Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Cut to the Chase! Grace or Works?

The other night when I was open-airing in Burbank, a guy came up and wanted to "wrangle" with me that you must be baptized in order to be saved.

Okay, when you speak with someone like this...Cut to the chase: Are you saved by what Jesus has done or by what you do? And I would tack on ALONE. Is it by Jesus ALONE?

Works based religions that try to cling to the idea that its Jesus PLUS something they do (ie-baptism, confession, etc...) aren't trusting Christ, they're trusting themselves. I would even add that they have a false Christ, one that needs their participation in order to accomplish what apparently He didn't finish on the cross. What exactly did Jesus mean when He said, "IT IS FINISHED!"?

"knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified."(Gal. 2:16)

It really boggles the mind how anyone can read the bible and walk away with the idea that you are saved by any works you do (no matter how many scriptures someone tries to twist to feed their own self-righteousness) you have to deal with verses that CLEARLY say:

"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)

"being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus," (rom 3:24)

"that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life."(titus 3:7)

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."(rom. 6:23)

The bible clearly sets a standard no one can keep perfectly, thus magnifying Gods gracious work to save us through Christ's death on the cross and resurrection. If you meet one of these folks just share the gospel and trust GOD'S GRACE to save them!

Spurgeon preaching on "The Blood" of Christ said:
"This blood is not simply the only thing that can save, but it must save alone. Put anything with the blood of Christ, and you are lost; trust to anything else with this and you perish. "It is true," says one, that the Sacrament cannot save me, but I will trust in that, and in Christ too." You are a lost man, then. So jealous is Christ of his honour, that anything you put with him, however good it is, becomes, from the fact of your putting it with him, an accursed thing. And what is it that thou wouldst put with Christ? Thy good works? What! wilt thou yoke a reptile with an angel—yoke thyself to the chariot of salvation with Christ? What are thy good works? Thy righteousnesses are "as filthy rags;" and shall filthy rags be joined to the spotless celestial righteousness of Christ? It must not, and it shall not be. Rely on Jesus only, and thou canst not perish; but rely on anything with him, and thou art as surely damned as if thou shouldst rely upon thy sins. Jesus only—Jesus only—Jesus only—this is the rock of our salvation.
And here let me stop, and combat a few forms and shapes which our self-righteousness always takes. "Oh," says one, "I could trust in Christ if I felt my sins more." Sir, that is a damning error. Is thy repentance, thy sense of sin, to be a part-Saviour? Sinner! the blood is to save thee, not thy tears, Christ's death, not thy repentance. Thou art bidden this day to trust in Christ; not in thy feelings, not in thy pangs on account of sin. Many a man has been brought into great soul distress, because he has looked more at his repentance than at the obedience of Christ—

"Could thy tears for ever flow,
Could thy zeal no respite know;
All for sin could not atone,
Christ must save and
Christ alone."

"Nay," says another, "but I feel that I do not value the blood of Christ as I ought, and therefore I am afraid to believe." My friend, that is another insiduous form of the same error. God does not say, "When I see your estimate of the blood of Christ, I will pass over you; no, but when I see
the blood." It is not your estimate of that blood, it is the blood that saves you. As I said before, that magnificent, solitary blood, must be alone.
"Nay," says another, "but if I had more faith then I should have hope." That, too, is a very deadly shape of the same evil. You are not to be saved by the efficacy of your faith, but by the efficacy of the blood of Christ. It is not your believing, it is Christ's dying. I bid you believe, but I bid you not to look to your believing as the ground of your salvation. No man will go to heaven if he trusts to his own faith; you may as well trust to your own good works as trust to your faith. Your faith must deal with Christ not with itself. The world hangs on nothing; but faith cannot hang upon itself, it must hang on Christ. Sometimes, when my faith is vigorous, I catch myself doing this. There is joy flowing into my heart, and after awhile I begin to find that my joy suddenly departs. I ask the causes, and I find that the joy came because I was thinking of
Christ; but when I begin to think about my joy, then my joy fled. You must not think of your faith but of Christ. Faith comes from meditation upon Christ. Turn, then, your eye, not upon faith but upon Jesus. It is not your hold of Christ that saves you; it is his hold of you. It is not the efficacy of your believing in him; it is the efficacy of his blood applied to you through the Spirit."

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