Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Once You're Saved...

And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace. But if it is by works, then is it no longer by grace; otherwise work would no longer be work. Romans 11:6 MEV

And since it is through God’s kindness, then it is not by their good works. For in that case, God’s grace would not be what it really is—free and undeserved. 

 Have you responded to the Good News Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ? Have you heard of His Goodness and eternal, never failing Love for you? Have you've seen His hand of Goodness and Mercy poured out upon your life in some form or fashion? Since you've seen this Jesus in all His fullness have you received Him, that is putting your trust in Him alone for your eternal salvation?

 It's great news when we hear someone has responded to the Good News Gospel. It's a wonderfully glorious moment when one comes to Christ and receives a new life in Him. Jesus says all of Heaven rejoices. We rejoice along with all of Heaven.

 Now that you're saved, what's next? This next phase of Christian growth and development is a crucial time for the new believer. How you see God and yourself and the relationship you will have with Him depends on receiving the truth of the Gospel not just for initial salvation but for your entire Christian life.

 When new converts emerge, something else also is quick to converge. The checklist/rule book led leader/believer.

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 Once you're saved it's time for you to get busy proving your worth. You need to get busy knowing all the rules and straightening up your act. You'll be needing to get it together before next Sunday or there will be repercussions.

Remember the truth is it's about Grace from start to finish. However, the checklist believer has forgotten this truth. They are much focused on other's behavior and conduct, never mind their own love walk. They need to ensure these new converts are really saved.

 Once you're saved...be perfectly holy by next week! That is, you need to quit smoking. Stop cussing. Put away those bad habits right now. Don't go to the movies anymore. Get your behavior in line.

 Though it is true that Grace teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lust and immorality, this process doesn't happen overnight. In my past, I've seen believers go to a church meeting on Sunday but on Monday they were smoking a cigarette. Being this was before Grace renewal, I condemned that person. 

 "Why are they even going to church? They're a sinner. Look at them smoking!" I am certain Jesus did a facepalm. Didn't I ever read where He said the sick need a physician not the well? Truth is none of us have it all together and that's why we always need Grace and our Savior Jesus.

Once you're saved...never miss a meeting or gathering!

 True, it's good to gather together with other believers. It's beneficial to bring our supply of the Spirit and encourage each other. However, it's also true that attendance isn't some legal obligation we need to fulfill to prove our salvation.

 Once you're saved...you better be praying and reading your Bible!

 Of course, we should read and study God's Word. The Scriptures are where we see Jesus. They bring us comfort. However, daily devotion and study times, aren't some kind of chore we need to drudge through. 

Once you're saved...learn the rules from our denomination and remember all others are false and wrong and we're the only ones right!

 The rule/checklist believer wants to ensure the new convert lives up to the denominational traditions as soon as possible. They must also be quick to condemn other churches and ministries that are outside their church. Grace, on the other hand, reveals God's Love for all the Body of Christ. 

 God wants us to grow in His Love, not in the rules and traditions of the various denominations. Receiving His Love and sharing it with others is what God desires. God sees one Body, not divisions.

Where's the Grace?

 Years ago there was a fast-food campaign that used a similar slogan about hamburger meat. They were comparing the size of their company's burgers with other rival companies. This is a good question to ask churches and ministries. Where's the Grace? 

 Instead of focusing on getting believers to follow the rules, why not get them focused on Jesus? Focusing on Jesus and His Grace is what brings true transformation. He changes us from the inside out.

 The true purpose of ministry and devotion is to get the focus off ourselves and onto Jesus. On who He is, and what He has accomplished on our behalf. Rule book/checklist minded Christianity takes the focus off Grace and Jesus and makes it about us. It shifts the focus off the Finished Work and focuses on our personal obligation, obedience, commitment, and perseverance.

 What we need to be continually reminded of is that it's about Grace from start to finish. We were unworthy in and of ourselves. We were undeserving of mercy and goodness yet He poured His Love out upon us in abundance. When we focus on Jesus we find true transformation and real sincere growth in Him, and in His Love and Goodness.

 In summation, always keep Grace in the forefront. Rejoice when New Life in Christ has been received by those trusting in Him. Remember to keep giving these new converts Grace. Get their focus on Him and never on themselves. Remind them of how loved and valued they are in Him. True growth will always be the result.
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