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
Tuesday, I wrote about the self-righteousness of the Sadducees. The Sadducees believed that it was their own actions that made them holy and righteous. But they were wrong. No one can save themselves.
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! We’re imperfect. We make mistakes. We’re human. So it’s only through the blood of Jesus that we are adopted into God’s family and God’s kingdom.
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.
I know this can make people uncomfortable. Am I saying that all you have to do is accept Jesus as your savior, and you’re done? Just say the prayer, and go on with your life?
Are we dangerously leading false converts with this message?
I do 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. But it needs to be a heart commitment, not just a verbal acknowledgement.
That has to happen, but like the Bible says, when we respond to God’s message, a new life begins. In the wake of salvation, you’ll see a lifestyle change. Saved by the Spirit, you will live by the Spirit. (Romans 8:13)
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!
What happens then? What if they go home, and nothing changes? What if their struggles continue? They’ve come from a time of high emotion, and they’ve said the words, but now, disappointment sets in.
Why? Because they need to do things differently. They need to live out their newly-found salvation.
A new life must begin.
If you really want to understand Jesus in your life, 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. Words don’t substitute for infinite passion. They can’t substitute for a relationship with your Creator and Savior. It has to be a relationship, and it has to be heartfelt.
Salvation is not just words. If you’ve been saved but you feel unfulfilled, try a little discipleship mentality.
And I’ll tell you about that next week!