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Leaning On Jesus

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James 2:22
Sunday, 12 June 2011

Are We Leaning on Jesus Or Do We Want Him to Carry Us?

Many today would have us believe that God "carries us" to our salvation!

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people,

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Such passages are used to show God saves us with no action on our part.

But is that what God's Word teaches, even in these and other passages?

Matthew 1:20-21

Romans 5:7-9

1John 4:9-10

Consider all that Christ said in John 3:16

John 3:16-21

If we look at the context we find Jesus comparing his "lifting up" to the lifting of the serpent in the wilderness. This serpent did not save unless one submitted to the requirement to "look at" it.

Numbers 21:9

Furthermore Jesus tells us that it is he who does what is true that will come to the light, a clear reference to one that will believe!

Now consider Titus 2:11 in context

Titus 2:11-14

Paul tells Titus, and us through this writing, that God's grace trains us for good works. Christ's sacrifice was to set us apart as those who are zealous for good works

What about Ephesians 2

Ephesians 2:4-10

When we continue the thought written in verse 10 we understand that though we cannot use our works as a platform for bragging about our salvation, they are an integral part of what God expects of us. We were created in Christ, reference to our obedient submission to His will, for such good works

But that is Not All

There are a number of other passages that demonstrate clearly that we cannot expect to enter the prepared rest if we are not busy working for God.

Jesus speaks plainly of the fate of those who do not do the Father's will.

Matthew 7:21-23

James tells us works are necessitated by our faith, otherwise our faith is useless.

James 2:14-26

Peter's message to the Jews on Pentecost called for action on their part and those who accepted began at that moment to be busy doing the works God required

Acts 2:37-42

After urging them to have the mind of Christ, Paul told the Philippians that they needed to be diligent in letting God work through their actions for his purposes.

Philippians 2:5-13

Paul told Timothy that our hope is the reason for the toil and work we do, then encourages him to be busy in the work that had been laid upon him and to teach others likewise.

1Timothy 4:7-16

When Paul spoke of God's mercy to Titus he did not leave the impression that mercy was all that was involved. He instructed Titus that those who believed were to be devoted to good works. This does not teach that such works brought salvation, but that they are required of those who have received God's mercy.

Titus 3:4-8

John follows a similar line of reasoning as James when he tells us that if we love God we will keep His commandments. This is a reasonable requirement, even an assumption most would make unless they are looking for a way to remain saved even though they engage in what God forbids.

1John 5:1-4

Just because I was saved does not mean I am still saved. I need to understand that my journey to heaven requires effort on my part. Jesus is certainly walking with me if I have submitted myself to him. I will never make it to heaven on my own, there are requirements that I cannot fulfill and in these I must lean on Jesus, but I must still work through them, he will not carry me to heaven!

Dan Henderson

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