The Gift Still Waiting at the Tree
Sometimes our minds are beclouded by the many opinions set forth upon this most important of all doctrines, “Salvation through faith in Christ.” “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.” Ephesians 2:8,9
Thus was the thief on the cross saved at the eleventh hour (as have been many others) by grace through faith. He hadn’t any good works to show, only repentance and saving faith in a crucified Redeemer. “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1. The righteousness of Christ was imputed to him because of the man’s faith and repentance; and he was carried into paradise where Christ was, covered with the robe of Christ’s righteousness, which made him Holy in God’s sight, with no works to his credit, only faith. He possessed “Eternal Life,” the GIFT of God.
How hard it is for some of us to give up the idea that we are saved by our works. Works of faith are the fruit, or the evidence of our faith in Christ; but they do not save, it is faith in Christ alone which saves, “lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:9
I believe for our good works we shall receive rewards (I Corinthians 3:8) but “Eternal Life” is not a reward...
it is a gift. We may therefore say with the Apostle Paul, “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift.” II Corinthians 9:15.
You doubtless have seen some great works of art painted by the great masters of all time. What would you have thought of an unskilled man taking his crude colors and clumsy brush and trying to add to the great master’s finished work? The idea is unthinkable. Yet men are doing it every day when they come to the question of their soul’s salvation: face to face with the central FACT of history –
“The Cross of Christ our Lord.”
There salvation is provided for us – in God’s own fullness and completeness.
Why then talk about trying to do good deeds – give to charities and live lives of contemplation in order to attain salvation. Do you know that salvation is not only a finished work, but it is a free GIFT besides? “The GIFT of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord,” Romans 6:23, a free GIFT. You see how simple it is, God gives – you take: God offers – you receive. God wants you to come just as you are, confess your sin and accept the Lord Jesus Christ by faith as your Saviour. The sin question then can be settled, you are His and He is yours.