My Musings – So then, just how did we receive Christ? Did we work for it? No, that would be earning our salvation, like receiving wages. The only “wages” we earn are for our sins.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23, NIV 1984).
We may think that our sins are not that bad, at least not compared to some, but that would be the wrong comparison.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:23–24, NIV 1984).
The correct measure, or standard, is God’s glory, and all have sinned, which means all fall short. All means all. No exceptions.
But there is a “flip side” to both of these passages. “The gift of God is eternal life,” and “we are justified freely by His grace.” The “gift” is “freely” given. That is what makes it a gift and not a wage (something earned).
One does not earn a gift. One receives a gift. Which brings us back to the original question: just how did we receive Christ?
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:8–10, NIV 1984).
By grace, through faith. We received Him by faith, and that is how we are to “continue to live (walk) in Him.” We walk by faith. We live out our faith. As a result we are:
Rooted – To establish deeply and firmly.
Built Up – To develop in magnitude or extent.
Strengthened – To become stronger or more difficult to break.
We are established, developed and made stronger for a reason: “created in Christ Jesus [born again] to do good works.” This is where works come in. They do not result in salvation, they are a result of salvation.
My Advice – If you have not received Him, put your faith in Him and receive His free gift: the forgiveness of sin and eternal life. If you have already received, continue to live in him and walk by faith.