Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Edifier du Jour-Galatians 3:1-7(NASB)
1 You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? 2 This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? 4 Did you suffer so many things in vain--if indeed it was in vain? 5 So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? 6 Even so Abraham BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. 7 Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham
In advertisments, you'll occasionally see the phrase "free gift." One would think that a gift is free, but not always. Some people will twist the term for something thrown in- "But wait, there's more; if you buy X, we'll throw in Y as a gift." Y isn't a gift, it's conditional on you doing X. Salvation is a free gift, yet it is priceless. It comes via the interaction of the Holy Spirit with our conscience producing faith, a saving faith in Jesus' death on the cross for us all. We don't have to work to get it. We can't repay a priceless gift, so don't worry about how much work you have to put in before you've earned your salvation, for it ain't gonna happen that way. That is why salvation has to be a free gift, for there's no way God can get full value back for what He went through on Golgotha. Not that we don't work hard for the Kingdom of God once we have that faith, but the gift of salvation is not conditional on how much we work. The parable of the day laborers comes in handy here; everyone got the same wage no matter how late in the day they showed up. The mass murderer who prays an earnest sinner's prayer just before going to visit Ol' Sparky gets salvation just as much as the guy who's been a pillar of the church for decades. Don't be jealous, just be thankful that Jesus died for you, too.

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