Prophecy Devotional: "By Grace Alone We are Saved” -Joseph Chambers

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Joseph Chambers

By Grace Alone We are Saved

The Grace of God revealed in Jesus Christ is indeed the theme of all of God’s infallible Word. We are saved by grace and there is no secondary method of salvation. We are either saved by grace or eternally lost and condemned to the Lake of Fire. But Grace has taken on an evolution in today’s church. The truth is that grace is not a covering for our sins, it is a cleansing from our sins. Christ did not come to patch up the filthy sinners but to convert them into sons and daughters in his holy family. Much of the church world has been reduced from “Saints saved by grace” to “Sinners saved by grace.” This very thought is anti-Biblical and contrary to every truth about our salvation. It defies every word of God’s Holy Book.

This idea of “Sinners saved by Grace” is nothing but the accommodation of sin. Our sinner-friendly church world has changed the “strait gate that leads to eternal life” to a “broad gate that leads to a religious life.” It may populate our churches, but it will also populate the Lake of Fire. The Book of Romans is heralded as the great Book of “Salvation by Grace” and so it is. The Romans Road to Salvation is the message we all should proclaim. This book teaches that sinners are transformed by the Grace of God. “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?” (Romans 6:1-3).

The “Born Again” believer has no appetite for sin. If you still have an appetite for adultery, fornication, lying, jealousy, bitterness, or any sin identified in Scripture, be honest with yourself and cry out to God for His transforming power in your life. The supernatural power of Christ’s blood will be manifest by the Spirit at your full surrender to Him. He will make you an absolutely transformed individual. Sin will be repulsive to you and, if you fall into error, your heart will rush to the cross for cleansing. Apostle John said it plainly, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (I John 2:1-2)

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A young believer is not evident by their perfection but by their hatred of the old life and their tender heart to repent immediately. Such a young saint will grow and glow in this sincere grace of Jesus Christ and will soon be a towering pillar in the House of God. They will learn quickly that to whom you yield yourself servant to obey His/his servant you are. “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness” (Romans 6:16-18)

This Biblical standard of “New Life” in Christ is the desperate need of today’s society. Jesus Christ by His Holy Spirit, wants to raise you up unto holiness and power and to show you as His example in the world. He will make an epistle out of you known and read of all men. (II Corinthians 3:2). He will light up your countenance and beautify you with His salvation (Psalms 149:4). Again, Romans says it powerfully, “But if the Spirit (Holy Spirit) of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you” (Romans 8:11)The Holy Ghost is the Spirit of Holiness. He takes all of Jesus and make application of Him in your life.

Holy Ghost activity in a supernatural dimension will follow a life totally transformed by the “Grace” of Jesus Christ. I’m sure there will always be weak, floundering believers that hold on by grace but never mature to the example of sainthood. Apostle Paul spoke of these immature believers that will lose all rewards before the Lord. “If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire” (I Corinthians 3:14-15) This certainly is not His plan. You can be more than an overcomer; you can go on unto the stature of the fullness of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 4:13) and be His light in the world. Grace is the mighty outworking of His sacrifice that will transform your life. He wants to make you His light in your world for His glory. Grace is truly supernatural.

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By Joseph Chambers


Visit Joseph Chambers' Website at http://www.pawcreek.org


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Gospel:GIVING AN INVITATION TO FOLLOW JESUS "EvangelismCoach"

 

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 Hell got bigger. Grace got Greater, and the world is heading for Hell in a handbasket. You really don't want to go there. Unless you seriously don't do something about it, You are Going to Hell. Hell was not made for you and you weren't made for Hell.  It isn't oblivion you are facing when you die, but absolute and total isolation. The absence of God since you are created by God will cause suffering you never imagined. It was never intended for you to go there. You are going in the wrong direction and admit it or not, Hell is waiting for you.

Jesus Said, I am the Way. I am the Truth. I am the Life He that Believeth in Me shall never die.. We call it Salvation because it is. It is not going where you deserve to be, and that is Hell. Jesus said it, You Must Be Born Again. These are written so you can be assured God wants you in heaven, not hell.  "Call upon the Name of the Lord, and You Shall Be Saved".

Reject them, pure and simple, You Go to hell.

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GIVING AN INVITATION TO FOLLOW JESUS

By EvangelismCoach

What is evangelistic preaching if not for an invitation to follow Christ?C 086

Can one really say that this particular form of evangelism is “complete” if we don’t give an invitation to follow Christ, a space to give people a chance to respond to that invitation?

This is the question on my mind today.

A Definition of Evangelism

In early 2007, I wrote a What is evangelism? definition series.

Here is the definition of evangelism that I use:

Joyfully sharing the good news of the sovereign love of God,

and

calling people to repentance, to personal faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, to active membership in the church, and to obedient service in the world.

(Definition adopted by the 202nd General Assembly of the PCUSA, 1990).

