Friday, June 26th, 2015
One of the most amazing thing that God has accomplished is providing salvation for even those human beings whom He knew would reject it. God so loved the ‘world’ that He gave His Son John 3:16. It wasn’t just for the part of the world that He knew would receive His salvation that He died. It was for all of those who would ridicule His name, ignore His salvation, despise His Word and reject His authority.
Whether they want to be or not, the whole world has been made ‘savable’ because of the baptism He receive and His death on the cross. However being ‘savable’ and being ‘saved’ are two different things. If someone has put RM100,000 in a bank account for you, it won’t do you any good unless, first of all, you know about it and secondly you draw upon it.
The salvation that God has granted can only be received by grace through the saving faith found in the Gospel of God’s righteousness. This Gospel is none other than the Gospel of the water and Spirit which constitutes Jesus’ baptism, death and resurrection for all humanity. God has put His offer of ‘free forgiveness’ in His window and is available to everyone but only the possession of those who come in and take it. Since it’s rendered freely by grace through faith, at no other point is it more important to distinguish between the means of coming into God’s salvation and the effects of it. It’s of utmost important that we don’t get the cart before the horse in the matter of how to appropriate all that Christ accomplished through His baptism and death. If you make something which the Bible calls a result of salvation part of the means by which it’s obtained, then we insert human merit into the picture of God’s redemptive plan. Human merit nullifies the whole concept of a free salvation received by grace through saving faith.
The Apostle Paul, knowing that all men have an insatiable self-centeredness that makes them want to boast of their spiritual or moral prowess, wrote to the believers in Ephesus, “for by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourself, it is the gift of God, not as a result of works that no one should boasts.” Eph 2:8-9
- Faith, plus repentance?
- Faith, plus the Lordship of Christ?
- Faith, plus water baptism?
The real issue is saving faith plus nothing. God has always had only one way of saving man and that’s been on the principle of grace through faith, not as a result of works less anyone should boasts. Even in the OT, salvation was by grace through faith. There was no man who could say he deserved God’s forgiveness. All man deserved His condemnation but before Christ came, God graciously provided the animal sacrifices to picture the coming Lamb of God Who would take away the world’s sin.
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