation?

This is the question I posed to each reader to which many of you responded with this verse out of Ephesians 2: “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (8-9). What a great summary of Christ’s work in a life that bring about salvation. His grace. His faith. His gift. His work. We can only boast in the cross of Christ.

Here are some of things mentioned by you, the readers:

“I’ve been mulling your question around in my head for a few days now. My conclusion is that there is no way you can EARN salvation: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Eph 2:8-9
In order to RECEIVE salvation you have to ACCEPT this gift, acknowledging that you are a sinner and that Jesus died to save you.”

“Salvation is a free gift given through faith in Christ. If it can be said that anyone has earned salvation it would be Christ. He lived a perfect life according to the law and was sacrificed in order to earn salvation for the world.”

“Earning isn't really an option for salvation. God wants us to work out our salvation, let our good works shine before men, be doers of the word, etc.; but these things are merely explaining the response that should be natural when we realize what has been done on our behalf.
The means God uses to impart the grace of salvation is faith in the work of Jesus Christ. I can't speak for all Christians but I know that I don't have in myself the kind of perfect faith that never doubts. I know that even the faith that I have is a gift from God.
So, earning-no. Falling down on your knees, coming to the end of yourself, and asking Christ to save you from your sin and grant you faith to believe- yes.”

“We are not worthy and it is only through God's grace and mercy that we are saved through Christ's death and resurrection. Titus 3:5-6 "he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior." Christ paid the price - paid in full! To God be the Glory!”

“No one can earn salvation, Jesus earned it for us. We must accept the gift of salvation.”

“That's a trick question. No one earns salvation.”

I think most of you understand salvation is “the gift of God.” He justifies and regenerates us by his grace. God saves us (Titus 3:5) then by the work of the Holy Spirit our wants, desires, affections and whole life change from seeking to please self to bringing glory to our great Savior. Milton Vincent says, “God did not give us His gospel just so we could embrace it and be converted. Actually, He offers it to us every day as a gift that keeps on giving to us everything we need for life and godliness. The wise believer learns this truth early and becomes proficient in extracting available benefits from the gospel each day. We extract these benefits by being absorbed in the gospel, speaking it to ourselves when necessary, and by daring to reckon it true in all we do" (A Gospel Primer).

Christian, I hope you rehearse the gospel daily. I hope you write it down, read it, sing it and pray it so that it may impact all of your life. “The gift of God” truly is the gift the keeps on giving. If you haven’t received this gift of salvation ask God to give you the faith to receive the gift. Humbly confess that you are a sinner in need of a Savior. Jesus Christ is the Savior of those who repent and believe. “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). God’s promise to those who repent and believe is “the gift of God.”

Grace upon grace,
JRL

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