Last week I spoke about the topic of legalism and I made the assertion that most people will call you a legalist if you call sin, “sin”. How do we balance grace with works? John MacArthur says there are only two religions in the world. There is the religion of human accomplishment and there is Christianity. You can lump every false religion into the first category. This religion of human accomplishment says you must do this to make yourself worthy of heaven. You must do something to appease your “god”.
True Christianity says God came in human flesh and did the doing. He lived a perfect, sinless life so sinful man could be reconciled to God. There is nothing you can do to earn God’s redemption without the work of Christ.
No prayer, no amount of sacrifice, you cannot be “good” enough to earn God’s favor; you can’t be part of a special group. Jesus Christ went to the cross to drink the cup of God’s wrath to pay for the sins of those who would believe in Him that they could turn from their sin.
This IS the true gospel.
If you think you can do something to earn God’s forgiveness you are wrong. If you think that being baptized or saying the sinner’s prayer or being part of a certain religious group will save you from the terrors and torture of hell, you need to stop and consider, carefully what you are counting on for salvation.
The gospel tells us we are dead in sins and trespasses, unable to save ourselves (Ephesians 2:1). The gospel tells us we are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8). The gospel tells us it is not of works so no one can boast (Ephesians 2:9). Clearly, we can do nothing outside of God’s work.
1 Peter 4:1-2 Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.
Here is the rub… This is the difference between false conversion and true conversion. Do you now cease from sin? If you claim to be saved and claim to be a follower of Christ, you must cease from sin.
Disclaimer, you won’t do this to perfection.
However, if you are not striving against sin, you are not saved. If your sin does not sicken you, you are not saved. I hope this sounds harsh. I would rather this be harsh and have you see your sin than live in a world of illusion and deception.
If you claim to be a Believer you will resist and fight against sin. It will be a lifelong battle but you will grow or you must examine your life.
Believer, you are under grace, you are no longer under the law (Romans 5:1-2). This is not a license to willfully live in sin. Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?
Are you striving against sin in your life? Hebrews 12:3-4 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.
If this is a concept that is unfamiliar to you, I hope you will sit down and examine your life by the truth of God’s Word. God has supplied the world with the gift of His Word and the glorious sacrifice of His Son that some will be saved. If you are saved, you now have work to do.