Jesus Offers Us the Gift Of Salvation; All We Need to Do Is Accept It
We read in scripture that we are saved by God’s grace through faith. There’s nothing else we must do. It is God’s gift to us. We can’t earn it. All we need to do is receive it (Ephesians 2:8-9). He doesn’t want any of us to die, to perish—no not one.
God’s Grace is a Gift
Grace means to receive something good that we don’t deserve. We don’t deserve to be saved, but God offers salvation to us anyway. He does this because he loves us, and he loves us unconditionally.
All we need to do to receive salvation through God’s grace is to follow Jesus. That’s what he told the people to do: “Follow me.” We do this when we believe in him. This is what it means to be born again.
It’s that simple.
There are no steps to take, no hoops to jump through, and no requirements to meet. Easy peasy. And don’t believe anyone who tells you anything different. If someone insists you must do something first or follow a bunch of rules, they’re a modern-day Pharisee or a slave to the Old Testament law that Jesus fulfilled.
Not Your Ordinary Religion
Christianity is unique compared to all other religions. This is because we don’t need to do things to earn our salvation, our right standing with the Almighty. Jesus offers it to us as a present, and all we need to do is accept his free gift.
We don’t need to change our behavior. We don’t need to take a class. And we don’t need to make sacrifices to become right with him. We just need to say “yes” and except the gift of God’s grace.
Contrary to what most people think and to how many Christians behave, Christianity is not a performance-based religion. It is grace based. Never lose sight of that.
Changed Behavior Is a Response
Once we receive Jesus’s gift of salvation, through God’s grace, our response may be to change our behavior. But this isn’t a requirement. It’s optional. And it comes later.
Changing how we act, what we say, and what we think is something we do to say “thank you” to Jesus. This shouldn’t be a burden, something we do out of guilt, or an obligation. It’s a choice we freely make for him with no strings attached.
Changing our lifestyle for Jesus once we follow him should be a natural response for receiving the greatest present anyone could receive: the gift of eternal life.
Does God Owe Us Anything?
I acknowledge that I’m saved through Jesus and by God’s grace. I don’t need to earn it—I can’t. As a result of receiving Jesus’s salvation, my response is to change my life so that it more aligns with Jesus. This is an ongoing, lifelong process which I gladly pursue day by day.
And this is also the area I once struggled with. I used to think my good behavior, right living, and efforts to grow closer to God somehow earned me his favor. That he owed me because I studied Scripture, prayed, and fasted.
The fact that I gave money to advance his Kingdom and made sacrifices for him somehow must mean I’d earned his attention and deserved his good will. I expected I should receive his blessings because I had earned them.
This, of course, was wrong thinking on my part. Though I relied on God’s grace to save me, I forgot about his grace as I moved forward in my life.
Receive God’s Grace
Remember what we covered earlier: God’s grace is to receive something good that we don’t deserve. I don’t deserve God’s favor, blessings, or protection. I can’t earn it, and he doesn’t owe it to me. But by God’s grace he does all these things for me and more.
Following Jesus and living for him is all about God’s grace. Never forget that.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.