This understanding of the gospel is perfectly calculated to accomplish two revolutions in the human heart: 1. It totally shatters every vestige of self-dependence for salvation and shifts our dependence wholly to Christ, and 2. it awakens in us a depth of gratitude and love that can find satisfaction only in living to please and honor Christ.
Do you see, friend, that anything short of full and free salvation through Christ alone will leave self alive?
Do you se that you can never really live for the Lord until you have the assurance that your salvation rests in Him alone and not in yourself?
Do you see that gratitude to Jesus for a free salvation is more powerful to produce a life of righteousness than is a mere sense of obligation to be good in order to secure salvation. (Read that sentence again, please).
So what do you believe, my friend? How does Jesus save sinners? Ponder the options carefully, and make no mistake.
1. Salvation by grace through faith apart from good works, which makes obedience irrelevant.
2. Salvation by grace through faith and good works, which makes obedience meritorious.
3. Or salvation by grace through faith unto good works, which makes obedience inevitable. Inevitable, because God's grace is sufficient. Inevitable because the faith He gives really does work. Inevitable, because in the light of God's love I willingly and joyfully accept His will as my own. Not so I can be saved, but that He might be glorified in me as the Savior.
I assure you, the way you think concerning this vital matter will determine, more than all other factors combined, the quality of our christianity--whether your experience will be one of rest or anxiety, confidence or uncertainty, joy or gloom, love or fear, victory or defeat.
Father I praise You for devising such a perfect plan to save me. There is something in me that wants to take some of the glory for my redemption. But if I believe the gospel, and I do, all things pertaining to my salvation are of You, through You, and to You. That means that I can do nothing to save myself, but you have saved me totally by virtue of Your infinite love. It's humbling, but it's also a relief, for deep inside I know I'm a helpless subject of Your grace. Thank You. In the all-sufficient name of Jesus I Pray. Amen
(More tomorrow, wasn't that an uplifting chapter, This will be my thirteenth time through this book and I am enjoying it more each time. Blessings to you. Grandma Joan)