There's a man in our fellowship that raises chickens. Much to my excitement, and due to the abundance of eggs that they generate, I am presented with a dozen eggs completely free of charge just about every week. (This is truly a blessing to me, because I like eggs, and my wife likes to cook). In addition to that, with inflation being the way it is, added up it saves me a lot of money!
So I was in the car today with my son and his friend. As we were driving along, he started talking about his chickens.
He was given about half a dozen baby chickens for his birthday recently, and they now have began to lay eggs. I mentioned the fact that a gentleman gives us eggs quite often for free. He then made mention that his eggs were free too. I proceeded to take this opportunity to educate the boy on the realities of cost. I said "really - what do you feed them?" He then began telling me about the feed and some additive that they put in the feed to help them digest it better. So I asked him, "Where do you get the feed?" At that point he realized that his eggs weren't free before I even had the opportunity to ask about the labor he had involved in gathering them.
As I pondered on this story, a great truth ran through my mind. You see, the eggs that I got truly were free - I didn't do a thing to earn them, or deserve them. This man out of the kindness of his heart brought them to me, and all I had to do was accept them. My young friend thought that his eggs were free, but as we analyzed the situation, it turned out that he was contributing to the supply of his eggs.
There are many denominations today that praise Jesus in one breath, and lift themselves up in the next.
There are many denominations today that praise Jesus in one breath, and lift themselves up in the next. They are those that believe that Salvation comes through Jesus Christ, and the deeds of the flesh. In other words, whether they straight up admit to it or not they are responsible at least in part for their own Salvation. Many will say "Salvation comes through Jesus Christ alone... but ". Let me say something emphatically - There Is No "but" to Salvation! Either Jesus "Paid It All", or he didn't. It's a "Free Gift", or it's not, it's either "Grace", or it isn't - IT CANNOT BE BOTH!
Let's look at what the Bible says about it:
Romans 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
Romans 5:15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
Romans 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
Romans 11:6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
2 Corinthians 9:15 Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.
The amazing thing about it is that God address this very thing multiple times in the Bible:
Ephesians 2:8-9 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.
Galatians 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
I am very concerned when someone says that salvation comes through Christ, but you have to "live it". You see, whenever we put a price on something - no matter how small or great - it ceases to be free. How can this be anything other than spitting in the face of God, His grace and His mercy? We must realize that our salvation was paid for by Jesus and Jesus alone. If we don't, we are guilty of propping ourselves up and diminishing His sacrifice.
If we can learn anything through this story I pray it's this. While there was a great cost for our Salvation - (the precious blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ) the cost to us was absolutely nothing. When so great a gift is offered unto you, I pray you simply accept it.
in Jesus name, may God open the eyes of the legalistic and pharisaical heart...