Sunday, June 25, 2017

Glendale Outreach June 24, 2017

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:1-10 (ESV)

It's easy to say that salvation is a free gift of God, but often we show a lack of faith by contradicting that Scripture with our words.  We imply that one won't be saved until they repent and have faith, missing that the Bible declares that if they are saved, the evidence of that salvation will be that they will repent and have faith.  In a new believer, both of those (salvation and repentance) may happen at the same moment, and that often fuels our misunderstanding.

While this may sound like mere semantics (a chicken and egg problem), consider the two positions carefully: one says that it's my work of repentance and faith plus Christ's work on the cross that saved me (I accepted Jesus and then I was saved) vs. the other which says that I have faith and repent (both ongoing, btw!) because God graciously chose to save me, justifying me through the work of His Son on the cross.  This is a far larger topic than we can discuss here, but with Bible in hand please consider this article from 2013 on Why Is Faith Not a Work?

Glendale - June 24th, 2017

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