Friday, June 3, 2016

Want to?

1 Corinthians 10:23 “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.”

Over the years, I’ve heard misguided faith that uses the repeating words of the above Bible verse like it was a Monopoly “get out of jail free” card in life, meaning that when they accepted God’s grace with Jesus Christ dying on the Cross for them and their sins are all forgiven, so they can sin all they want to without penalty. But, to continue in sin and death is not the gospel’s design, as confirmed by the Apostle Paul in Romans 6:1-2 “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” We are in bondage to sin, in chains as slaves to sin. God changes the heart to want what God wants.

There is some that feel that they are unworthy of the grace of God and believe that they have to merit their way to Heaven, so attempt to earn their way into Heaven by working to deserve their salvation, like an employee earning a wage. Others feel that their salvation was purchased by God through Christ atoning death on the Cross, so serve God in a slave capacity because they have to obey their Master. Truly, we are unworthy of the unmerited favor of God for forgiveness of sins, but slavery or living as some kind of employee for the Lord will not earn our way because, “In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” – Hebrews 9:22

I’ve read that there are three reasons for obedience. A slave obeys because they has to. An employee obeys because he needs to. But a loving son obeys because he wants to. So many of us live like slaves, when Jesus has said, “Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of My Father I have made known unto you” (John 15:15).

Romans 6:22-23 “But now having been set free from sin, and having become bond-slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

I don’t work for my salvation; it is not earned, merited, deserved nor purchased by me or you - that work has been done by our Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross at Calvary. But I will work like any willful bond-slave for the love of God ... not because I have to, and not because I need to, but because I want to. As 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
We do good works, not to get "saved", but willingly want to because we are "saved". 

Ephesians 2:8-10 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

In Christ, Brian

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