Grace is the unmerited favor of God. Romans 3:23-24 tells us, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”
We inherited our sin nature through Adam and Eve. Since then, before we were saved, all our desire has been to satisfy the desires of our own heart. The Bible clearly shows that there is nothing we can do, produce, or say, or think that will be pleasing to God: “For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.” Is 64:6 When we come to the startling discovery that there is nothing we can do to be considered right before God, we feel a sense of loss. We ask ourselves, “What must I do to be saved?”
The fact that we have come to this point is proof that God has already begun His saving work in you. Before you asked yourself this question, you lived a life where it would not occur to you to even consider God or His will for you. But the second we are made aware that there is something missing, and there is nothing you can do about it, you ask again, “What must I do to be saved?”
In Ephesians 2:8-9 we read, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
Here is when you learned that to cover the sin that separates us from God, Jesus, out of obedience to the will of God, gave His life in the place of yours (All of Humanity). What did this mean? Jesus obeyed God and became the one who took on all our sin, had it nailed to the cross, and accepted complete separation of God, and consumed all God’s wrath. Jesus did this out of His Love for God, and in obedience to the will of God.
He became a Gift to us, from the Living God. God does not desire that anyone should perish. Jesus told Nicodemus in the garden, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should have everlasting life.” John 3:16. He took this one step farther in the very next verses: “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” John 3:17-19 KJV
So, if you have accepted this gift of God, you are saved. What this means is, now that you are saved, God sees you as saved. All the attributes of Salvation are at work in you. You are complete in God’s eyes. When He looks at you, He sees that the blood of Christ has covered you. You are no longer condemned.
IT THAT ALL?
Positionally, you are complete in God. He sees you as saved. You have eternal life. But what now? Can I go on acting like I used to act before I was saved? Yes, you can. But that will negate any testimony you could have about Jesus. One sure clue of your salvation is that you will want to know more about the one who saved you. If you ignore that urge, two things can happen. One is, you will fall right back into that sinful life Jesus died for. Or you will become a legalistic individual who tries to live the Christian life by your own will and power. Neither of these things is a thing God can bless.
“for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” Phillipians 2:13
If you still feel the attraction toward our Savior, you will begin to feel in your heart the same power that drew you to Christ in the first place. When you tell God you want to be just like Jesus, you are telling Him that that finished work He sees in you positionally, you want the Holy Spirit to make manifest in the life you live on Earth. If this is your desire, then you will discover that you cannot fake the Character of Christ for very long. You will fail if you try to do this on your own. It is not the nature of the flesh to do this. You could stomp your foot and tell everyone “God loves me the way I am.” or “This is just how I am, and God loves me. ” or “I am saved, I am going to Heaven. God doesn’t expect me to change.” Yet, you ASKED God to make you into the Character of God, not you own character.
YOU CANNOT HAVE IT BOTH WAYS
We are either depending on our ability or God’s ability. There is no in between. Jesus wants all of you, or none of you. He said he would rather be hot or cold, but He will spit out luke-warm. Are you saved? If you met the conditions for salvation, yes. From God’s point of view, are you complete? Yes. But that is just the position you hold because of the Blood of Jesus Christ. There is nothing about you personally that He will accept outside of you being made in the image of His Son.
“For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.” I Corinthians 3:12
The people of Corinth were saved. The saved ones of Corinth did something that brought their salvation to no effect. They returned to their old lifestyles, and behaved no differently than they did before they were saved.
“Falling from Grace is not losing the born again experience. Falling from grace is when you leave the realm of God’s ability. It is when you attempt to have righteousness by your performance” Dr. James B. Richards. Impact Ministries, Publication Department. 3300 N. Broad Place, Huntsville, Alabama 35805
This is the assertion that you either can do it all on your own, or you don’t need to be transformed into the image of Christ.
There are a lot of people who complain about the “Hyper-Grace Movement”. This movement teaches that all your sin in forgiven from the past, in the present, and in the future. That God already knew you were going to sin, and He has already chosen to overlook it. This is scripturaly inaccurate. I can flesh this one out later. These same people are the ones who think that because they have had a salvation experience, there is nothing else that they need to do to please God. The end result is the exact same as the Hyper-Grace Movement. This same thought teaches, by implication, that you do not have to change a thing about yourself because you are already saved. This, too is a doctrinal error, and is offered by people who either do not really know the scriptures, or have chosen to accept only the things of scripture that please them.
If you are still alive, and you are saved, the Spirit of God will not be content leaving you unchanged. He will call you and call you to be transformed in to the very image of the character of Christ. To refuse to give any part of yourself, and ultimately, all of your self, in every aspect, in every way, is to tell God that you either don’t trust Him to complete in you His perfect work, or you are telling God you are already perfect, and there is nothing about you that needs growing up to be like Christ.
Your fall from grace comes when you are called to be like Christ, but do not sacrifice your will and self to allow the Spirit of God to change you. When Christ said that many are called and few are chosen, he was not talking about your salvation. If you are saved, you are saved. Nothing can change that. The chosen are the ones who allowed the Spirit of God to work in them so that they can obey Christ when He said: “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. Luke 9:23 NASB
If you are content to be saved, but not effective in a call, just continue doing what you are doing. But you need to know, the complications that exist in your life exist because you have chosen to try to make Christ into your image that let the Spirit of God transform you into the likeness of Christ. Grace is not cheap. It cost Jesus His life. The ones He chooses are the ones who lay down their very lives, all aspects of it, and walk in the Grace of God through Jesus Christ. It is all an act of Grace.
I can say all of this because I have just survived 20 years being saved, but not allowing the Spirit of God to work out my flawed character and make my character into the image of Christ. My life used to be a living Hell because God allowed me to be my own master. I could not be Godly and be myself at the same time. Today, Christ is healing the wounds, and is turning what is positionally true in God’s eyes in to a child of God, made in the image of Christ. This is not something I can do for myself. It is simply allowing God to get me out of my own way so the Spirit of God can recreate me. My desire is that God use me to witness to the lost and the fallen. And I no longer want things done my way. I only want things His way.
If He is calling you, allow Him to remake your character into something He can choose to follow Him.
It is all a choice.
I love you
Let’s Be About It!
David G. Perkins