Gift of Salvation

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gift-of-salvationThe gift of salvation is not a wage for good works

The gift of Salvation is just that, a gift, not payment for good works. Our own merits and works have nothing to do with God’s gift of salvation by grace.

Since salvation is a gift from God by grace, then, we can never be debtors before God in relation to this free gift of salvation after having received the gift.  If I show grace to someone, I cannot wait for any repayment.  If I give a gift to someone and have any thought of them repaying me, or of reclaiming the gift, then it would be a loan and not a gift and thus not grace.

If God gives us the gift of salvation with the hope of later receiving from us any good work, even the works of faith, then it would not be a gift of grace.  Whatever is given by grace cannot be repaid.  The bible clearly states that salvation is a gift or present of God.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.   Romans 6:23

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. Ephesians 2:8-9

Death here means primarily spiritual death.  Death is payment for something earned.  Spiritual death is the payment for the works of sin.  The justice of God determines that the unbelieving sinner be paid his wages.  But the Grace of God determines that the sinner who believes that Christ took upon Himself the sin of all mankind and received the just payment for mankind’s sin doesn’t have to collect the wages of sin and is free to accept the gift of God of eternal life.  Watchman Nee once said that eternal life is not payment for anything.  Faith is not a wage that we can pay to deserve eternal life.  If faith were wages for the gift of salvation then eternal life would not be a gift.

Notice that Romans 6:23 contrasts wages with gift.  Paul did not teach that the wages of sin is death and the wages of faith is eternal life.  The gift of God is eternal life; therefore, it is not possible to lose an eternal life that God gave by grace.  God doesn’t give us something to later ask for it back, or to later take it back because we didn’t meet certain conditions.   We can collect a loan, but we cannot reclaim something we give by grace.  If God gave us eternal life by grace, then He cannot reclaim it.  Therefore, we can never lose our gift of salvation or our eternal life.

God is eternal and unchangeable.  Once He gives us something, He never asks for it back.  God never asks to borrow anything from us, nor does He loan anything.  He just gives, and expects us to give as well.  God did not give us eternal life to “buy” our devotion to Him.  If we do not freely “give” ourselves as holy sacrifices, even though we were created by Him, and bought by Him, and we are by right His property, He will not take by force that which is rightfully His.  He asks us to give ourselves, as sacrifices.  A sacrifice is given.

The gift of salvation is based on grace through faith

God saved us because of His love.  This is clear from John 3:16

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

If when we were sinners God loved us to the point of giving us the life of His Son, could it be possible for God to reject someone after conversion that becomes weak or inconsistent?  The love of God does not change and neither does His grace.

There is no change in the love with which God loves man.  If the possibility of a believer losing his gift of salvation existed then there would be the possibility of a change in God.  By God’s own definition of Himself that is not possible.

The giver is more important than the gift of salvation

When God gave His own Son as our savior, we need to recognize that He gave that which is more important than eternal life (His own Son).

He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?  Romans 8:32

For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.   Romans 5:10 

If God wished to freely give us His Son to pay the price of our sins while we were still His enemies, would He think of denying us eternal life at some later point based on our performance or lack of it?  Since God was willing to give eternal life to those who were formerly His enemies, would He not even be more willing to preserve the eternal life of His own begotten sons?  Are we to believe that keeping our eternal life is more difficult than receiving it in the first place?  Or does this God of grace seek to save the sinner only to continue to threaten him with the weight of all his responsibilities to maintain this wonderful gift of salvation that he supposedly received freely by grace?

Imagine for a moment if God said to you and to each person who comes to Him to receive the gift of salvation: “O.K. now I saved you, now don’t blow it, you don’t have an unlimited number of chances for error.  Most people will never make it all the way to heaven but I have given you a chance.  You may never know at any point if you will make all the way, so do not lose faith.  Otherwise things could be even worse than before.”  Just think how your kids would turn out if you raised them that way.

Once God gave His only begotten Son how could He deny us our gift of salvation?  The gift of salvation is nothing compared to the value of the Son of God.

God gave us His Son and gave us the gift of salvation, if He does not reclaim His Son why would He reclaim the gift of salvation?  Therefore, according to the grace and love of God it is impossible to lose our free gift of salvation.

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