New-Fashioned Salvation

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For Sunday May 29, 2022:


Ephesians 2:8 (NKJV)
For by grace you have been saved through faith,
and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.

In the 1980s, the Smith-Barney company made a series of commercials in which distinguished actor John Houseman spoke the famous line “We make money the old-fashioned way. We earn it!” Sometime later, based on that commercial, a Christian cartoonist showed some Pharisees arguing with Jesus about salvation. Their punch line? “We get our salvation the old-fashioned way. We earn it!”

Those Smith-Barney commercials were a success partly because they appealed to something in fallen human nature: the desire to work and pay our own way. The Bible commends that attitude in many respects (2 Thessalonians 3:10), but not when it comes to salvation. The problem with earning our salvation is that we can never do enough. Committing one sin is the same as committing them all. And once a sin is committed, it’s like a spoken word—there’s no getting it back. The biggest challenge facing the early church was helping Jewish believers set aside law and tradition as ways of trying to earn God’s approval.

Don’t try to be saved the old-fashioned way. Receive salvation the way God offers it—through Christ—as a gift of grace through faith.

The sinner, apart from grace, is unable to be willing and unwilling to be able.

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David Jeremiah, Turning Points with God: 365 Daily Devotions (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale, 2014), 149.

About Roland Ledoux

Pastor of Oasis Bible Ministry, an outreach ministry of teaching, encouragement and intercessory prayer from the Holy Bible, the written Word of God and author of the ministry website, For The Love of God. He lives in Delta, Colorado with his beautiful wife of 50+ years and a beautiful yellow lab whom they affectionately call Bella.
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