|Today’s Scripture: That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men. Titus 3:7-8|
|It is very common today to hear that you have to serve God or make Christ Lord of your life to be saved. The problem with this is that is not what the Bible says. This teaching is the same as all the other religions of the world – you need to be a good “fill in the blank here” to go to Heaven. Whether you are hearing that from a Roman Catholic, Methodist, Protestant, Muslim, Mormon, Jehovah’s Witness, Buddhist, etc., the way of salvation is the same – follow these rules and you will make it.
If you have listened to my son and me preach, you know we emphasize that salvation is all by grace. There is nothing you need to do. We present it this way because the Bible clearly states, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) We want people to understand that salvation is completely apart of anything we could offer God in return.
However, many people attack us because of this stand. They accuse us of making salvation too easy and leading people into believing that they can trust Christ and continue to live in sin because they are eternally secure. However, the Bible deals with this as well. “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” (Romans 6:1-2) God doesn’t want us to go back to the things we were saved from, but instead, tells us the importance of serving Him.
Our verses tell us that though we were justified by grace, we should be careful to maintain good works. Why? Because they “are good and profitable unto men.” It’s not because our salvation depends on it; it’s because others’ salvation might depend on it. Would those around you know you are a Christian? Would they see a difference in you? Can others see that Christ has made a difference in your life?
Another reason to serve Him is that God wants to bless us and reward us for our service; doing right is for our benefit. He rewards us for our obedience and disciplines us when we go our own way.
Thank God that salvation is free, and live that others can “see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder