On Wednesday we saw two kinds of righteousness:
Righteousness of Law – works based righteousness. This is what some people call “salvation”. They feel that if they do enough good they will receive a ticket to heaven.
Righteousness of Faith – confessing Jesus is Lord and believing God raised Him from the dead – you will be saved!
Sounds too good to be true! What about the part where I confess my sins? I repent? I … I … I …
Yes, you will confess your sins … because once you’ve confessed Jesus and believed He is risen, you will see that He is holy and just and you will want to wipe your slate clean.
Yes, you will repent … because you know that’s what He wants you to do.
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. 14 Do all things without grumbling or questioning, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Phil 2:12-16 (ESV)
What in the world does work out your own salvation mean? Didn’t we just say that it wasn’t works that save? Yep. He means that we are to do what we do for God willingly, as He leads, and to please Him. But we can’t do anything to please God until we’ve confessed and believed. We can do stuff for God without confessing and believing, but God requires that we confess and believe to be saved.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Eph 2:8-9 (ESV)
What will you do with this study? Are you thinking that you’re already a Christian and this stuff doesn’t really apply anymore? You’ve confessed and believed. You know all this stuff. GO SHARE! Tell others about the free gift Jesus offers. Don’t keep it to yourself!
If you’ve accepted the free gift of salvation during this study, it’s not too soon to share your faith! People respond to honest “testimony” – the telling of what’s happened to you. While you may not have the experience to give complete answers to everyone who asks, God promises to send His Holy Spirit to help you. If you get stuck, admit it! Talk to a pastor or email me for help.
I ask that you search your heart and make SURE that your salvation is real. Some people have head knowledge – you know about Jesus but haven’t done anything about Him. You work in the church, go to Sunday School, hear the sermons, and think that’s enough. You need heart knowledge. Confess that He is Lord and believe that God has raised Him from the dead.
Do you have questions? Is this clear or still a little fuzzy? If you want more information, email me or talk to a pastor. Remember, Love DOES win … but Love is righteous and without accepting the free gift of salvation, you will NOT spend your eternity in heaven. If you do not accept the free gift of salvation, SATAN WINS and you will spend eternity in hell. God doesn’t want that, and neither do I.
If I can pray for you or answer questions, please email or leave a comment. I will see you Monday to begin our study of worship. Weekend blessings!