This definition of evangelism has two parts:

  • Joyfully Sharing and (proclamation)
  • Calling People to (invitation)

As one shares the gospel, there is an invitation.

Can one be faithful in evangelism without giving an invitation?

Invitations in Scripture

  • Jesus gives a simple invitation: “Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy laden, I will give you rest.” (Matt 11.28)
  • Jesus uses the image of the wedding banquet and describes it as “Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you can find” (Matt 22.9)
  • If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me (Mark 8.34)
  • When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” (Luke 18.22)
  • The Samaritan woman invites others to come and see: “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” John 4:29
  • Phillip gives an invitation to Nathaniel: Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” John 1.46

Responses to the Preaching

Skimming through Acts we see several general statements about people responding by believing, which of course is what we are inviting people to.   (4.3, 8.12, 8:36-37, 9.42, 11.21 and so on).

There are two stories that stick out to me:

  • After Peter preached on Pentecost, “They said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” (Acts 2.37).
  • Acts 16:29-30. The Phillipian Jailer asks “What must I do to be saved?”

In my evangelism conversations, sometimes the question is asked clearly — what must I do to be saved?

Sometimes the question is implied.  People don’t know how to respond — they want to, and want to know how.

The reality is that some people don’t know how to express their new belief.  Their hearts are dealing with matters of eternity and before the Holiness of God.  There is not a training manual for that moment.

This is where an invitation can be helpful.

Some, like myself, didn’t need an invitation when I started to follow Jesus.  I simply responded.

Others will need to act on an invitation to confirm their belief.

To present the gospel without giving people an opportunity to respond and “hope they know what to do” is short sighted and incomplete.

You can genuinely help people respond to God’s invitation. I invite people to express their belief in committing themselves to God in prayer and inviting Christ into their life.

We see that invitations are given in the Scripture and people called to start following Christ.  What does that look like in a practical form?

What does an invitation look like?

A practice that began in the 1820′s with Charles Finney is the “altar call.”

It has had many forms over the years: raise your hand, walk to the front, pray a prayer.   It’s become a staple of evangelical practice.   It is custom and tradition that doesn’t have a Scriptural prohibition nor example.  The practice is not commanded, nor prohibited in Scripture.

This form has its critics, both on theology as well as practice.

Most of the theological objections focus on the idea that people might misunderstand such actions to save a person.  The prayer saves, the walking the aisle saves, the raising of the hand is the ritual.

Practical objections focus on the potential for manipulation: moody music, sob stories, and ongoing “there’s one more. . . ” type shenanigans.  I’ve been in meetings like that and agree — it’s manipulative.

I give invitations when I’m invited to preach.  As an itinerant evangelist, it is part of my duty to invite people to start to participate in the work of God’s kingdom.

When I give an invitation, I am very clear and straightforward so as to not be manipulative nor theologically wrong.

I say that one way of demonstrating that you are placing your faith in Christ is praying to invite Christ in your life.  Prayer is the expression of belief.   You believe, and this is a response.  It’s an “X marks the spot” moment in your life when you began to follow Jesus.  It give a person an opportunity to do something to express their new belief and desire to start following Jesus.

I also don’t drag out the invitation and I won’t use potentially manipulative music.  I present my invitation as simple and straightforward as I can and give people the opportunity to respond to the message.

In some churches, I will invite people  to come to the front, but the invitation is not to receive Christ, but to receive prayer, to let church ministry leaders pray with you and for you.

In other churches, I don’t give that kind of invitation at all.  I invite people to stay in their seats and conduct their business with God.  The act of coming to the front is not connected to placing your faith in Christ.

A theological dance

I am a firm believer that no one can find faith by “doing” something.  Walking an aisle, raising a hand, praying a prayer is not an act that saves you.

You become a follower of Christ through belief in the Lord Jesus and as a consequence, you start following his will and plan for your life.

The Holy Spirit draws you to Jesus, regenerates your heart to enable you to respond, and fills you to start the process of spiritual growth.

Yet, there is a human response here.  We are not automatons.  It is our decision to receive this gift, to believe, and to start working out our salvation with fear and trembling.

How can we express that we are saved through faith alone, when to believe is a verb? How we retain the sovereignty of God in the experience of salvation, while at the same time TELLING SOMEONE THAT THEY HAVE TO DO SOMETHING, NAMELY, BELIEVE?

This is the theological dance in cooperating with the work of the Holy Spirit in evangelism.

Jesus says come.

Jesus says “If anyone opens the door.”

And the bible is clear, we are saved by grace through faith.  Abraham believed, and it was credited to him as righteousness.

Salvation is a divine work.  We are not saved because we respond — We are saved because the Holy Spirit has regenerated our hearts.  Our human response to God’s regeneration is to offer ourselves.  Repentance is an action — change in direction, in heart and in mind.

Let me ask you this?

What do you think?  How do you handle invitations in your preaching and evangelism?

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