John 8:36 is one of my favorite scripture out of many because often times I tend to forget the freedom I have through the blood of Jesus. This verse reminds me that the work He did on the cross was once and for all to set me free forever. And most Christians can’t wrap this truth around themselves.
I asked a believer if she was saved and she said she was then continued to give me a “but” to finish her sentence. A “but” tells me she had doubts in her heart or mind or both about her salvation and eternal life. She knows she is saved however, she isn’t sure 100% therefore, she thinks she needs to work (performance based system) to hopeful receive eternal life in the end. That is the mindset of many believers of Jesus Christ who cannot handle the idea of receiving a free gift.
I wasn’t a good receiver either. When someone compliments me about my outfit, for example saying “you look beautiful!”, I would cover my face and run away from their presence. It’s overwhelming to be complimented especially when you are not used to it. It is even more so to receive a free gift when you know you don’t deserve it. And so the idea of Jesus paid for all of our sins; past, present and future is hard for some people to believe (the too good to be true mindset) especially after they lived all of their lives believing they need to work to receive. And, that’s the reason they live defeated throughout their Christian lives by trying to do good works for God only to find out they can’t do anything for Him. If anything God provides things for Himself. Read Genesis 22:13, 1 Samuel 16:1 and many other examples.
God is not asking anyone to do anything for Him. He is asking us to receive His son whom He sent to die for our sin in exchange for His righteousness. That is more than we can ask keeping in mind we had Adam’s sin by default and therefore we receive Jesus’ righteousness the same way by faith.
Salvation is simple; what Jesus did on the cross is enough. Signed, sealed, delivered. You can’t do anything more to add to it. Remember this; satan’s work is still active to keep people captive and miserable for as longer as he can. He knows he is defeated and what he is doing today is keeping God’s children from enjoying what Christ has already accomplished for them with His precious blood. That is the reason we have 33k Christians denominations around the global and the number is growing daily.
Being saved means you were about to perish, you need to be rescued from danger and, delivered to safety. It’s a from something to something type of action. Saved from sin and death and delivered to righteousness and life.
Grace doesn’t demand anyone to fix their problems before they receive it. Grace says “come to me with your problems and I’ll clean you myself”. Jesus Christ accomplished it when He put away sin and gave you His life. What God provided in His son is an accomplished factor. ‘It is finished’ (John 19:30). Salvation is you either have it or you don’t have it. You aren’t growing into this. You are either saved or you are not saved.
Titus 3:3-6 “For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior,”
Verse 3 shows what’s like to be lost. And we used to be there. I understand it because that’s how I used to behave. But when I found kindness and love in Christ not by works but according to His mercy, He saved me.
There is something that took place in my past that was accomplished then that saved me and, I not only was saved but also the event that took place in the past has continuing results all the way out into the future. That’s why we talk about salvation in the past in the penalty of sin, salvation in the present in the power of sin and salvation in the future from the presence of sin. But it is all something I possess. It is not something I work myself into it. I don’t have to work myself in the salvation in the power of sin, I have won already in Christ Jesus.
If sin runs your life ( foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, sin of religion and hating one another e.t.c), if they get a grip on your life today, trust Jesus Christ as your savior and you’ll be free from those things. It’s just that simple. You can choose to give satan a place in your life but you don’t have to and you shouldn’t because the grace of God has made you free. You can look at your failures and talk to them. Say “you’ve already been defeated in Christ Jesus, and maybe I am are not occupying myself with Him but I am still who I am in what He has provided me”
Every religion in the world (Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism etc) believes they have to do something to be saved. It’s by works. Christians are the only believers who don’t have to do any work because Jesus did it all the hard work for us. The only thing a Christians have to do is believe on Jesus Christ by faith and they will have eternal life with Him. Unfortunate a lot of believers want to work to earn.
Let’s take a look at what the scripture say about salvation, and how to we are saved by faith alone and where works take place.
Compare Romans 3:28, 5:1 and Galatians 3:24 with James 2:24. Some see a difference between Paul (salvation is by faith alone) and James (salvation is by faith plus works). Paul dogmatically says that justification is by faith alone (Ephesians 2:8-9), while James appears to be saying that justification is by faith plus works. This apparent problem is answered by examining what exactly James is talking about.
James is refuting the belief that a person can have faith without producing any good works (James 2:17-18). James is emphasizing the point that genuine faith in Christ will produce a changed life and good works (James 2:20-26). James is not saying that justification is by faith plus works, but rather that a person who is truly justified by faith will have good works in his or her life. If a person claims to be a believer but has no good works in his or her life, then he or she likely does not have genuine faith in Christ (James 2:14, 17, 20, 26).
Paul says the same thing in his writings. The good fruit believers should have in their lives is listed in Galatians 5:22-23. Immediately after telling us that we are saved by faith, not works (Ephesians 2:8-9), Paul informs us that we were created to do good works (Ephesians 2:10). Paul expects just as much of a changed life as James does: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). James and Paul do not disagree in their teaching regarding salvation. They approach the same subject from different perspectives. Paul simply emphasized that justification is by faith alone while James put emphasis on the fact that genuine faith in Christ produces good works.
If you want to earn or perhaps aka maybe receive eternal life through a ‘performance based system’ and not trusting in His words, do it at your own rebuke. Jesus said in Matthew 7:22-23 “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles? Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”
A previous verse in the same book; Matthew 7:21 writes “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”
The will of the Father is found in the book of John 6:40 “For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”
True believers are the good trees that produce good fruit (Galatians 5:22-23), the true sheep who look to Christ, depend on Him, commit themselves to Him, trust in Him, and believe on Him for righteousness, salvation, and eternal life. These are the ones who will enter into the kingdom of heaven. Amen