WEDENSDAY — Pure and Simple: Salvation
Big Point: Jesus Christ has given us the one thing we could never earn on our own to restore our relationship with our Father—and that’s salvation!
In the beginning of the week we focused on our need for salvation because we are all “criminal minded” sinners. When we accept this free gift of salvation, it’s hard for us to grasp the idea of receiving something for nothing. We all quickly fall into what we know of this world and how it works around us – we think we need to earn it to truly have it. Sometimes we feel to own something also means we deserve it. The problem with this is that we could never truly live up to the standards needed to earn righteousness. The amazing transaction on the cross was God treating His only son, Jesus Christ, as if he had lived your life; so God could treat you as if you had lived the life of Christ. The way God delivered salvation through Jesus Christ was a great example in a world that is filled with suffering. So we rejoice that we worship a God who is not immune to suffering but actually conquers it.
Salvation is an undeserved gift given to us through grace. The “works” idea that so many people fall into trying to deserve or earn salvation is tiring and always ends in frustration, guilt, and eventually abandonment—like prison. The salvation we are given is not a “cheap grace” and trying to purchase it with our righteous acts is an insult to our Father. Imagine giving a gift to a friend and those friends insisting to pay you for the gift repeatedly even after your refusal? Wouldn’t that be insulting to your grace and what you were trying to do? Why is God’s gift any different?
If you are reading this week’s Living It Out and God has shown you for the first time the need of His salvation and the readiness of God to give His gift through grace and love, there will be a prayer known as the “Salvation Prayer” at the end of today’s Living It Out. Jesus is always knocking; this is another chance to open the door and invite him into your life.
READ and THINK…Find the answers
After reading Monday’s Living It Out we realize that all of us have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. If being a sinner and needing help is something we all share, explain why is the following scripture so important?
Mark 2:16-17 (New International Version)
16 When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
After reading the next verse, how do you think God really views our works and “good deeds”? How important is it that Christ came to release us from this sin?
Isaiah 64:6 (New International Version)
All of us have become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
we all shrivel up like a leaf,
and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
After reading God’s answer to Paul in the following verse, how important is it for us not to cover our weaknesses with good deeds and righteous acts? Christ’s power is salvation; how can this forgiveness change your life in the future? How has this forgiveness changed your life so far?
2 Corinthians 12:9 (New International Version)
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
LIVE…What will you do now?
Why is that we feel we have to be qualified to be God’s child instead of just thirsting for His salvation?
Do you get tired of constantly trying to measure up—comparing your works to others around you? Why do we understand the aspect of receiving a gift but have a hard time understanding the gift of salvation from our Heavenly Father?
Good works don’t save a person; but they’re good evidence they are saved. Did you catch that? Write down why this is important to understand. What is the difference?
“If you’re a Christian, you’re a member of the only group in the world where the only qualification for membership is that you’re unqualified. The problem is, after becoming a Christian most of us spend most of our lives trying to qualify.”
Steve Brown, Seminary Pastor and Syndicated Radio Host
If you have prayed the prayer of salvation before and accepted Christ into your life, describe how this has positively impacted your life and the life of others? If you feel you have strayed off the beaten path by trying to earn grace, this is a perfect opportunity to point yourself back toward God’s grace—free of judgment and condemnation.
If you have not accepted Christ as your personal savior,
we invite you to read this prayer of salvation:
Heavenly Father, I know that I am a sinner and I ask for your forgiveness of my sins. I believe Jesus is the son of God and that he died for me and he rose again. I give you my life and I thank you for new life. Thank you Jesus for your unlimited grace which has saved me from my sins and I ask that you transform my life so that I may bring glory and honor to you alone and not to myself. Fill me with your spirit so I can know you, follow you, and serve you for the rest of my life. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.