Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Woe To Worthless Salvation . . .

You know, i find it interesting that so many people see their salvation as being for them. They say "I'm saved." That's a result of salvation, sure, but that's not the purpose of it. Something that a lot of people don't seem to realize is that the Holy Spirit wasn't sent for our good.
I think the newly redeemed know this without knowing it consciously. They are fervent; they're excited to spread the news about what God has done for them. That is true salvation. It's glorifying God for what He's done for us. That's the reason the Holy Spirit was sent. Not so we could say "I'm saved," but more specifically that "God saved me."
I don't know that this is even making sense, so i'll put up a passage to emphasize this point.

“Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came. And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them. And the nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the Lord God, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes. I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God. And I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. And I will summon the grain and make it abundant and lay no famine upon you. I will make the fruit of the tree and the increase of the field abundant, that you may never again suffer the disgrace of famine among the nations. Then you will remember your evil ways, and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves for your iniquities and your abominations. It is not for your sake that I will act, declares the Lord God; let that be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel."
That's Ezekiel 26:22-32, ESV.

That's a little clearer. He cleanses us, gives us definition of holiness, so that we can see that we were not holy nor righteous, and it causes us to be disgusted with who we were without Him. But it's for His sake that He puts the Holy Spirit in us; so we glorify Him. Being saved from damnation is only a benefit of it, something for us to look at and say "Hey, see? That's what we deserve, but He saved us from it so that we would be inclined to do anything for His glory."
But here we are, in a state of spiritual decline because we're slowly allowing the world into our hearts, turning us back to stone. Are we truly so vain that we can have salvation and not be exuberant about it forevermore?

This is going to sound rather harsh, but i think it needs to be said. Yes, you're a Christian. Shut up, and act like it. Stop convincing people you are by your words and prove it with your actions. If you have faith, you will not be content to merely stand with hands raised saying in your heart "Thank You," but you will be compelled beyond your ability to resist to help others. If you have driven faith, you will not have to say "I'm a Christian," because people will know by how you love others--and act upon that love.

"What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?" (James 2:14)
"But someone will say, 'You have faith and I have works.' Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless?" (James 2:18-20)
"For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead." (James 2:26)

Nothing we can do can earn us salvation. Only God has secured that for us, and He made Christ the only way so that we would be dependent on His grace, dependent on giving Him glory. Works alone cannot save. Faith alone withers and dies. Faith needs revitalized; it needs kicked every now and then.
See, doing good will do nothing for us if we do nothing out of faith.
Show me what your faith is without action, and you show me nothing. If i show you a good work, it's only because of my faith.
And even at this, it's not for our sake that we have faith and works; it's for the glory of God, and God alone. All glory we receive is due Him.

Therefore, i end with this single woe: "Woe to the sluggard in faith, the bestowed upon of inactive Salvation!"

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