by Shawn Brasseaux
On Memorial Day, our nation gathers to remember the brave men and women who gave their lives for the freedoms we now enjoy. How could we ever repay those courageous soldiers who fought on behalf of America, when we were yet born? We cannot thank them, neither can they hear the “thank you” whispered at their gravesites. Nonetheless, I commend them for their contribution and sacrifice.
It is ironic that people acknowledge the work of fellow humans, but treat God worse than they mistreat a stray, vicious, and rabid dog! A small remnant praises the Lord for His finished work on Calvary, but society deems us Christians as “a threat to progress.” Our world is guilty of not only being rebellious, but downright foolish! And yet, God’s grace continues to tolerate them and their ungrateful attitude.
Jesus Christ has set me free from my old nature! I was under the influence of the devil, the god of this world, the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who works in the children of disobedience (unbelief). I was dead in my trespasses and sins, now I am dead to sin, and alive unto God through Jesus Christ my Lord! The same power at the heart of Christ’s resurrection is the power that now indwells me and empowers me to have Christian service that pleases God! And I do not have to lift a finger to get any of it! I could thank the Lord every day in prayer, but still never repay Him for all that He has done on my behalf! I can go through every ridiculous rule, regulation, and ritual that religion requires:
- I could write “Christian” hymns and songs,
- speak in tongues,
- go to church every Wednesday and twice on Sunday,
- sing in the choir,
- join the church,
- become a deacon or preacher,
- get water baptized,
- walk an aisle,
- visit the sick,
- wear religious jewelry,
- make a profession of faith,
- sign a visitors’ card,
- maintain the church lawns,
- organize the pastor’s office,
- acquire $1 million,
- display crucifixes,
- teach Sunday School,
- donate to charity,
- repent of my sins,
- be an active member in the community,
- climb a steep mountain to reach a temple,
- see a vision and/or receive a “divine” revelation,
- faithfully tithe 10% to a local church,
- pray often,
- love God,
- keep the sacraments,
- love my neighbor as myself,
- take communion,
- memorize a denominational handbook,
- do penance,
- and STILL be no closer to heaven than when I started! Why?
None of those have the power of God. And my salvation and going to heaven are totally unrelated to my works and my performance in religion. I cannot work for my salvation. I am a sinner, and I first need to realize that I am lost, on my way to hell as someone who “has fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8,9 KJV). “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law” (Romans 3:28 KJV). “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Romans 4:5 KJV). “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31 KJV).
The Gospel of the Grace of God is the power of God (1 Corinthians 1:18). My salvation is not in what I do, but in the finished crosswork of Christ on Calvary! I can do whatever I want, however much I want, but it will get me nowhere if I am trying to merit salvation or favor with God. No matter what I do, I am a sinner, and my sins must be dealt with. That is why Jesus Christ came to die for my sins, to shed his sinless blood to make atonement for me. Jesus Christ came and accomplished what I could never do—save me from my sins and the everlasting lake of fire. If it took God Almighty to die in my place and resurrect the third day, HOW DARE I TRY TO COME ALONG WITH MY “TWO CENTS” and try to add to that which is perfect (the finished crosswork of Christ). I am saved forever solely because of Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork on Calvary, and I will be in Christ’s debt, forever….
THE PURE GOSPEL OF THE GRACE OF GOD (1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV)
“1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”
Friend, trust in this Gospel alone and God will save you forever.