Salvation: What Needed to Be Done Has Already Been Done
“All need to be made right with God by his grace, which is a free gift. They need to be made free from sin through Jesus Christ.” (Romans 3:24 NCV)
If you were to ask 50 random people walking along the sidewalk, “How do you get to Heaven?” you’d get a lot of different answers. But basically they would all be summarized by the idea that you’ve got to earn your way to Heaven. You’d hear things like, “Try to be good, and do your best” or “Do more good things than bad things in life.” It’s all based on works, not grace.
But Romans 3:24 says, “All need to be made right with God by his grace, which is a free gift. They need to be made free from sin through Jesus Christ” (NCV). God says that salvation is absolutely free! You don’t work for a gift, and you can’t earn it or buy it.
This is the fundamental difference between Christianity and every other religion. Every other belief system can be summarized by one word: “do.” You do certain things in order to gain bliss, gain Heaven, gain God’s approval. It’s full of rules, regulations, and rituals.
On the other hand, if you were to summarize Christianity in one word, it would be “done.”
I had a guy ask me one time, “Pastor Rick, what can I do to be saved?” I told him, “You’re too late!” (That kind of shocked him.) “You’re about 2,000 years too late! What needed to be done for your salvation has already been done, and you can’t do anything about it.”
Jesus Christ already did it. He paid for your salvation on the cross, and now he offers his grace as a free gift to you. That’s why Jesus Christ, when he was hanging on the cross, stretched out his arms and said, “It is finished.” What’s the “it”? It’s your salvation — the plan to provide grace for every person who needs it.
You’re not getting to Heaven based on what you do. You get to Heaven based on what has already been done for you by Jesus Christ.
There isn’t anything you can do to save yourself. You just accept God’s free gift of grace.
Talk It Over
- Why do you think it’s hard for people to accept something that’s free?
- What does God’s free gift of salvation say about his nature?
- What are the things you do to try to earn God’s favor? What do you think he wants your motivation to be instead?
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