Baptism ceremony at the Jordan RiverI grew up going to church as a baby. I’ve been in church my whole life. I used to think going to church is what saved me. I also thought you were going straight to “hell in a hand basket” if you said a bad word, smoked or drank alcohol. I pretty much thought if you obeyed all the “rules” of God that He would let you in to His Heaven.  As I’ve grown up in my faith and been a student of the Word, I realize just how off the mark I was. I was “majoring on the minors” and missing the big point of Jesus coming in the first place. He came to save me. He came and ushered in this beautiful big word called GRACE.

The church was trying to grow when some of the “rule-makers” stepped in and started imposing the Jewish law on non-Jewish people who had accepted Jesus. This caused confusion among the new believers. Paul pushed back and ended up going to the church leaders on behalf of the new followers of Jesus. Peter stood up and spoke to the leaders on behalf of these new believers as well. Check this out….

5 Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.”
6 The apostles and elders met to consider this question. 7 After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: “Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. 8 God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. 9 He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. 10 Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? 11 No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.” (Acts 15:6-11 NIV)

If I were saved by my good attitude and good behavior, I might be prone to boast about me. If I’m saved because I’ve been to church a million times, it has become about what I do and me. I am saved simply because of what Jesus did. He died so that my sin could be paid for – or atoned for. It is what He did that saves me NOT what I do. I live for the Lord BECAUSE I’m saved. I don’t live for Him in order to be saved. There is a huge difference in the two positions. I can’t give enough. I can’t do enough good things. I can’t sing enough. I can’t reason enough. There is no way under the sun that I can do, be or think myself good enough to be saved. Check this out…

17 If anyone belongs to Christ, there is a new creation. The old things have gone; everything is made new! 18 All this is from God. Through Christ, God made peace between us and himself, and God gave us the work of telling everyone about the peace we can have with him. 19 God was in Christ, making peace between the world and himself. In Christ, God did not hold the world guilty of its sins. And he gave us this message of peace. 20 So we have been sent to speak for Christ. It is as if God is calling to you through us. We speak for Christ when we beg you to be at peace with God. 21 Christ had no sin, but God made him become sin so that in Christ we could become right with God. (2 Corinthians 5:17-21 NCV)

Being saved has NOTHING to do with what I’ve done – Salvation has EVERYTHING to do with what Jesus did for me!  I live for Him because I’m so grateful. I don’t live for Him so that I can be saved – He saved me.  I could go on and on and on.

Thank you Lord for saving me!

Pressing On!

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