Confusion in the Church
Scripture: "He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life." ~ 1 John 5:12-13
Numerous people believe in God, attend church, and are convinced that they will someday go to heaven. But of these, far too many are misinformed about salvation.
Some believe that a person’s eternal destiny depends solely on how much good he accomplishes in his lifetime. Others accept that Jesus died for us but think we have to contribute toward salvation through works. Both views are incorrect.
The Word of God teaches that we are saved only through a personal faith in Christ: "For by grace you have been saved through faith; that salvation is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast." ~ Ephesians 2:8-9
What He did — namely, living a perfect life and dying for our sins — is what makes us right with God. When we receive Jesus as our Savior, His completed work is credited to our account. Our sin debt is paid by His blood, and His righteousness is applied to us. Remember, we’re saved not by what we do but by whom we trust. We can’t add to or take away from Christ’s finished work on the cross: "Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit." ~ John 19:30
"And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved." ~ Acts 4:12
Another common area of confusion involves the erroneous idea that once saved, we must do certain works for God to keep loving us. Attending church, reading the Bible, and praying are important practices for God’s children, but His love does not hinge on our actions. Scripture is clear that love is our heavenly Father’s nature: "The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love." ~ 1 John 4:8
It’s essential that faith be grounded in biblical truth. Receiving forgiveness of our sins, belonging to God’s family, and dwelling with Him forever depend on it. Do your beliefs agree with Scripture? http://intouch.org/magazine/content.aspx?topic=Confusion_in_the_Church_devotional2 Copyright 2015 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved.