R's Commonplace Book

Tag: salvation

See this page about how to know God. Every point has one or more Bible verses to substantiate it. (We have a beef with some of those points, but leave it for now.) There are Bible verses all over, until it comes down to answer the most important question that man can consider: “What must I do to accept Jesus’ gift of forgiveness and eternal life?”

The answer? “Pray a prayer like this:” …

And then a prayer that comes, not from the Bible, but from somebody’s imagination.

No Bible verse. No Bible proof. No Bible citation. Just somebody’s made-up prayer.

Strange, isn’t it, how people claim to tell you what the Bible is saying, and then when it comes to explaining how to be saved, they drop the Bible altogether?

Very strange, indeed.

The Bible has plenty to say about how to know God, how to accept Jesus’ gift of forgiveness and eternal life. But there is no prayer in the Bible like the one published on the page. The Bible never, ever tells anybody to pray a prayer in order to be saved. There are very different answers, but the authors of the webpage prefer their own version of what to do.

Nothing Christian to that.

Jesus had to humble himself to become our Savior, Phil 2.5-11. We must humble ourselves to be saved. So in the sense of a mental attitude, we must be like him.

Many today are like the unbelieving Jews who rejected Jesus. They were looking for a Messiah to change their circumstances, instead of transform their lives. They wanted rescue from Rome, rather than deliverance from their sins. They wanted freedom from the oppression of foreign armies, instead of freedom from their own desires and from the destiny due to their rebellion.

Many reject what Jesus came to do, and thereby reject him. They are not willing to come to him to have eternal life, Jn 5.40, because he wants to save us all from sin, Jn 5.34.

Today, many want freedom from circumstances, problems, conflicts, illness, and financial constraints. They want to live for themselves. Jesus will not permit it. So they invent Jesus the problem-solver, Jesus the health-and-wealth magician, Jesus the bring of heaven to earth, where there is no pain, no tears, no dying, no suffering.

And because Jesus is none of these, he quickly fades from their view as they remake and remold and twist him into an idol of their own making. They adapt him to their reality and their vision. Scripture becomes a tool, religion a crutch, prayer a heavenly pull chain.

The soul that refuses to be converted converts the Savior into his own image. And it is not a pretty sight.

Citing Hebrews 9.27:

Once Christ obtained His human perfection, He became the source of eternal life. Eternal life is given to those who obediently accept the gift given to them by God.

Source: BLB Daily Promise for October 17th

And here I thought evangelicals believed in salvation by faith only!

O Soul, in every word and act, offer hope. Show love. Build faith. Point the way. Promote peace. Tell the truth. Put away harshness and bitterness. Exercise patience. Avoid dead-end discussions and pointless debates. You must try the spirits, test all teachings, expose error, and stop the mouths of those who lead others astray, but at the same time you must provide a vision of the health of soul and hope of eternity that the benevolent God has revealed. Truth and love are two sides of the same divine coin of salvation. One without the other is useless. The world is sinking in its own destruction. Offer them Christ.

Today’s devotional uses the first phrase of Hebrews 12.15. What a great responsibility we have to each other as the family of God!

Christians are compared to a band of pilgrims. While on their journey, they must check for stragglers. Has anyone been left behind? It is easy to wander off the path. In so doing, the believer “turns away from the living God,” Hebrews 3:14-16. He “misses the grace of God,” Hebrews 12:15. Through carelessness, he loses his salvation. Hence, believers are advised to be watchful.

Focus question: How to recognize if someone is beginning to miss the grace of God?

Never let down your guard against the possibility of losing your salvation. Satan refuses to give up his efforts against you. The world exerts a constant pull toward its attractions. The flesh calls at every turn. Rest in God’s peace and power, but do not relax in the war against temptation. Be vigilant. Be aware of the dangers that surround you. O Soul, do all that is necessary to preserve that most precious gift from God.

O Soul, be saved in Christ by the grace of the God who desires your presence among his people. Understand what God has done in Christ to redeem you. Know what you must do to free yourself from sin. Enter the way of Christ by the word of God and stay in this way forever. The Holy Spirit will wash you clean and keep you free from falling. Rejoice in this truth, together with all the saints who stand with you. Find this hope and surrender it not.

My prayer today is that someone teetering on the edge of obedience might be converted and saved.

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