“All have sinned and are not good enough for God’s glory, and all need to be made right with God by His grace, which is a free gift. They need to be made free from sin through Jesus Christ.”
None of us, no not even one, is worthy to even so much as kneel before God. That’s right, not even one. Because Adam and Eve decided to trust the serpent instead of obeying what God had told them in the first place, we can never, ever be good enough. There is nothing we can ever do or ever say to meet the qualifications necessary to stand, sit, kneel, or lie prostrate in God’s magnificent presence. From conception, we were already cursed.
But God, in His love for us, who chose us, had compassion for what we could never be; so He came down here in the flesh to give us a chance to be good enough; and that chance was Jesus Christ and the profound love He showed to us by willingly suffering and dying on the cross for something He never did, simply because He loved us. That’s right, He even loved those who hated Him, and those who put Him there to begin with.
Where it’s true that salvation is a totally free gift, it wasn’t free to Jesus; it cost Him much anguish, pain and suffering; though He would be raised again in three days, it cost Him His life. He couldn’t have anger, pride, hatred or cursing, or He could have come down from the cross and put everyone to death, and then what would that have meant for you and me? I’ll tell you; death. You see, salvation is free for the taking…but you must receive it in the first place.
The upkeep of salvation is not free. Once you take it, you must allow the Lord to work in you. You must allow Him access to your life, and to your heart. You must pick up your cross and carry it. You must also suffer. I feel the need, dear brother or sister, to tell you this because time is short. There is false teaching that you get saved and you don’t have to do anything; since it’s free, God does everything. This is not true. There is work we must do, or else Jesus wouldn’t have told us to pick up our cross and carry it.
Carrying our cross means saying no to the old things we used to do. It means obeying God and denying the enemy, Satan, access to our lives. It means spending time with the Lord in prayer and in His Word. It means giving up those things the world does; for the Bible says, “Be ye separate…” from the world. It’s hard, and God knows it, that’s why He gave us the Holy Spirit to help us carry the load.
Although we must take the first steps on our own, the Holy Spirit will help lighten the load for us throughout our journey. The Christian life isn’t easy, in fact, oftentimes, it’s harder. There are so many things that seem innocent the world has to offer, but we have to deny the flesh of its desires to serve what the world has. We will be persecuted, laughed at, made fun of, criticized…you name it, and it’ll happen. This is why the decision of salvation is a serious matter; it is a lifelong committment, not a momentary thing one does because they are emotionally moved. People are oftentimes hung up on, “It’s free!” And therefore, you don’t have to do anything. That’s true. You didn’t have to do anything to receive it; all you had to do was accept it.
Have you ever been given a gift that you had to take care of? Like a car for instance. Your dad comes along and gives you a nice car, even writes gift on the Title so you don’t have to pay any taxes. So you take the car, and you paid him nothing because he gave it to you; it was a gift! Does this mean that you will drive this car and never have to put gasoline in it? Never have to get the oil changed? Never have to get new brakes? Nothing? Absolutely not! You were gifted the car, but you have to take care of it. Some of the upkeep and repairs are more painfully expensive and will cost you more than others. If you keep up on the maintenance, you’re bound to have less problems.
Do you oftentimes wait until something bad happens to take it in, which is more costly and frustrating, possibly leaving you in a terrible predicament, or stranded? Or do you avoid this altogether by preventative maintenance?
Have you taken the gift of salvation from your Father? Are you maintaining the gift by staying in God’s word, talking with Him, having fellowship with other believers, exercising your authority and faith over wickedness, speaking the word against sin and temptation, and constantly crucifying your flesh? Or, is it a gift you’ve taken, but you’ve found that over the years, it’s falling apart? Not working? Fruitless? Faithless? Nothing but raging storms and problems in your life that knock you over and leave you down with no reprieve?
My dear friend, we do not stand a chance in this world without maintaining the gift God so freely gave to us. It’s not a free ticket to heaven, but a genuine committment. I can promise you that if you’re living in a state of lukewarm and you’re living just like you did before you took Christ into your heart, you may be in a dangerous place spiritually. Revelation 3:15-16 explicitly says, “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot: I would that you were cold or hot. 16 So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth.”
God’s word says, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” God cannot operate outside of your will. If you’re willing a disobedient, fruitless, sinful lifestyle, you may very well be in some serious trouble. Even if you’re a good person, if you’re not living your life in Christ, you might want to go before God and make your way straight now, before it’s too late. Remember, God is always ready and willing to forgive you, but first you must repent…conviction, confession of the sin, ask forgiveness, and cease the behavior.
Jesus Christ frees us from sin through the power of His Holy Spirit; but we mustn’t abuse this. To continue abusing this over and over is to crucify Jesus over and over. When we continue living in sin, we reject His gift. The gift is that we take the life of Jesus IN us, and no longer live in sin. When we get saved, we are committing our lives to God! We cannot defile and pollute the house of the Holy Spirit, our body, by disobedience and by serving Satan any longer.
Mathew 6:24 says, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other…”
We shall all continuously make mistakes as long as we are in a body of flesh. The question isn’t, ‘are you making mistakes from time to time and seriously repenting for them?’ Rather, the question is, ‘are you living in them?’ That, my dear friend, is the question to be considered. All sin is sin. There are no BIG sins, and there are no little sins. They are all the same, save for the unpardonable sin. Take a long look within the soul mirror and search it hard; what do you see? Is it you, or is it He?