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Two Seemingly Opposing Truths in Salvation

Every person is reconciled to God by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. This is how one receives the power to become a son of God.

Believing on the Son of God costs something because God requires those who are saved to confess Jesus Christ before men. Jewish believers were (and are) put out of the synagogue and considered as dead by their families when they come to Christ. The same goes for believers who have come out of Hinduism, Islam, and other backgrounds. Sometimes Moslem believers are killed by their own families for confessing Christ before men.

When a new Christian confesses the Lord Jesus Christ before their hostile relatives and is slain for it, is this a "work" that is added to the free gift of salvation which is in Christ Jesus? Most certainly not; rather, it is faith that is alive and as such manifests itself in love and loyalty for Christ.

A Christian who is newly born in Christ in the United States may know very little about denying himself and taking up his cross (yet), but a newborn believer in China may learn that fact of the Christian life the first day. Not denying Christ is essential for a Christian but is in no way to be considered a work that earns one a place in heaven. No works can earn heaven, but good works do accompany saving faith.

When a person receives Christ, they don't know anything, really, about what it means to be a Christian except that they know they need their sins forgiven and the Lord Jesus Christ has promised to do that if we will come to Him empty-handed and with faith.

What is being censored right out of the modern-day gospel presentation is fact that a true Christian WILL live the Christian life! Jesus Christ will most definitely live through you in the person of the Holy Ghost IF you will yield to His will. Those who refuse to yield to His will are placing themselves back under the law and its condemnation. See: Walking After the Flesh = Under Law; Walking After the Spirit = Under Grace 

The Christian life is an outflow of being saved by grace. We are not active sinners saved by grace, we are now saints (who occasionally sin but are grieved by it) who walk in newness of life by the grace that brings salvation.  

It is only as you live under the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ that you learn what it is He will call you to do for him that consists of denying yourself, taking up your cross, obeying Him, fellowshipping with him, etc. Those newly saved have no concept of this and God doesn't expect them to fully understand, but only to know that He is now their God and Heavenly Father and that He will guide them as they walk in newness of baby step at a time.

This article, "The High Cost of a Free Gift" is not for newborn believers. It is for those who have have had enough time to read the New Testament and who yet continue to rationalize their willful sin: 

"I don't have to obey this precept. I don't have to obey that command. I don't want to give up this or that sin. I am justified freely by His grace, and therefore MY continued sins are covered by the blood of the Lamb. I'm not perfect, just forgiven, you know. The ONLY difference between me and my unbelieving friend is my faith in Jesus. I have faith that my continued sinning is unseen by the eyes of Jesus Christ because He shed his blood for me."

False teachers in the pulpit and on the internet have given Christians plenty of rationalizations such as the following:

"After all, to say that I could not carry on in the sins that I still enjoy would be to say that salvation is not a free gift. If salvation is truly free, then I can sin freely, and I intend to enjoy popular culture as much as possible. I don't intend to prove that my activities are acceptable to the Lord. That's commanded but when you get down to the nitty- gritty, it is unnecessary. Because my salvation is a free gift, I am free to live in the lifestyle that suits me."

This is CARNAL REASONING and not Bible truth. Why is it that so many believersmost Christians in facthave no problem with the apparent contradiction of the teaching in scripture that Jesus is fully man and fully God at the same time? This is what the Bible teaches and so, by faith, believers accept this as truth with no problem.

Well, in the same way, the Bible teaches two seemingly opposing truths regarding salvation: Salvation is a free gift given to us by the precious Lord Jesus Christ in the shedding of His blood for our sins, and that to receive this free gift, we must receive the person of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself by faith. The Bible also teaches the fact that believers must place themselves under the authority of the one who purchased them with His own bloodJesus Christ. The Bible says we must keep ourselves in the love of God, (Jude 1:21) Press toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Phil. 3:14), stand fast in the Lord (1 Thess. 3:8), love not the world nor the things that are in the world, (1 Jn. 2:15), cleanse ourselves of all filthiness of flesh and spirit, be subject to Christ, etc. This is a very short list. Scripture has many more admonitions for possessors of the free gift. Unbelievers, non-possessors of the free gift of eternal life, are not given these commands, and are ONLY given the command to repent and believe the gospel (Mk. 1:15).

The free gift does not free us to live for ourselves, walk after the flesh, commit fornication, uncleanness, idolatry, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, murmuring, strife, backbiting, and slander. The free gift does not give us the liberty to engage in "filthiness, foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient" (Eph. 5:4) The free gift denies us many things the world runs after. In fact, the free gift denies us the pleasures of sin. As purchased possessions that are bought with a price and now belong to God, we must "glorify God in our bodies, and in our spirits, which are God's."

I thank the Lord Jesus Christ that He has made salvation so plain in His precious word.  Salvation is a free gift because God said so. God also defined what the free gift entails in the life of the one possessing it. God provided the dear Holy Spirit to work in us the  character of the Lord Jesus Christ. Everything we need for eternal life has been given to us by God. All we must do is take Him at His word and believe everything God has said about salvation.

P.S. I feel an explanation and/or correction is needed here: "The Christian life is an outflow of being saved by grace. We are not active sinners saved by grace (as we are when we initially come to Christ), we are now saints (who occasionally sin but are grieved by it) saved and walking in newness of life by grace."-end quote

When I wrote we are not active sinners saved by grace (as we are when we initially come to Christ) I did not mean that one can still be in love with sin and be bent on continuing when one comes to saving faith in Christ. What I did mean, and am now clarifying, is that one must be willing to part with their sin. This is no way means theysave themselves from their sin-this only the Lord Jesus Christ can do. The sinner cannot save himself, but he must be willing to be saved from the power as well as the penalty of his sins.

My point was that you hear believers saying all the time, "I'm just a sinner (present tense!) saved by grace!" Where is this taught in the Bible? A sinner must be willing to part with sin when comes to Jesus Christ in complete faith that he will save him from his sins. Nowhere does the Bible teach that saints are remain sinners. To the contrary, saints become known as "the righteous." God contrasts the sinner and the righteous: "And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?"-1 Pet. 4:18


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Liberty To The Captives Established in June 2001