January 24, 2012
- By Ed Powell
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"For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boost." Ephesians 2:8-9
Many people are confused regarding God's gift of salvation and eternal life. Let's summarize and see if that will help you to understand it better from God's perspective in the Scriptures.
God gave Adam and Eve the wonderful quality of "free will," the ability to choose and to make their own decisions. They enjoyed communing and walking with God in the garden of Eden, experiencing peace, love, joy, contentment, and freedom.
But when Eve was beguiled by the serpent and Adam chose to follow her in disobedience, they were immediately separated from God. For the first time, they were fearful and ashamed, and they hid from God. Their relationship with God was lost, severed by their disobedience.
Because of their sin, we have all received a sinful nature that is at enmity with God and has separated us from God. But God has provided a way whereby we can be reconciled to Him.
Through His infinite love, God sent His Son Jesus Christ to take our place in punishment for our sins. On Calvary's cross Christ paid the redeeming price for our sin. He shed His blood to satisfy the justice of God. "He who knew no sin was made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." He died that we might live!
But that redemption does not effect us until we exercise saving faith in the "provision God has made through Jesus Christ." We are saved by God's grace, and faith is the vehicle through which we lay claim to what God has provided in Christ.
God says "our righteousness" is as filthy rags. We cannot initiate redemption or reconciliation. God must do this. When Adam sinned, a great gulf was fixed between man in his sin and eternal life. There is no way man can bridge this chasm within himself. God has "bridged this gulf" so that man can get to the other side and be reconciled to Him.
But the bridge can be crossed only one way. At the entrance to the bridge, there is a CROSS. The cross represents Jesus, who says, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father but by me." The way has been provided. God has given us the ability to believe, but your free will to choose must be exercised in response to the Holy Spirit awakening you to your sin. He is pointing you to God's ONLY PROVISION for your forgiveness and eternal salvation through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
God has done everything necessary for you to be saved, but you must respond in faith--believing in and accepting what He has provided. To accept Christ as your Savior is to receive eternal life and be restored to full union and fellowship with God! "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son [to die for us], that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." To reject Christ is to bear the awful judgment of God, which is eternal condemnation and separation from God in the lake of fire. The choice is yours.
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?row=24&date=2012-01-24
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