Are You Being Saved?

“Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, {4} Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:” (Gal 1:3-4)

Believers often are myopic in their view of the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ, seeing it from a positional standpoint only. Galatians speaks of a deliverance that is both positional and practical. In the same vein, when Paul addresses the subject of salvation he is doing so in the sense that it relates to the practical aspects of how we experience life in this world, and how we handle the details of our lives.

By way of example let’s examine the following; “We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. {2} (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)” (2 Cor 6:1-2)

Many an altar call has been prefaced with verse 2 of this passage and the thought is fine, however, the passage is not addressing justification but sanctification. We sometimes forget that we have no epistle, authored by the apostle Paul, which is addressed to lost people telling them how to be saved. We do have numerous instances where the apostle reminds saints of their justification and of the Gospel of Grace they trusted.

Our text from 2 Corinthians is deeply rooted in justification but deals with appropriating its benefits in life and service to God. The question at hand isn’t about receiving the grace of God, but having received it without enjoying its benefits. To possess the grace of God “in vain” is a sad state of affairs. It is to have the fullness of everything God has given us “in Christ” without appropriating the power and peace that comes with it.

For this reason Paul uses the illustration from Isaiah 49. Israel, as God’s chosen people in time past, often found themselves in need of deliverance having departed from the place of God’s blessing. Living under the if/then program of the Law they only received blessing when they were obedient and they, conversely, received cursing from God when they were wayward. The quote in Isaiah directly refers to the nation being restored to the full enjoyment of their Covenant relation with God and all its benefits.

Under grace we need not fear God’s curse upon the details of our circumstances but we should be wary of making choices that isolate us from the benefits of grace. Paul addresses this in different ways in his letters. He notes that “whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap.” He warns of the danger of living in “ignorance” (virtually with the same mindset as a lost person) and as a consequence becoming “alienated from the life of God.” He prayed that believers would be “filled with all the fullness of God” based upon “wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him (God).”

In Christ, God the Father has equipped us to be who He intends us to be. We spend far too much time worrying about our insufficiency when we should be focused upon, and resting in, the sufficiency of Christ. God has addressed our need to be “delivered from this present evil world”, saving us from its power and influence. It’s all about our living as He has created us to be; “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: {9} Not of works, lest any man should boast. {10} For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Eph 2:8-10). God doesn’t make junk!

Paul’s testimony was this; “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” (1 Cor 15:10) This should be our testimony, too! 

Our service to God, and the choices we make regarding the details of our lives, should be founded upon God’s grace and not our own agenda and strength. This is the embodiment of our life as a “new creature in Christ’ and exactly what it means to “walk in newness of life.”

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