Is salvation 100% God’s work and 0% our work? Can you earn your salvation? Is your ticket to heaven based upon your personal character & ability? Is there any kind of work that is required from you to become born again or saved?
The Bible clearly defines salvation a being a FREE gift and that salvation is not something you work for or receive by your own personal merits or ability.
Below are several verses to prove this point:
Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV – For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Romans 5:18-19 NKJV – Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.
Romans 6:23 NKJV – For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
By definition – a GIFT is not something that you work for neither is it given because you deserve it. A gift is given FREELY out of love and grace by its giver. A gift is free and has no strings attached to it. This is what God’s salvation is. Salvation is a free gift from God. We cannot earn our salvation but God offers this gift to us freely.
As mankind we are like a criminal who committed crimes and the fine / penalty for the crimes is $900 Billion ($900 000 000 000). The criminal does not have $900 000 000 000 and neither will the criminal be capable to work his entire lifetime to pay for that enormous penalty for the crimes he committed.
Then comes a loving & gracious man who has $900 000 000 000 and this loving & gracious man is willing & able to pay the entire debt for the criminal so that the criminal is set free.
When the penalty of $900 000 000 000 is paid by the loving & gracious man and the criminal is set free because of the payment it’s important to observe the following:
- The glory for the payment automatically goes to the loving & gracious man who paid the enormous debt. The loving & gracious man should receive the praise for rescuing the guilty criminal.
- The criminal is set free not because of his own personal effort but because of the gracious work / payment done by the loving and gracious man. In this particular case, it would be foolish if the criminal boasted in his own failed effort to attempt to pay his own penalty.
- The criminal was fined because he was guilty of his crimes but yet the loving & gracious man still paid the enormous $900 000 000 000 debt on behalf of the criminal.
- The criminal did not have to pay a single cent to bail himself out because the entire debt was paid by the loving & gracious man.
- The criminal has the freewill or option to refuse the loving & gracious man from freely paying for his penalty / fine. This refusal has grave consequences in that forfeiting payment will result in a lengthy jail-time for the criminal.
This analogy is a small picture of what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross. Jesus paid our ransom / debt according to Mark 10:45 which says “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many”.
Our salvation comes because of the work that Christ did for us on the cross. Jesus paid our debt and when He paid for our debt, it was out of His love, grace and mercy. (Titus 3:5-7 NKJV – Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.)
Salvation is NOT by Works
Many people and many different religions & denominations incorrectly teach that a person must earn their salvation.
If a person were to attempt to earn his/her own salvation then that person would be denying the work of Christ on the cross. Christ came to die for our sins & to pay the very debt / ransom / penalty for sin that we cannot pay with our own works or effort.
Galatians 2:21 says “I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain”.
In Isaiah 64:6 the Bible says that man’s own “righteousness are like filthy rags” before God. Therefore there is nothing that we can do by our own personal effort & ability that would convince God that our personal works are good enough to earn us a place in the kingdom of God.
Romans 8:8 says “So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God”.
Isaiah 53:5 NKJV
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.
Jesus Christ paid for our transgressions in full. All our sins were paid for by Christ on the cross.
HOW CAN I RECEIVE GOD’S FREE GIFT OF SALVATION?
As mentioned above, salvation is a FREE GIFT and salvation is not received by works but it is received by FAITH in Jesus Christ. It is that simple. A person must repent & by faith accept Jesus Christ as Lord & Saviour because Jesus is the only way, the truth & the life and the only Mediator between God & man.
DO YOU WANT TO BE SAVED / BECOME A CHILD OF GOD & A FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST???
- ACKNOWLEDGE: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “God be merciful to me a sinner” (Luke 18:13).
You must acknowledge that you are a sinner and that you therefore need Jesus in your life.
- REPENT: “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3), “Repent therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19)
Repenting means: to change your mind; a sincere turning away, in heart, mind and action; Therefore God wants you to repent of sinful values and of sinful living. God wants you to decide to follow Him and to make Jesus the Lord of your life.
- CONFESSION: “If we confess our sins. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9)
God is a forgiving God. God will forgive any sin that you have done because Jesus died for ALL your sins and to set you free from the bondage of all types of sin in your life.
- BELIEVE: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting” (John 3:16). “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16)
You must believe that ONLY Jesus can save you and restore your relationship with God. You must believe that Jesus is the ONLY way by which you can have everlasting life and escape from eternal separation from God. You must believe that Jesus died on the cross for you and resurrected from the grave.
- RECEIVE:“He came to His own, and His own did not receive him, But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:11-12)
By faith, You must receive Jesus as Your Lord & Saviour and therefore; you become a child of God; you become born again; you become a Christian; you restore your broken relationship with God
Why not make your eternal decision now and pray the following prayer?
Salvation is by FAITH. We receive Jesus by believing. This prayer is only an expression of your trust & belief in Jesus.
“Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your love. I thank You that You died on the cross for me and resurrected so that I may have life through You.
I confess Lord that I have sinned against You and today I ask You to forgive me of all of my sins, past present and future.
I repent of all of my sins and I ask You to cleanse me Jesus.
Thank You for forgiving my sins.
From this moment, come into my life Lord Jesus & take full control of my life. I want to follow You Jesus and I want to follow Your ways. Save me and from today, make me the person You want me to be.
I receive You Lord Jesus right now by faith. I make You my Lord and Saviour, Amen”