John 3:16 . 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Did you ever think of this verse in regards to it's price? I would think that in general not all that many who first hear it or even study it for years think of its price; as with any gift a price was paid. Jesus was the price paid for our salvation, Jesus paid the costs of redemption. God gave his only son that he would pay the price for the wages of our sins, the world's sin. I have read and even seen motion picture renditions of the brutal beatings and crucifixion of Christ, it is heart wrenching but I am sure it pales in the reality of what truly transpired. A innocent lamb to the slaughter, who willingly laid down his life as the price of salvation for any and all who would belief. Oh, what glory, oh what a gift that none of us is worth of or deserve but God so loved..... a Love that not one of us can even truly fathom.
I heard a statement in a sermon this week, the speaker said, "All the saved are not all Christians and all the Christians are not saved". It was a provocative statement and I am sure it was meant to be. It really caused me to think on it for a long time. Salvation is a gift as stated so the reality is that you do not have to work for it but only to belief in God having sent his son to die for you on the cross. That is what John 3:16 says and God is always as good as his word. So therefore a person can stop in a moment and belief and receive God's gift and never actually think on it again and be saved. I think that is a hard thought to wrap your mind around but it is the truth. So many people, or maybe it is Christians, get hung up on the works, and works have a place but they are not what salvation is about. Works are for growing in Christ, works are for rewards in heaven, works are many things but not our way to salvation. Living a Christ like life is the same, a person can be as carnal as he was in his old man as he is with his new man in him. That is not the way God or Christ would have it but it is a possible way to live your life. The old man is always with us our whole lives. He is the flesh of our first birth, salvation does not take him a way only death can take him away, salvation (our new birth) just adds the new man that for the most part duels with our old man. The life we live is the result of which man is wining, at any given time,the battle of carnality and spirituality, for the most part. Christian are and can be very carnal. Christian are and can be more Christ like, most live their lives in between ever battling the two men, our flesh and our spirit. Some Christian evolve over time and become more and more like Christ seemingly having conquered the flesh of their old man, but when they think they have conquered their flesh they are in the most danger so we should always strive for Christ in our lives and never let down our guard. God is always there to help, prayer and asking for his assistance does make us more like Jesus. Jesus prayed daily, he sought God always so should we do less?
I think the second half of the statement is the saddest part of the statement for me. We have established that a carnal man can be saved and have been gifted salvation. He doesn't have to spend his life as a Christian, he can be saved and literally walk away; but what of the person who claims christianity that does not believe? What of those who are "spiritual", they live a good live, they do good to and for others. They go to church ever Sunday, Wednesday and any other day set aside for worship but they don't believe. You know they believe in something bigger but not necessarily Christ. They believe in a higher power, a god or gods but they don't ever quite believe in Jesus, they are almost persuaded but not. People look at them as say aren't they the nicest Christian you know, but they are not Christians. They can't not be a real Christian if they do not believe in Christ, would I be a American if I only occupied the land but was really born in a different country and did not become an American. I never thought of it that way before but wouldn't that make them and illegal-christian, much like an illegal-alien? I think maybe for me they are who my heart cries out for. They live the life of the saved but never know true salvation. They live a life of only the flesh and the old man, they have never received salvation so have never been given the new man of salvation.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
I despair for these people, I pray that they will yet see the Glory of God and accept the gift that Jesus paid such a dear price for. God so loved...... tomorrow.