It is not a rare thing, to meet a Christian who has little or no knowledge of the very foundation of our Christian faith which is, Christ died for our sins so that we might be saved. Why is this so? I believe this situation is as a result of a lack of mentoring and ample time to study biblical truths about salvation.
Too often, new believers are overwhelmed with two extremes. On the one hand, there is the doctrine and pressure to prove you are truly saved by your actions, and on the other hand, the euphoria of all the good things and blessings that come along with being God’s word.
Both sides are right and mean well. It is amazing that actually most Christians fall under these two seemingly opposite categories. On the one side, we struggle with sin and try to make it right by actions, on the other hand we accept God’s grace and do nothing about our hidden sin. The first side is usually known as the legalistic christian. The later as the Christian who believes in grace without fruit.
As born again Christians, we should not live as though we were not saved. The fruits of the Holy Spirit should be evident in our lives and spirit because we are new creatures. This nevertheless should not be lead us into the trap of trying to work for or maintain our salvation with our “goodness”.
Galatians 3:2-3 – This is all I want to ask of you: did you receive the [Holy] Spirit as the result of obeying [the requirements of] the Law, or was it the result of hearing [the message of salvation and] with faith [believing it]? 3 Are you so foolish and senseless? Having begun [your new life by faith] with the Spirit, are you now being perfected and reaching spiritual maturity by the flesh [that is, by your own works and efforts to keep the Law]?
Endeavoring to earn our salvation is a sign that we do not understand the completeness of the finished work. If we understand that Christ paid it all, the whole price, not just part, and that we can not add on to it to secure our salvation, then we can learn to trust in his sacrifice and know that He is enough for us.
The other side of the coin understands that Christ paid the price and we have unending grace given to us as a gift from God. And somewhere along the way, conviction of sin is left behind. we fail to see sin as it is, it’s ugliness and how it grieves the holy spirit in us. We are okay with not dealing with our sinful nature because we know grace is enough. But we live in the joy of salvation and expect blessings and more blessings from God.
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? – Romans 6:1-2
I have come to realize that before someone is given the gift of salvation, the joy of being a child of God, they must first and foremost understand the depth and ugliness of their sin. See their guilt and understand why they need a Savior. Otherwise we stand the risk of taking for granted, what Christ did for us. The price was too high and his life too precious to just be mediocre Christians with no fruit bearing. Much as we are not saved by our works, we are not called to life only to remain in bondage of sin.
What we learn about the cross.
It is at cross that we see clearly what Christ is all about. Every Aspect of Christianity can be summarized in that one act of love that Christ showed to mankind. At the cross, the deepest kind of love is expressed. Christ demonstrates obedience to the Father even in the hardest of times, even when it meant he had to lose his life. We learn the true meaning of forgiveness as we watch Christ die for a people as undeserving as we are. We see God´s power expressed in Jesus´resurrection. These are the clear things that are evident in the series of events that happened at the cross but there is more to the cross than meets the eye.
If we don´t study the word clearly as the Spirit guides, we might easily over see the rejection the Son of God had to endure. What kind of pain got him to why out ” Father Father, why have you forsaken me!” or how bad must it have been to be rejected by God completely? How heavy was the sin of the whole earth? We sometimes are overwhelmed by our guilt and might never be able to live a free life because it keeps haunting us. Now imagine Christ had to carry the guilt of every man, that ever lived, was living and would live. How much guilt did Christ endure, just so we might live a guiltless life? What was at stake? What did Christ have to give up? And yet, Christ did bear all this, just to save us. He gave up his holiness so that he can pay for our sin and in exchange cloth us with His holiness.
When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. – John 19:30
When we understand the meaning of the cross, we are moved to by God´s love to be more like Christ every day. We will worship him with all our hearts. We will yearn for nothing else other than his presence. The passion to do God´s will becomes evident in our lives and oh how great the fruit we would bear. Our lives will be the testimony that brings all unbelievers to Christ. When we build on the foundation that Christ laid down for us.