Thursday, October 27, 2005

Does God Owe Me Something? PART 1

There are many issues that make Christianity distinct and unique from every other "religion" on earth. For instance, there are many subjects like the diety of Christ, verifiable fulfilled prophecies, et al... and of course the subject we are going to deal with in this article... salvation by faith alone.

One of the great proofs that the Bible is THE Word of God is the way it sets itself apart from all other works oriented religions of the world by presenting salvation as a work of God from beginning to end. ALL of the worlds other religions, whether large or small, involve some set of actions / works / good deeds / rules to keep that one must perform in order to earn ones way into good standing in the after-life. Some attempt to cloak their works religion by saying their "good deeds" only qualify them for heaven. Simple logic destroys such a notion. If ones PERFORMANCE "qualifies" that one to be saved (or go to heaven), then obviously ones works are involved. Such a religion offers no just basis for the forgiveness of sin.

So what is my point? There is one inescapable conclusion to any works religion... if ones works, good deeds or qualifying actions are what gets them to heaven... then God OWES it to them. If you living a good life gets you to heaven, it wasn't God that saved you... you did (by your actions / works / good deeds). So, this begs the question... Does God, the Eternal Creator of all things (including the air you are breathing) OWE you ANYTHING? NO, NO and NO. Somehow, this simple logic seems to evade the majority of humanity.

The Bible talks to this issue in Romans 4:1-4 and 11:5-6

Romans 4
[1] What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?
[2] For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.
[3] For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
[4] Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

Romans 11
[5] Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
[6] And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

Verses 4 and 6 above close the issue completely and utterly. Either a person will try and earn their way to heaven or they will trust God to save them by His mercy and grace. The Bible is clear... your choice is clear... His way or your way and yours will not get you there.

In conclusion, if there is salvation, God alone has provided the end and the means. God, through Jesus Christ has fully accomplished our salvation in paying the just penalty for our sins and thus providing a JUST means of forgiving sin. Thus God is the author and finisher of our salvation. The forgiveness of sins and the resulting justification before God is His work from beginning to end (no amount of our deeds could result in this). What is our part? That is the easy part...

John 3:16-18
[16] For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
[17] For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
[18] He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

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