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Saturday, January 20, 2018

Salvation is on offer to all who have an obedient faith

Look Deeper By Jim Squires

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saves a wretch like me…

What a beautiful thought and a beautiful melody that says so much in so few words!

Grace being extended to mankind is a foundational concept of the Christian religion. How do we value the grace that is extended to us?

In Romans 6:1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 

2: By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3: Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? (NIV)

Note his answer in verse 2: No! Grace is not license to continue sinning!

When God extends His grace to us, do we snatch it and run like an abused starving animal? Have we learned to trust God? Do we allow the kindness through His Spirit to touch us?

Under the Old Testament Law, given only to the Jewish people, the rules were simpler: There were 10 commandments. If you broke them your sin separated you from God.

God made provisions for the Jews to learn the laws. In Galatians 3:22: But the Scripture has confined all under sin that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. 23: But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. 24: Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25: But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

Paul clarifies that it is by faith that we are justified. Even before the Law containing the 10 Commandments was given to Moses on Mount Sinai, Abraham was justified because he believed and obeyed God.

What does the faith of a Christian lead to?  Some argue that “faith only” saves us. Paul teaches in Romans 3 that there are two laws: The law of works and the law of faith. All men can now glory in that they are justified before God in obedience to the law of faith.

Let no one be alarmed! The gospel is the “law of faith”. Consider these texts:

Romans 1:16: For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

Romans 8:2: For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

James 1:25: But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

James 2:8: If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well

James 2:12: So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty.

Hebrews 8:10: For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

Galatians 6:1: Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. 2: Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

1 Timothy 1:7: Desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm. 8: But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully, 9:  knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10:  for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine, 11:  according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust.

1 Timothy 6:3:  If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness…

God the Father offers salvation to all men. He offers salvation upon the same conditions to all. Salvation is conditional. The condition is faith. Faith alone? Absolutely not!

Consider:

1.      Faith’s example is set by the obedient faith of Christ (Romans 3:22)

2.      Faith of the sinner in his belief in Christ is absolutely necessary (v.22)

3.      Living by the “law of faith” or the gospel includes doing the works of faith and commands of Christ’s gospel (v. 27)

4.      “Faith” as used singularly by Paul is always used as an obedient faith in all of his writings. (Romans 1:5; 16:26)

Jim Squires is actively involved in the City Study Commission, Toastmasters, Leadership Glendive, The Dawson County Educational Foundation, the Glendive Ministerial Association and preaches at the Church of Christ.

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