Is Salvation Really A Free Gift?
Is salvation a free gift of God, or do you have to do something to earn it through your own effort?
What is a gift? By definition – a gift is not something you earn by your own effort and neither is it given because you deserve it.
A gift is something given freely and voluntarily out of love and grace by its giver.
To the giver, the gift may have been bought at a price or a cost. However, the recipient of that gift will receive it freely. So the recipient does not pay for the gift.
This is how God’s salvation works. The Bible says that salvation or eternal life is a free gift from God and the price of this free gift to us was paid by Jesus Christ on the cross.
So we do not need to work for our salvation, but instead we merely need to freely receive it through placing our faith in Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Saviour (John 1:12).
Below are some scriptures that give us evidence that salvation is a free gift and not something you earn through your own effort or works.
Ephesians 2:8-9 – For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Romans 5:15-17 – But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. 16 And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. 17 If, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ
Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
So we will notice that in Romans 5:15-17, the phrase “free gift” is mentioned at least 5 times when speaking in relation to salvation or eternal life. This emphasis of describing salvation / justification through Jesus Christ as a free gift is evidence that salvation is not by works.
Ephesians 2:8-9 says that for us to receive salvation, it is not because of our own doing or our own effort or works. Instead, salvation is a “gift of God” received by grace through placing our faith in Jesus Christ.
What is grace? Grace is when God gives us what we don’t deserve. Grace is God’s undeserved kindness towards us.
The grace of God is the reason why salvation or eternal life is a free gift.
Titus 2:11 says: For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people.
Why Can’t I Be Saved By My Own Effort To Be Good Or By My Effort To Keep The Law?
Why can’t you work for your own salvation? Let’s look at the 10 Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17).
The 10 Commandments or the law is basically God’s standard of perfect righteousness. However, we have all broken God’s laws or commandments. We are all guilty of sinning against God and therefore according to Romans 6:23, the penalty or wages of sin is death.
If you have ever told a lie; if you have ever been envious of someone; if you have ever idolized something or someone above the living God; if you have ever stolen something – this means that we are guilty of sin and breaking one or more of God’s laws.
Romans 3:23 says: For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
So we as sinners cannot meet the demands of the law or 10 commandments. Because of sin, we will fall short or we miss the mark. Therefore we cannot pay for our own sins because our own personal works of righteousness are not good enough for a perfect, righteous and just God (Isaiah 64:6).
However, Jesus Christ is the only Person to have lived and perfectly met all the demands and requirements of the law. Jesus is the only person to have lived a perfect and sinless life that was pleasing to God.
So on our behalf, Jesus Christ, the Son of God took our punishment and penalty for sin on the cross. Jesus Christ became our Substitute or propitiation for our sins. Jesus Christ took the punishment that we rightly deserved so that if we believed in Him, then we would receive eternal life in exchange.
1 John 2:1-2 says: My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
John 3:16-17 says: For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.
So out of God’s love and grace, Jesus Christ paid the price for the salvation of mankind. Jesus paid the price for our sins through the blood that He shed on the cross.
Ephesians 1:7-8 says: In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, 8 which He lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight
So the grace of God is the reason why we are not saved by our own effort to keep the law.
Galatians 2:21 says: I do not nullify the grace of God, for if justification were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.
So mankind cannot pay the price of sin. Jesus Christ did that for us. If we could be saved by our own works and effort, then Jesus should not have died on the cross.
However, Christ paid the eternal price that we could never pay by our own effort or works. Therefore it is the love and grace of God towards mankind which ensures that salvation is a free gift.
Mankind cannot earn or work for His salvation. The work of Jesus Christ through His crucifixion on the cross ensured the salvation of anyone who places his/her faith in Him as Lord and Saviour.
The law cannot save us and neither can we be saved by trying to keep the law. Instead the purpose of the law is to lead us to the cross where Christ paid for our sins.
Galatians 3:24-26 says: So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law. 26 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. So is salvation really a free gift? Yes it is.
DO YOU WANT TO BE A CHRISTIAN or A FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST?
1. ACKNOWLEDGE: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
This means that we have all broken God’s laws and God’s 10 Commandments like those mentioned in Exodus 20:1-17. For example, if you have told a lie; if you have stolen something; if you have lusted after somebody or if you have coveted. This means you are guilty of breaking at least one or more of God’s 10 Commandments. Breaking God’s commandments makes us sinners. The fact that we are sinners who have broken God’s law means that we are accountable to God who is the Lawgiver. Romans 6:23 says that “the wages of sin is death BUT the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”
You must acknowledge that you are a sinner who has broken God’s commandments and that you therefore need Jesus in your life.
2. 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 change your mind about sinful values and of sinful living. God wants you to decide to follow Him and to make Jesus the Lord of your life.
3. 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.
4. 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 life” (John 3:16).
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.
“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 & Savior 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?
We become born again Christians by GRACE through FAITH or TOTAL TRUST in Jesus Christ as our Lord & Savior (Galatians 3:26) & (Ephesians 2:8,9). Salvation is a FREE gift received through FAITH in Christ.
PLEASE NOTE: You can choose to pray in your own words. This prayer is a sample prayer and it is only an EXPRESSION of your faith, belief & trust in Jesus. Salvation is by GRACE through FAITH or BELIEVING in Christ Jesus as your Lord & Saviour.
“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.
Today I repent and have decided to follow you. Thank you for forgiving all 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 trust You as my Lord and Savior – Amen”
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