I know this may seem odd to many, but as a member of a Bible study group at our church, I feel some obligation to read the lesson material before each meeting. Odd, I know, but that’s just my nature.
In this weeks lesson material, the focus is on the death of Christ and the sufficiency of your salvation through his sacrifice. At the close of the lesson, the writers pose a question, “What about you?” And here is what they say:
Some people lack assurance of salvation because of something they have done since becoming a Christian. Others seem to think they can buy their way into heaven through church membership, baptism, or good works. Such views, however, assume Jesus’ death was not enough to save sinners.
I happen to think the writer’s observation is correct. But it then begs the question, who or what is creating this thought of a works mentality? I suspect it comes from many sources. Pastors for example, put such an emphasis on baptism (Southern Baptists especially) that it could be assumed that there is necessity in that process for ones salvation to be complete. Others place an emphasis on daily devotions, others the Lord’s Supper, others getting involved in the church through projects or special programs, witnessing and the like.
Another source might be Sunday School classes, where well-meaning teaching from inexperienced and biblically naive teachers, leads to building a supplemental basis for salvation. Sometimes this is overt and other times it may be implied simply because they don’t know any better. Other sources could be magazine articles, blogs like this one, or other venues where there is a possibility for mis-information.
Christ’s sacrifice on the cross was all sufficient to secure the salvation of everyone who believes. However, with that salvation comes….well nothing really. Yes, we have a responsibility to be light. We have a command to make disciples. We have teaching that encourages us to understand that “faith without works is dead!” But nothing can be added to the gospel that would make it any more sufficient than what it is.
Father Spirit, what you accomplished through your Son on the cross, will forever be sufficient for my salvation. Let me not only rejoice in that salvation, but give me the courage to see it through to the end.