...So they will be called oaks of righteousness... Isaiah 61:3
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Questions About Salvation

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Today has been a great day. I was engaged for a while in a spirited discussion on Facebook concerning salvation. Finally I could see that the conversation was quickly moving into the flesh so I chose to remove myself. But it has caused me to want to ask a couple of  questions about salvation. So here we go.

Is a person saved by works? This requires a quick answer for most of us. No, a person is saved by grace through faith. Eph. 2:8-9 "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God, not as a result of works, so that no one may boast." That seems to sum up the question. There will be no self-boasting in Heaven. We will all boast about the Lord. But no one else. No one will even consider they arrived in Heaven because of their works. Our salvation is absolutely a gift from God. We have nothing to do with it. According to the word of God we were dead and brought to life by God not by our works.

Does a person who is saved always live like a saved person? Again, this is a quick answer but now as quick as the answer to question number one. The scripture tells us "there are none righteous, not even one." Rom. 3:10. This scripture goes on to tell us that no one seeks God. So our salvation is all of God. But we do not always live like saved people. Peter is a good example. Peter denied the Lord. But he returned to the Lord. And the Lord told him he would. In fact the Lord told Peter that when he returned he would strengthen his brothers. So apparently the brothers were able to sin as well and needed to be strengthened.  But let me quickly say, although a Christian might live for a while in sin, it is not their lifestyle. A Christian cannot enjoy sin! The Bible says in I Cor. 3:16 "But we have the mind of Christ." What does it mean to have the mind of Christ? It simply means that because we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us we are directed by the Spirit. He leads us. He directs us. He controls our works. We can quench Him. We can resist Him. But because we have Him as our mind we experience conviction when we are resisting or quenching Him. We cannot enjoy sin. This is one of the reasons Paul told us to "work out our salvation". Phil 2:12. As one reads through The Epistle of James and through I John it is obvious that works are a part of the life of a saved person. It is also obvious that saved people do not make it their habit to sin. In fact they make following Christ and honoring Christ their habit.  So saved people do have good works. But they are not saved by good works. They are saved by faith in Jesus Christ alone. But when they are saved they receive the mind of Christ and therefore they practice righteousness. They cannot and will not make sin the practice of their life.

Can one believe that salvation causes good works and not believe you are saved by works? The answer is yes! The Bible is very clear that we are saved by faith. And the Bible is very clear that our faith causes good works. Our works become the proof of our salvation. James says in Chapter 2 verse 17 "Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead." James, Paul and John all agree, that salvation causes works, but salvation comes as a gift from God because of faith.

These are good questions. And I trust good answers.



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