It is clear salvation is a free gift of God because as sinful beings, there is nothing we can do to obtain it on our own. All we have to do is accept it and do as He commands, standing firm in our commitment to the Lord through out our lives. Christ came to earth, born of the Virgin Mary, died on the cross as the perfect sacrifice for our sins, and for our part we are called to believe in our hearts and confess with our lips before man that Christ is Lord. By doing so, we are making a commitment to God and receive power over sin, to change our lives. By devoting our life to Him, we are born again, a new creation; and our eyes are opened to His ways, which is opposite to the ways of the world.
As His Word is revealed to us, and our eyes are opened to the truth, we have the option as creatures of free will to either follow His commandments or turn back to the ways of the world. God is asking us not only to believe in Him, but also to show our commitment to Him by changing our lives. First we are told to turn from sin. Then Christ tells us the greatest commandment is to love the Lord with all your heart, mind and soul, which is done by serving the less fortunate. God promises that the cross we are given to carry or the work He has for us will not be a burden and having the Spirit of the Lord with us, we have the ability to do as He asks.
To make this change from following the ways of the world to following the ways of the Lord is a choice we have to make on a daily basis. It is not a one-time decision we make, but is a journey that lasts until we die. It is a process, and the Lord is patient, but He wants to see the intention of our hearts during this process. It all sounds so simple; we accept salvation, make a commitment to the Lord, turn from sin and do the works He has for us to do. Well it is not as simple as it sounds because life happens.
Our Christian journey is one of maturing faith or in other words, the more we see the wonders of the Lord, the greater our faith becomes in Him. Even though we believe in our hearts and confess with our lips that Christ is Lord, it is still tough to follow His Word through service to others and turning from sin. It takes time to understand that His ways are superior to the ways of the world. Sure we all say we understand this concept, but when confronted with life’s problems and society’s morals we do not automatically do the right thing. We will never get it right all the time, but as I repeat myself, God looks at the intentions of our hearts and the progress we are making to live the life He commands us to.
Standing firm during the process of our maturing faith is essential to our salvation. In 1Corinthians 15:2 Paul says, “By this gospel you are saved, IF you hold firmly to the Word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.” Other verses that talk about standing firm in your commitment are, Mark 9:50, Matthew 24:12-13, and Colossians 1:22-23. As Christians, we are blessed beyond anything we can imagine, but are told we must do our part through the many choices we make daily to stand firm in our commitment to the Lord. As you grow in faith, the easier it becomes.
Steve Childers is the author of Catholic or Protestant: What our Churches Should Be Teaching. Visit www.CatholicOrProtestant.com
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