These two words are talked about a lot these days: grace and legalism. Many churches are one extreme of the other. Many people are. Where do we draw the line between the two? The Bible is clear we are saved by grace and not by works. It is also clear that we are to obey God’s commands. We show that we love God by how we live. Our lives reflect our salvation and that Christ is in us. To me, that is the difference. Some people treat grace as a “get out of jail free” card. But if you really are saved and Christ is in you, would you not want to live for Him? On the other hand, salvation is not about rules and regulations, it is about the heart. Continue reading “Grace and Legalism”
Sanctification is a big word. But, it basically just means growing in the Spirit to maturity. We are a work in progress. This is not about being saved, but about maturing once we are saved. The Spirit continually works in us throughout our lives.
This will be a two-part series on what the scriptures say how God leads us to sanctification and what we need to do throughout this process. First, I will talk about what God does. Without Him, we can do nothing. Continue reading “How God Helps Us to Grow”
Born again is kind of an odd term. What does that mean? Why would one want it? How do we accomplish it? In my previous post, “I am Saved…Now what to do?” I listed some points in how to live a Christian life, what we should do as a church and how to overcome spiritual battles. I think this list answers all three questions. There may be more, but I think I got the meat of it. Comments are welcome if I missed any. I mentioned that I would go into more detail. Today I will cover the first one.
- First, you must be born again. Believe in Jesus Christ and through that you will become a new creation.
We are saved by grace. Not by works. Does that mean once we are saved we don’t need to do anything? As Paul would say, “Certainly Not!” I think there is a reason that God doesn’t just take us up to heaven the moment we are saved. We are sealed by the Holy Spirit, but we are also guided by Him to do good works.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
Without Christ, we can do nothing. With Him, we can endure all things and we can “bear fruit.” Bearing fruit means living according to God’s will, doing good works according to His purpose, having strength in our weakness, ministering to others, lifting up our brothers and sisters in Christ, letting our light shine so that others can see Christ in us.
We as a church body and members of the body have many responsibilities, I think. One thing we are lacking is discipling new believers. I think many new-born Christians ask the question, “now that I am saved, what do I do next?” Hopefully we don’t stop at just showing people how to be saved, but show them how to grow as a believer. I have previously written posts about what it means to be saved and what it means to pick up our cross. I think that is a good place to start. The last post was about being a part of a church and why go to church? This is where we can fellowship with others and learn how to grow. As we read God’s word, pray daily and seek godly advice from others, we can become more mature followers of Christ. Continue reading “I am Saved…Now what to do?”
Yesterday was Easter, or as I like to call it, Resurrection Sunday. It is not about Easter bunnies or eggs. Those things came from a pagan religion worshipping a false god of fertility. We need to remember what the holiday is truly about. It is about Jesus, Who died for our sins and was raised from the dead on the third day. It is about our redemption and salvation. It is about God’s grace and sacrifice
So, Who is Jesus? Some say He was a prophet, a good teacher a good person. Some say He was only an idea (Unfortunately for them, there is overwhelming evidence that He did exist). But He is much more than that. For me, He is the One who changed my life, who saved me, forgave me and overcame death so that I would have eternal life. And, He is so much more. Continue reading “Who is Jesus and Who are We in Christ?”