Let me put this question to you: How did your new life begin? Was it by working your heads off to please God? Or was it by responding to God’s Message to you? Are you going to continue this craziness? For only crazy people would think they could complete by their own efforts what was begun by God. If you weren’t smart enough or strong enough to begin it, how do you suppose you could perfect it? Galatians 3:2-4
Last week, I wrote about the self-righteousness of the Sadducees. The Sadducees believed that it was their own actions that made them holy and righteous. We are holy and righteous children of God, yes, but we get no credit for it. We can’t make ourselves holy and righteous. It’s impossible! We live in flesh! It’s only through the blood of Jesus that we are adopted into God’s family and God’s kingdom.
A couple of readers challenged me on this. Am I saying that all you have to do is accept Jesus as your savior, and you’re done? Are we dangerously leading false converts with this message? This is awesome dialogue!
I believe a confession needs to be made. I truly believe that Jesus died for you. You must confess that Jesus is Lord in order to be saved. There has to be an admission there, and it has to be real. And like the Bible says, when we respond to God’s Message, a new life begins.
Imagine a guy who goes to a big conference, and while he is there, someone hits on something in a message that really touches him. It hits him hard. Maybe he’s been having a difficult time, or maybe the conference is allowing him to experience an emotional high. And then someone says, “Do you want to believe in Jesus? Do you want to be saved? Then come forward!” He goes forward. He says the prayers. And he is saved!
Imagine someone who goes through a really emotional time in her life. She meets a Christian who says something that touches her. She makes the confession. Jesus is Lord! She is saved!
But sometimes this isn’t enough. A person goes home after being saved and nothing changes. Their struggles continue. They’ve come from a time of high emotion, and they’ve said the words. But they only said them because it was the right thing to do at the time. They don’t go on to live out their newly found salvation in the lifestyle of Jesus.
If you want to really understand Jesus in your life, you have to live in the mentality of discipleship. You won’t understand it if you don’t live it. You won’t understand it if you just say some words. Mere words don’t substitute for infinite passion. They can’t substitute for a relationship with your Creator and Savior. It has to be relationship, and it has to be heartfelt.
The Bible says you must make a confession with your mouth that Jesus is Lord (Romans 10:9). Good people aren’t saved in the absence of this confession. They may do good things, but the key to salvation is the acknowledgment and confession of who Jesus is.
But I also believe a lot of people say “Jesus is Lord” and they don’t mean it. It needs to be a heart commitment, not just a verbal acknowledgement. In the wake of salvation, you’ll see a lifestyle change. Saved by the Spirit, you will live by the Spirit. (Romans 8:13)
Salvation is not just words. If you’ve been saved but you feel unfulfilled, just try a little discipleship mentality.
And I’ll tell you about that next week!