Before Jesus left the cross to go to the grave, He said these words: “It is finished.” All the heavy lifting for the redemption of our souls was carried by Him. It is the epitome of delusional self-centered thinking for one to believe they could add one iota of merit to the finished work of the cross.
2 Corinthians 5:21 “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”
Titus 3:5 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
These few verses could be multiplied many times to demonstrate the blessed finality, and total completeness of a perfect work done on our behalf. God the Father is satisfied with the price paid for you and me. We too should be satisfied and rest in the forgiveness and security provided by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
But because of the cross Jesus bore for our justification, there is a cross, a burden, a work which we ought to be doing.
Matthew 10:38-39 “And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. he that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”
Romans 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.”
There is a sense in which we should never be nor ever could be satisfied with ourselves apart from a vibrant moment to moment state of obedient loving fellowship with our Creator. We now can labor, not in order to be saved, but because we have been saved. God’s justifying completed work in our redemption moves to a practical outworking of our salvation in sanctifying ourselves to Him. Oh to be like Jesus, oh to be like Him, but apart from Him – this is an impossible tall order. That’s why salvation by works is such a torment for the pour sap trying for personal impossible perfection. Works becomes a religious tyrant trying to whip us into a Pharisaical false sense of holiness.
The motivation then for working as a servant of Christ is not in order to be saved, but out of a sense of loving appreciation and obedience because we have been saved. Like Paul we need to
“…press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Jesus Christ.” Phil 3:14.
Life is short, twill soon be past, and only what is done for Christ shall last.
Ephesians 5:15-16 “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
May God then help us blood-bought ones to spend and be spent in loving devotion to the One who bought us for Himself.
1 Peter 1:18-19 “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:”
Because of the Gracious Purchase Price,
Pastor John Schofield