The funniest thing happened earlier this week when my daughter Grace overheard me tell Elizabeth the TV remote control needed cleaning. Our remote’s buttons sometimes stop working and require I pop it open and wipe the circuitry with a cotton swab damp with rub alcohol.
When she heard it needed “cleaning”, Grace, our three and a half year old helper grabbed the remote and darted for her bathroom where, carefully standing on her step stool at the sink she ran the remote under the water and, using hand soap, washed it clean. She then used a towel to dry it off as best she could and handed it back to me exclaiming “here dad, it’s all clean now”. Elizabeth and I just shook our heads and smiled.
You see we are blessed with a most wonderful daughter and though she meant well in trying to clean the remote, her efforts were in vain. Her methodology, that of a helpful three year old ended up causing the remote control more harm than good.
I’m using this analogy to illustrate the point of this week’s message which focuses on purpose. More specifically I want to address the misleading theory that salvation is based on works rather than grace, an age old debate fueled by those hoping to earn their way to heaven through good deeds.
The word of God clearly states that we are saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ who died for our sins on the cross. It is through faith, and faith alone that believers are graced with salvation.
“8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:8-10)
“5 He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:5-7)
No act of kindness, generous deed or volunteer work in the world will ever be enough for anyone to enter the kingdom of God. Only those who believe in Christ, who accept the gift of eternal life will be saved. A illogical concept to many, salvation by grace only makes sense to those who choose Jesus Christ as their Lord and savior.
But what about works? Does the bible not say we will be rewarded for works? Yes, rewarded and, judged.
“12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:12-15)
The bible teaches us that faith in Christ allows us to be empowered by the Holy Spirit which in turn results in works and fulfillment of one’s mission. Faith without works is not only questionable, according to the word it is useless.
“20 You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 21 Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.” (James 2:20-24)
Saved by grace, sanctified by works.
The gift of eternal life, a place in heaven, cannot be earned. It is a gift available to anyone who accepts the love of God and proclaims His name. “13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13)
Salvation begins with a conscious decision, with a prayer. It is followed by works which become building blocks for one’s rewards in heaven.
Are you saved? Have you been born again? If so praise God! I would love to hear your testimony.
Not certain if you’re saved or worse, sure that you are not born again? I invite you to call on this ministry for answers to your questions, for guidance or for prayer. God loves you and He has a place for you in His kingdom, it is up to you to decide where you will spend all eternity after this life. Let’s pray.
We thank you for your unconditional love
And for your forgiveness in our sins,
We thank you for the gift of eternal life
Which we accept with utmost praise to you God.
Lord we pray you will continue to lead our footsteps
And guide us to the way everlasting,
And that you will provide all we need
To serve you and witness to those around us.
May your light continue to shine bright upon us
Upon our families, our friends and all those in need,
May our lives be filled with works done in your name
And our rewards piled up in heaven.
God we love you and thank you for everything you have blessed us with.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre