Salvation & Sanctification ; August 4, 2011

Here are some of my thoughts about salvation and sanctification, that I wrote in response to another person's blog. :)

I believe we are saved by grace, through faith. It is God's grace that allows us to believe - without this prevenient grace we would be incapable of even having faith in Him, because we are totally lost in our sin and pride. But it is faith in Him, faith that Jesus is the Son of God, and that He died on the cross and rose again to bring us salvation and to inaugurate the kingdom of God, that saves us and gives us eternal life. John is full of verses that say this, and Acts (like Acts 2:38-39, 10:43, especially 13:38-39). When we believe in Christ, He forgives us of our sins, imputing His righteousness to us. We are sanctified by faith, but sanctification is also a lifelong process of becoming like Jesus in holiness and obedience to God. It is obvious that we all sin even after believing in Christ, but the gift of God is that He forgives us, and His mercies are new every day—we are made righteous in His sight (Romans 3:22-24). In my mind, the great gift of salvation is that God gives us the grace to be able to become righteous in this life—He gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit, to lead us and guide us towards obedience to God. I believe Jesus' command to "be perfect" (Matt 5:48) was not just a hopeful wish, but a command, a command that we can only obey by God's grace through the Holy Spirit.

Salvation is just as much about eternal life right now, in this present life, as it is about eternal life in heaven. Jesus said, eternal life is to know Him (John 17:3). And we can know Him right now. (though not fully until we see Him face to face - 1 Cor 13:12)

Jesus said that the ones who obey His commands are the ones who love Him (John 14:21). And His commands are... to love God and love others (Matt 22:37-40). Being a Christian is not as much about believing in a set of ideas, as it is about loving a Person (and loving other people because we love what He loves.) It is the loving Him and obeying Him that brings us the knowledge and experience of Him - which is eternal life.

10:55 PM  |  

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