The Story of Us: Acts Chapter 15-16 (July 15-July 21)
This week it was not hard for me to decide what I wanted to write about. As I glanced over verse 1, I instantaneously knew that I had to talk about salvation. I think that sometimes when we read what the Bible has to say about salvation, we turn on autopilot. Sure, we “know” in our heads that it is only by grace through faith in Christ that we are saved, but that does not always manifest in the way we live our lives. Once again, I will throw myself under the bus and admit that what I just told you is something I have a problem with.
I don’t want to make excuses, but the world we live in makes the idea of salvation by faith alone seem like a fantastical notion. Culture, at large (but particularly in America), is saturated with the impression that everything of value must be earned. I’m not trying to bash capitalism, but we must understand that this paradigm does not apply to our relationship with God. In fact, God actually sees man’s attempt to earn salvation as offensive. I say offensive because the idea of salvation apart from Christ essentially renders God’s sacrifice a vain attempt. Not to mention, anyone who believes this is essentially calling the Master of the Universe a big fat liar.
Before I finish, I have the obligation to my God to explain why good works and righteous behavior are still important even though they don’t help one earn salvation. To illustrate this, I will pose a question. How does one distinguish a business professional from everyone else? In today’s day and age, the answer may not be so simple, but let’s default to convention for just a moment. I imagine that most would say that it is a suit that distinguishes a businessman. Now, the suit does not make one business savvy, however, it does act as a calling card of sorts. The same can be said of good works. Good works are not necessary in the sense that they lead to salvation. However, they are necessary in the sense that they are evidence of one’s salvation.
Sometimes to understand what something is, we must first understand what it is not. Acts chapter 15 does just that. How great is our God that we don’t have to sit in fear over whether we are following the Mosaic Law to the letter! We can live and live abundantly knowing that Christ lived the perfect life we are incapable of living! If we trust and have faith in Him, good works will naturally follow. Go with God and be at peace.
- Kyle Bogner