Vol. 5, No. 5
Priscilla's Page *Editor's Note*
~ Page 16 ~
Salvation is the spiritual deliverance granted to us by God when we respond in obedient faith to the Gospel. It is through Christ alone that this salvation can be obtained. When we became members of the Lord's church, not only were our sins forgiven, but also our relationship to God was restored.
To borrow a statement from one of the preachers in the brotherhood:
None of us are going to accidentally slide into heaven. If we are there, it will be from a lifetime of intention, and planning, and forethought, and devotion, and humility before the living God!
We are not, and never will be good enough in and of ourselves to deserve heaven. The following Scriptures tell us why that is a total impossibility.
"For there is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin" (Ecclesiastes 7:20).
"Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear, but your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear" (Isaiah 59:1-2).
"But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; we all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind have taken us away" (Isaiah 64:6).
"So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, we are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do" (Luke 17:10).
"As it is written, there is none righteous, no not one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks after God. They have all gone out of the way; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no not one" (Romans 3:10-12).
So, what is the answer to our sin problem? We have got to have a covering, and that covering is Jesus Christ. Sin is a debt that we owe and we have one of two choices in settling that debt. We can accept the death of Jesus on the cross for payment of our debt through obedient faith, or we can pay for our own sins in hell forever!
How then are we justified before God? The following Scriptures tell us how this justification takes places.
"O my soul, you have said to the Lord, You are my Lord, my goodness is nothing apart from You" (Psalm 16:2).
"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:8-10).
"For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something of which to boast, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Not to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness" (Romans 4:2-5).
God's standard is perfection -- not almost up to -- and that perfection is a divine accomplishment, not a human achievement. We must allow God to accomplish our righteousness for us through living a life of faithful and thankful obedience.