The Message

Salvation – A Gift of Grace

SALVATION- A Gift of Grace

John 3:16 is one  of the most popular and often quoted Bible verses about our salvation: “For God so loved the world, that He  gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

Our salvation is a gift from God, and the Bible is very clear about it. “8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it” Ephesians 2:8-9  (NLT). Therefore, we cannot take advantage of the grace of God like our abuse of the free will that God gave us. 

Salvation is a process of redemption; it cleanses us of our sins and removes any foreign spirit in our body that made us imperfect. Salvation is regarded as a wall to prevent any toxic attack on our freedom from sin. Sharing our personal experience is one of many ways to return the favor God has given us; through sharing, they might accept the Son to stay in their lives so that the older man will flee and the new man will be born. In John 4:38- 42, a woman whose life changed after she met Jesus told others about her encounter, and they believed.

When we testify about the goodness of God and the Son, the people who hear our testimony will be enlightened through us. The word of God becomes the way for them to know God like the water they drink will become living water, the water of salvation. Through us, they will never be thirsty again. 

They do not need to go anywhere to worship God but to the place or mountain of their choice. Jesus told the woman that it didn’t matter whether she worshiped the Father on the mountain or in Jerusalem. The time has already come that worshipping God is not about location but how we worship the Father. The Father seeks those who will worship Him in Spirit and truth.

When we plant the seed about God’s righteousness, purpose, and will, the process of enjoying the gift of salvation begins. We have a saying that I planted the seed, cooked it myself, and other people enjoyed it. It means accepting the calling of God to spread His word; we become the bridge of their relationship with God. You become part of them receiving God’s saving grace, from death for lack of knowledge to life of knowing the Spirit that gives life. When we are dedicated, our sins are washed away; the wrongs that had defiled us are forgiven.

We are rescued and freed from the force of sin through the power of the Holy Spirit. The evil that kept us captive for a long time will be put under our feet. It will be our choice of how to manage our new life without sin. It could be a struggle, but faith, hope, and love can handle that for us. Do not let sin get out of our grip and start its evil work again. We should never forget that we are God’s children, and no one can snatch us from Him, but we should always be on guard.

Once saved, we are always protected! Salvation guarantees eternal security. It doesn’t mean that being saved is the same thing as salvation. Saved is our standing after regeneration, and salvation refers to coming into possession of the divine inheritance. Salvation is God’s work; His sovereign power can wash out our sins, renew our Spirit, and reform our bodies. We can feel that we are new every morning we wake up. 

If we do not feel that way, we need to talk to Him before we sleep. Then, we can compare ourselves before we sleep and when we wake up, and in between, confession is needed to see and feel the difference. Is that the way it feels when the body is resurrected? Refresh and rejuvenate. Since in the flesh, it feels sinless for a second, then back to being a sinner again for hours till we sleep again, and the cycle goes on and on like a spinning wheel that goes around and around.

When salvation is an act of God, it is guaranteed to be secured, and we have to do nothing but be faithful to Him. We must avoid offending God, obey His will, and work with His plan to be with Him forever. We might not even know that we are offending God by not examining the lifestyle of those who use His word for their benefit. We must be mindful that God can also be using them for us to hear the word, but the responsibility lies on our shoulders. It is our responsibility to do what we think is correct if we are called to do such a thing.

Many preachers are good entertainers. They manipulate our emotions, and we respond by taking it as a blessing. We should not fall for this because, in reality, sometimes, it is just full entertainment, a show that will lead our focus to His talent rather than make us feel good, blessed, and satisfied to hear the word of God. It takes away the glory of the word of God and is replaced by a show.

We have to follow the attitude of the Bereans that according to the Book of Acts, when they received the word of God being preached and with readiness in mind and habit when they got home, they searched the scriptures to see whether they heard were true”. To add to our knowledge, they do not search for only one day, but many believe in daily. When our senses dictate our soul, it is already given as it is our nature to listen to ourselves. However,  sometimes, the substance of the preaching cannot reach the understanding of the human brain because our total submission is to the world of entertainment.

The Preachers will entertain us with their talents, and they give more joy to our souls than our spirits. We must be mindful of faith leaders who are interested in their advancement in life and not in the spiritual growth of the members. We see preachers only interested in knowing or getting easy access to our pockets. They use their talents to get into people’s minds and souls so they can maintain their lavish lives. 

