Arminian Today

A Jesus-Centered Arminian Blog

Saved By Grace Through Faith

I remember hearing the story of David Wilkerson meeting with some believers from Vietnam.  These Vietnamese pastors shared how they had been beat for their faith, imprisoned, their belongings taken from them, etc.  Brother Dave listened and then added to them, “Brothers, be careful never to think that what you have experienced for Jesus is your salvation.  You are saved by grace!  Don’t judge those in the West who have not suffered as you have for Jesus’ sake but fall on your face and be thankful for the mercy of God that saved you from sin.”  What a good word.

The fact is that there is a temptation from those on the mission field or even among suffering saints of God to believe that they are saved while those living in “comfort” in the West are not truly saved.  I ran across this recently with a missionary.  This missionary I have known for a while and while they lived in the United States, I never knew them to be a person of prayer or of evangelism.  They were typical Westerners.  Working, living, and yet loving Jesus along the way.  Then they moved to a foreign nation to do missions work and now they are posting on Facebook about how dead the Western Church is (and I agree) and how we are so full of consumerism (and I agree) instead of the gospel.  They talk about the need for evangelizing the world and I agree.  I praise God for what He is showing this missionary.

Yet I want to warn them and all of us that we must always remember that our salvation is not by works at all.  We are not saved because of our sharing the gospel or our Bible reading or our missions work.  We are saved by God’s grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9).  If not for the mercy of God, none of us could be saved.  If not for the work of Jesus Christ on the cross, none of us could be saved.  If not for the work of the Holy Spirit, none of us could be saved.  The work of salvation is completely by God (Titus 3:5-7).  He saves those who believe the gospel (Romans 1:16-17; 1 Corinthians 1:21).  Jesus then becomes our salvation and our righteousness before God (Romans 3:23-25; 10:4; 1 Corinthians 1:30-31; Philippians 3:9).

I admit that the Church needs a touch from God.  Much of what I see about the Church in the West is indeed dead (Revelation 3:16).  I agree with this missionary that we lack a passion for God or for missions.  But at the same time, I see that I need Jesus as my Savior.  I am not beyond seeing that I need His grace.  I am not beyond seeing that my hope, my righteousness, and my salvation is found not in any works that I do but in Jesus alone (John 6:29).  We can point out the faults of the Western Church but in the end, salvation belongs totally to the Lord.  If our passion is not for Jesus, we are missing the point.  If our salvation is not focused entirely on Jesus then we need to run back to the cross and cry out to God and praise Him for the cross of Christ.  It is only through the blood of Jesus that we are eternally saved (Acts 10:43).  We need to worship God for all that He has done in setting us free (Acts 13:38-39; Romans 2:4).

Written by The Seeking Disciple

10/20/2011 at 9:10 AM

Posted in Salvation

Tagged with , ,

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