If Jesus paid the price
for my sin,
and my good works
don’t count at all,
why do I need
to be good
and do good works?
James 2:26 “For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.”
John 14:15 “If you love Me, keep my commands”
John 15:5,8 “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing”. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.”
When someone does something important for us, and we know they didn’t have to do and that we didn’t deserve, we feel a sense of obligation to be nicer to them and take into greater consideration what is important to them. We want to show them that we truly appreciate what they did.
Our salvation is similar to this. When we recognize that Christ did for us something very important that we in no way deserved, and so we choose to live our lives based upon what Christ indicates is important. We choose to do the things Christ indicates is important to show our appreciation to Him for what he has done for us. This demonstrates that we value the price Christ paid for our salvation.
As indicated before, our living for Christ is not to earn our salvation but to show evidence of us choosing Christ’s payment for our sin. If I say “I’ve been saved by Christ” but my life doesn’t show any evidence, (my works and lifestyle), it’s easy to conclude that my statement is just words and not what I’ve really chosen.
John 14:15 “If you love Me, keep my commands”.
If I don’t keep his commands, it is proof that I don’t love him and have not accepted his priceless gift of salvation, and have not been saved by him.
Romans 10:10 “For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”
1 Samuel 16:7 “For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
God isn't fooled by our appearances. When we tell someone something, they can only determine the truthfulness of our statements by comparing our statements to our actions. But remember, God can see into our heart and knows our true motives. Remember my example of the penalty in a jury trial? When a defendant is found guilty, our justice system typically determines the severity of the penalty based on the motivation of the defendant. In the examples given previously showing the two news stories about the two different traffic deaths, one was an accident and the other was premeditated. The investigation resulted in very different outcomes. What if we killed an attacker because we were defending an innocent person from this attacker? We would be found innocent with no sentence because of our actions to defend another.
Since God knows everything and is outside of time, He not only knows our motivations, He knows our motivations before we do. God offers the gift of eternal life to us, not because of what we've done but because of what Christ did on the cross for us. And our going to heaven comes down to whether or not we've decided to truly accept his payment for our sin, and not just saying a sentence. How we live our life proves whether we have truly accepted His gift, or if our claim were only words we repeated.
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