Ephesians 2:4-8 “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast.”
My pastor put it this way; “Jesus came into my tomb and spoke the words, they made me alive. He alone did it. I was dead (spiritually) and dead men cannot choose, but God came to where I was and chose me, saved me.”
God chooses, calls, saves. God is Sovereign over it all. I do nothing!
Where would I be if Jesus had not walked into my tomb, called out my name and gave me such unmerited favor? I can think of many ways my life could have gone and none of them are good. Being raised in a home where abuse was the norm, my thoughts about myself was so skewed. I felt worthless, dirty and like I was no good for anything.
If Jesus had not called my name, I could easily have ended up a run-away, dead from suicide, a prostitute and the list goes on. When I think back to that teenage girl who was holding desperately onto the truths I had heard in church and from my grandmother. Believing that God did indeed love me, he did indeed have a plan for my life, He really could bring joy from my ashes and set my feet on solid ground. My heart desperately believing that God had a plan and it was good. But you see I could not have had the glimmer of hope had he not walked right into my spiritual tomb and said come to me, you are mine. I am giving you living water, my life for yours, debt paid in full.
I did nothing to deserve this salvation, He knew when I was in my mother’s womb that I was his. My name had already resounded in the supernatural world, in God’s mind and heart. It blows my mind, I cannot conceive how such a Holy, Righteous God would even want to call my name, give me his righteousness, accept my filthy rags, but he did, before I ever did anything good or bad, he said: “She is mine!” Wow, what love, what mercy!
It says that salvation is a gift of God, I cannot earn it by doing good works, I cannot beg for it, I could not purchase it…it was a free, unmerited gift of God, all done for his good pleasure.
I am now seated with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. Me a sinner from birth, called by God for salvation, forgiven, made righteous by his blood, heaven bound…and he did it all! What am I to say to such a love and gift? Thank you, Lord, for saving a wretch like me. Thank you Lord for this free gift of salvation, Thank you for forgiving me and giving me eternal life. Lord, I praise you for you are worthy, you are good, you are loving, you are salvation, you are righteous…it is all about you and only you!
Oh, we need to love others, serve others, be sacrificial in all we do, but it is not because we have to work to keep our salvation, God does that, we do it out of love for Christ Jesus and because he tells us to love others and to serve. You do not turn to someone who has given you a gift and say “How much do I owe you?” No, you simply say thank you!
Oh, how precious is the love of God, that he would desire to have me spend eternity with him. How great the grace that extended to my sinful sorry soul. How good of him to plan my steps of this life with just the right amount of joy and pain to cause my heart to be tender to his leading and guiding. Oh, He is good! His love is better than life!
So many want to take credit for “deciding they wanted Jesus,” that is so funny to me if they decide they want him it is because he has already begun the regeneration in them needed for them to answer the call to salvation. Their spirit has already been pricked and their spiritual ears already tuned to hear and answer the call. If God has chosen to save you, it is a done deal friends.
The other argument is well if God does it all then why do we preach the gospel? The short answer is because we were commanded to! Enough said!
When a man thinks he helps in the saving of his dead sinful self it is simply his pride speaking, feeling the need to have a hand in it. Jesus died for his own and he calls his own in his own timing. If you have been called, live in with a sense of amazement, joy, thanksgiving, and praise. I am so very thankful He walked into my tomb and spoke to my dead sinful self and said: “Come, follow me, I give you life eternal life.” Life for death, joy for sadness, holiness in place of sinfulness, righteousness, a future home in heaven…and so much more, oh Praise His Holy Name! Because He lives I will live forever, because He is righteous, I am made righteous; unmerited favor, a free gift…think about it!