- “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns” (Philippians 1:6).
- “Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault” (Jude 24).
- Though God is working in believers, giving us the desire and the power to do what pleases Him, we still have to work hard to show the results of our salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear (Philippians 2:12-13).
- Though God is able to keep us from falling, it does not mean nothing is required on our part. In fact, we must build each other up in our most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring us eternal life. In this way, we will keep ourselves safe in God’s love (Jude 20-21).
- (Hebrews 3:12-14).
If salvation is 100% God's work, then we might as well sleep in on Sunday, go for golf and dim sum, stop praying and reading the Word and live our lives the way we desire it. This kind of view, which places the ball entirely at the court of God, is erroneous and fails to take into account huge swathes of scripture that show otherwise.
Jesus, who forgave the woman caught in adultery, required her to forsake her previous sinful lifestyle, "Go and sin no more." To say that we can carry on living in sin—since God's righteousness has already been imputed to us and He sees us as pure—is a gross perversion of God's free gift of grace (John 8:11, Acts 26:20b, Titus 2:11-12).
- Even before the world began, God chose and predestined us to be His special, holy people. “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will” (Ephesians 1:4-5).
- God keeps those who know Him and obey Him safe and strong till they attain eternal life: “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand” (John 10:27-29).
Those who think they can just accept Christ, say the sinner’s prayer or make a decision for Christ in a meeting, and then push the “autopilot button”, coast along, and let God take over entirely have failed to understand the biblical concept of salvation, which is a process and not a ‘once a for all' thing.
So how can salvation be effortless? How can it be wholly God's work? (Luke 9:23, Philippians 1:29, 1 Peter 1:7, 1 Peter 2:21, Revelation 3:5).
“It would not be difficult to point out at least twenty-five or thirty distinct passages in the Epistles where believers are plainly taught to use active personal exertion, and are addressed as responsible for doing energetically what Christ would have them do, and are not told to “yield themselves” up as passive agents and sit still, but to arise and work. A holy violence, a conflict, a warfare, a fight, a soldier’s life, a wrestling, are spoken of as characteristic of the true Christian.”
- 1. A believer has to choose (exercise his will) to believe in Christ?
- 2. Paul’s injunction in 1 Tim. 4:16. “Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you.”
- 3. Jesus’ warning in Matthew 24: 13? “But he that endures to the end will be saved.”
- 4. Warning in Hebrews 3:14. “For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ.”
- 5. Warning in Hebrews 10: 38-39. 38. “But my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.”
- 6. Warning in Romans 11:22. “Notice therefore the kindness and harshness of God–harshness toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness toward you, provided you continue in his kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off.”
- 7. Warning in Revelation 3:5. “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.”