By Stewart Topping
Ephesians 2:8-9 8. For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9. Not of works, lest anyone should boast. (NKJV)
But do we really understand the meaning of Eph 2:8. I suppose if we did, we would have no doubts with our faith. Why then do we add things to a list of items required to be saved? Why do we cross the line and create bondage to the family of believers by adding works to a free gift?
Why do we accept what others say is the truth? Most of the people we listen to our school taught, but are they Jesus taught? There are so many distortions in the Church today that it is hard to know the actual truth. That’s why we must study and learn the truth. Don’t you think that we should be keepers of truth? What is Grace?
1. A gift of God to humankind; the infinite love, mercy, favor, and goodwill shown to humankind by God.
2. Complete freedom from sin; in Christianity, the condition of being free of sin.
3. Release from bondage of satan.
4. Jesus paid the ransom, it was spelled out with the plan of redemption
So God has extended favor, love, and mercy to mankind. But why would he do that unless he had a plan from the beginning. There’s nothing we could have done based on our sinful nature, it had to be of God.
Romans 3:22-25 (KJV) 22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
As I read these verses by the apostle Paul, it says we are justified by that grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. God has set a plan in motion by telling the Prophets in the Old Testament of future events. Then many years later Jesus is born and comes to fulfill God’s plan of redemption. Then because the Jewish Nation rejected that plan of God; The Apostle Paul brings God’s grace to the gentiles (you and me). So what do we do with this simple message; we attach all kinds of requirements. It does not matter what we add to the requirements of Salvation; it still is not correct.
Remember what it says in Eph 2:8-9; It is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
You can’t pay for a gift that is free!
There’s no requirement for salvation but to believe.
Can you imagine? When we get to heaven we can all debate the merits of our beliefs on how we got to heaven? We cannot take credit for salvation and getting right with God. Come on now, maybe that is why so many Christian Church teach many ways to heaven. It is the grace thru Jesus Christ that is God’s way of granting his pardon of sin for what Adam did in the Garden.
Now we need to understand that it is the sin nature we need to deal with of which Adam was held accountable for. Now we have received grace and we are free of sin not because someone says so or a Church tells you but because God said it. Jesus went to the cross and died for our sins and it is finished and we are forgiven forever if we believe GOD.
Colossians 2:13-14 (KJV) 13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcised of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
How can you turn forgiveness in to un-forgiveness when you do something wrong?
Does Jesus go back up on the cross for each and every sin we confess? Or do you say “thank you for dying for me and my sins 2000 years ago?” Why do you have to repent every time we do something wrong? Look back at the cross (in time) and say thank you Jesus for what you did. All my sins have been forgiven and forgotten. Only satan will remind you of your faults and he wants you be unsure of the grace God has provided and wants you to repent and put Jesus back on the cross. This is what James says in being doubled minded.
Did Jesus die for our sins? If he did then we must believe that we have been forgiven, and that our sin is gone. We start a new life in Jesus, being filled with Gods plan from the beginning, which is “THE HOLY SPIRIT”.
In conclusion, I hope you can see that your salvation is a free gift from God, something he planned for us, and to do nothing except accept the free gift because he already in the past has paid the price required for sin with his life. The requirement is very simple; the shed blood from a perfect Lamb of God.
If you have been forgiven at the cross why then do you need to be forgiven ever again? Instead when you have done something wrong, thank Jesus for what he did on the cross for you. We need to be in a state of thankfulness not repentance. How many times do we put Jesus back on the cross to die for our sins? He rose from the dead and gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit.
1 Thess. 5:18 18 In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (KJV)
It is the same power that raised Jesus from the ground after he was buried and rose up from the grave.