Monday, May 26, 2014

“For BY GRACE you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Eph 2:8,9)

Why all this talk about “salvation”? If God is a loving God then why not just forgive everyone? Why not open the “gates of heaven” for all? Why should there be any mention of judgment?

The answer is entirely based on WHO GOD IS.  Salvation is a necessity because God is holy. Man is a sinner by nature and God will, and must, judge sin (What would you think of a judge who allowed a criminal to go free?). God cannot ignore sin and remain just and holy. He cannot cease to be Himself! THIS is man’s great problem, for all are sinners and God demands justice.

But, He is also a loving God. His love is seen in how He made a way for man to be forgiven. His Son, Jesus Christ, paid the price for sin on the cross. What took place at the cross should not be trivialized. It was a bloody and violent affair. The hardest heart would have shuddered to behold His suffering. Christ became man’s SUBSTITUTE and the fierce judgment of God fell upon Him.

“Grace” is God’s free offer of salvation on the basis of Christ’s sacrifice. He suffered and died for you. “It is the gift of God.” It cannot be earned by “works.” This gift is accepted “by faith.”  It is received as you acknowledge to God that you are a sinner in need of a Savior. You must ask Christ to be YOUR Savior.

Will you accept Christ as your Savior? What’s stopping you from talking to God right now?

“For by grace YOU HAVE BEEN SAVED through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Eph 2:8,9)

The word “saved” implies some kind of peril or danger (one is hardly saved from Disneyland!).  The context from which the above passage is taken highlights the mercy of God in delivering men from the power of sin and death and granting them a new life in Christ. This is not simply a reformed life but, a life that comes from God through a spiritual birth. Jesus spoke of this birth when He said, “you must be born again” (John 3:3).  The peril is the future judgment of God. Elsewhere it is called “the wrath to come” (1 Thess 1:10) and will culminate in the frightening “lake of fire” (Rev 20:15). This impending judgment will take place following Christ’s second coming (the Bible teaches far more on the second coming than the first). That Christ has already come in fulfillment of Scripture is sobering assurance of His future return.

My son once stood on a train track to face on oncoming train. He had seen a superhero toss on oncoming train and he was going to do the same! Thankfully, he changed his mind as the train approached but, he frightened the life out of his parents! He had NO appreciation of what he really faced. The passage we wish to spend the next few weeks considering is filled with amazing truths concerning deliverance from God’s fearful judgment. It will however be meaningless if you do not believe God is real and is telling the truth.

Jesus came that you might be saved. He wants you to be saved from the “wrath to come.”