Salvation is Free, Discipleship is Not

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Salvation is a free gift.  When sin entered the world through Adam and Eve the plan for the ultimate innocent sacrifice was already in place.  God would send His Son, Jesus, to be that blood sacrifice.  Jesus literally paid the highest of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual costs to provide a way for all to be reconciled to God  because separation was the cost of our sin.

Salvation, the gift of eternal reconciliation with God is FREE.  Yet, it’s not easy to get people to take the gift. You don’t need a coupon or to wait out in the ice and snow all night in the church parking lot to get it.

Romans 3:23 tells us that we all have sinned, not just a few people, or the majority of people, but all people. When you recognize that, when the Holy Spirit is speaking to your heart and YOU INVITE God into your heart and life, that’s free. Jesus paid our sin debt 2000 plus years ago. All we need is God calling us to come to Him, and our saying yes.

“For God so loved the world that he that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Yes, salvation is free.  Why then is it such a hard sell?

1) We’ve all heard the excuses, “I can’t come to church/the altar/God because I can’t give up (insert whatever you cling to here).&nbsp. Then our response is, “God wants you just as you are period.”

True. Absolutely 100% true. But He doesn’t expect you to stay the way you are. In 2 Corinthians 5:17 Paul tells us when we accept Jesus’ invitation into a reconciled relationship with Him we are new creations.

John recorded Jesus’s words in John 15:18-25 where He tells us we may have to give up even the people we love most to follow Him. Jesus spelt out the cost of discipleship clearly.

We’re also warned we will have hardships, heartaches and persecutions in being a Christian as Matthew recorded Jesus telling them in Matthew 5:11-12.

2) We’ve become a world of science and technology. God has allowed us to learn the how’s of many of the mysteries of His creation. The more we learn, the more we push the boundaries of science and technology the more educated we believe ourselves to be. We imagine we have no use for God. Man has tried similar things before such as is recorded in Genesis 11:1-9 when man determines to build a tower to reach God to be equal with him.

3) Christians don’t have a reputation for being righteous. We’ve undertaken wars and even slavery in His name when it was really our own appetite for power and control feeding us not God.

4) The world has grouped everyone Christian into one group of intolerant, judgmental know-it-better-than-you people because a loud portion of us earned that reputation. The sins of the fathers passing to the future generations as written in Exodus 34:6-7.

I could go on but here’s everything wrapped up in one package: Salvation is free. Discipleship, becoming a fully engaged Christian in an intimate spiritual relationship with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit costs.

Discipleship is a daily, minute by minute choice to follow Jesus.  We promise obedience. We vow to turn from our wickedness, then reality hits us square in the face. Obedience is not easy and the cost varies person to person.

No one can hide who or what we are from the God who created us. We have no secret sins. God will not be satisfied with any sin in your life, discipleship will help you eliminate it AND that is what we humans resist.

We don’t want to change.  We don’t want to obey God’s will in all things.

If we could remain in our sin and gain the full glory of heaven we wouldn’t have a choice to make. Truth is we can’t. Yes salvation is free for all who seek to make Jesus Lord of their life.

Learning to fight our human nature with its chronic defiance of God’s will isn’t free. Learning to walk God’s way and not our own is very, very expensive to our human nature.

The best news of all is that when we realize we are contining in our sins Jesus has not let go of our hands. Plus the time is soon upon those who seek to follow God when our growth means leaving behind our spiritual diet of milk and for more substantial food. (Hebrews 5:12) Then giving up those things we were sure God would demand from us becomes a personal choice. In time striving to be Christ-like is the desire of our heart.

–Donna

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