Jude mentioned, “These people are grumblers and complainers, living only to satisfy their desires. They brag loudly about themselves and flatter others to get what they want.” Jude also tells us: “But you, my dear friends, must remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ predicted. They told you that in the last times, there would be scoffers whose purpose in life is to satisfy their ungodly desires. These people are the ones who are creating divisions among you. They follow their instincts because they do not have God’s Spirit in them” Jude 1:17-19.

For God to act on our salvation, we must defend the faith that God entrusted to us, that some ungodly people made their way to churches wearing sheep clothing, and inside, they are goats. They say that God’s grace allows them to live in abundance. For example, some claim that God told them to buy jets to reach places and live in a mansion. And many of us fall through these lies.

Jude even compared these people to animals doing things with their instinct or whatever their instinct tells them. We do not have to worry because they do this for their destruction. However, be alert; they will divide or confuse us with our fellow workers. When these ungodly people fellowship with us, we must be aware that there are dangers for our faith to be attacked. We must be mindful that when they open their mouths, we must also start to open our mouths to rebuke them.

Now that we are aware of the act of God about salvation, we need to act on our part to receive the saving grace that He said in the Gospel of John: “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.” John 3:16  (NKJV) There are hidden messages in this word of God that were revealed to others and not to all. Those who got the revelation should act accordingly. Spread the love, and we will be glad we did. Due to our faith and acceptance of God’s only Son, we are saved. Once we are dedicated, we are always be kept “38-39 “for I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39: We have to bear in mind that the God who gave the gift of salvation is the same God that saved us and that God will keep us because He wants us to be with Him through eternity. He is the only God, and no one else besides Him.

John 3:16-17 is the center passage of our salvation; maybe we have already heard more than enough that God sent the Son to die on the cross for our sins; is that how we want to pass on to the generation to come about our God? How could you justify when the Bible can prove that God disagrees and punishes those who made sacrificial offerings for their children? But then again, those who lack understanding and are quick to judge may ask why God asked Abraham to sacrifice his Son Isaac. Concerning God, Abraham followed God, but when the sacrificial act was going to be carried out, a messenger from God stopped Abraham. God’s power intervened, and a ram was sacrificed instead. Abraham was called then a friend of God.

God sent His one and only Son not to die; through him, the world might be saved. Does God want the Son to die on the cross, suffer, and be humiliated? Is that the way to redeem us for our sins? Or Is there something else that we should know or must not know? When we seek the truth, the truth will set us free from doubt, confusion, and lack of understanding. Jesus Himself said in John 10: 17-18, “For this reason, the Father loves me because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it alone. I have the authority to lay it down, and I have the authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.” John 10:17-18. It is a voluntary act of the Son of God. God has all the power to stop it, but He will not transgress the authority He has given the Son. The Father respects the will of the Son.

Jesus said if anyone enters by me, he will be saved, go in and out, and find pasture.” So we can speak, life will go on and on. It can be up and down,  but everyone who believes in Him will not be lost. No principalities in the heavenly realm can snatch anyone from Him because the gate is already opened for those who believe in the Son. The arms of the Lord are our refuge and will protect us all the way through. The Lord keeps watching over us as we come and go, now and forever. Wherever we go and whatever we do, we will be blessed. Ref: Jeremiah 37:4, Psalm 121 “8, Deuteronomy 28:6 28:6.

Once we are saved, we are saved, and it cannot be undone. We don’t lose our salvation, but for those who accept the assurance of salvation, return to the old ways, and lose it, being saved is the sense that controls our soul or emotional feelings, not the Spirit that gives life. It is stated in John 3:15 that “whoever believes in Jesus Christ will “have eternal life, not the eternal soul or immortal soul.” The promise of eternal life will never be in error as it is written in the Bible that what we believe is free from error. It is harder to understand that salvation can be lost than a guarantee of eternal security. Once we have it, it is ours, and God never wants it back. God wants everyone to be saved and fully understand His word’s truth. There is only one God, one way to be saved, one deliverer of fact, and one source of life.

Bishop Joseph

Bishop Joseph Vitug, Ph.D. - Bishop Emeritus

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