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“What can we do to perform the works of God?” they asked. Jesus replied, “This is the work of God—that you believe in the one he has sent.” John 6:28-29 (CSB)
HOW CAN WE EARN OUR SALVATION?
That is a normal question that most of us have asked.
Some really don’t ask the question because, most likely, they’re afraid of the answer. It might be along the lines of Jesus’ statement in Luke 18:22 NIV: “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” They don’t want to give up their possessions or their “lifestyle” for Jesus.
Or else they imagine they’ll feel “called” to some remote jungle where the natives will spear them and feast on their remains. They don’t want to make a life-changing sacrifice.
STILL, IT IS A normal question because it mirrors our life experiences on earth.
Every task we perform; every job we’re given; every responsibility we hold requires us to perform at a satisfactory level as judged by someone else. If we don’t measure up, then we’ll lose our position, whether it’s to lose a business we started or a position to which we’ve been hired or appointed, or even to lose a marriage or friendship or even our freedom.
Yet, in God’s world, the equation is turned up-side-down (or, perhaps, it’s turned right-side-up).
God is the judge, but God also is the only actor. In terms of salvation, God is the only one doing anything. There is nothing for us to do; indeed, there is nothing we can do. We are incapable of earning our salvation because the ticket price is too high. We cannot pay it.
So God earned it for us and then gives it to us as a free gift. All we need to do is accept it.
AHH, SO EASY … yet so few manage to accept God’s free gift.
The Bible says that Jesus is the only path to salvation (see John 14:6), that He is truth (see John 17:17), that His name is the only one given to us for salvation (see Acts 4:12), that all who call on Him will be saved (see Joel 2:32, cf. Acts 2:21, Romans 10:13) and that, once saved, no one can snatch them from His hand or the Father’s hand (see John 10:28-29).
Yet, despite all that Our Lord Jesus Christ says to assure us that He wants us to live with Him always (see John 14:3, John 17:24), it is still natural for people to assume they have to earn salvation, to work hard enough to please God because that’s the way everything is done in this life.
Praise God that He has lifted the burden from our shoulders and placed it on His own. Paul, as usual, says it right (1 Corinthians 2:2 ESV): “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.”
Our Heavenly Father, please forgive us when we find it so difficult to see You as someone who can forgive our sins, that You could love us so much that You would send Your Son to bear our punishment, and that You would guarantee us eternal life in Paradise if we would just believe in Your Son. Help those who are struggling with that amazing grace and help those of us who believe to testify to the truth with humility and love. We pray this in the mighty name of Jesus Christ, AMEN
PRAYER 2: O Heavenly Father, our Father God, our Dad, even our Daddy, thank You for Your magnificent love, for Your mercy and grace, for Your eternal faithfulness. You have given us the eternal gift of life, of peace. We endlessly praise Your holy name. Instill in our hearts a measure of love, forgiveness, patience, and grace so we might extend it to others. Lord, may they see Your light shining through us and give You the glory. In Jesus’ name we lift this prayer. AMEN
- How difficult is it for you to accept God’s free gift of grace as your sole obligation to ensure your salvation and eternal life in His Kingdom? Does it seem so easy that there must be “a catch”? Does it seem so difficult that you might be required to sacrifice more than you feel you are able?
- How important is it to you to know and understand God’s plan for your life? Do you even believe God has a plan for your life? Do you think you could learn more by reading the Holy Bible, His inspired Word?
- What, if anything, stops you from learning more about God’s will and His role in human history? Does it stem from a back experience years ago … or does it come from the incredible gift of grace that exceeds our human ability to comprehend?
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