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Salvation is not a covenant of works

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Salvation is not a covenant of works: Part 2 of the Walk Applied series

In Part 1 of the Walk Applied series, we discussed that those who are saved are the bride of Christ. We do understand that Jesus is coming back for his bride. We may not be able to fully comprehend what it means to be the bride and the bible does not tell us why Jesus wants a bride. We do know that to be the bride of Christ, we must be saved. Here in part 2 of the Walk Applied series, we will start to investigate what this all means.

A fundamental fact of salvation is that we are declared and judged righteous. To be saved, we must acknowledge three elemental propositions. First, we agree that we are sinners who are separated from God because of our sin. Second, we recognize that Jesus lived the perfect life and redeemed us by paying the only acceptable price for our sin that we could never pay. Third, we concur that we must submit our lives wholly to the one true living creator God of the Universe. When we come into agreement with God, we fulfill our end of the great Promise Covenant that God offers to us, and we are then re-born. Our spirit is then raised from the dead, and we are then judged perfect and righteous because we have complied with what God has asked us.

Many Christians fail to recognize that God’s great offer to us is, in fact, a legal transaction. It is not somehow conditional on what we do after the fact. When we come into agreement with God’s great promise covenant, salvation is signed, sealed and delivered. Paul lets us know for certain that it is a legal guarantee! We are sealed with God’s seal!

Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. (2 Cor 1:21-22)

For many, however, salvation becomes a “covenant of works”. Christians can easily find themselves believing that now they have to “do good things” or “stop doing bad things”. It is a trap that even the most seasoned Christian can find themselves entwined in. Quite honestly, in my experience of over 20 years of mentoring, discipling, as well as restoring hurting Christians what it means for many is that if they do the following five things, they are more Godly people:

- Pray
- Read my bible
- Go to church
- Stop doing “bad” things
- Do more “good” things

Without question, these are worthwhile pursuits. The issue becomes very problematic, however, when a works orientation becomes the basis of our submissive intimacy with Christ. Christ died and rose again so that we might have an ongoing, intimate relationship with him, not to see how well we could stop doing bad things!

The bottom line of our participation in the promise covenant of salvation, then, is that we maintain a living, breathing, intimate, submissive relationship with Jesus on a daily basis. Unfortunately, for many Christians, working this spiritual relationship out on a daily basis such that it has a significant practical impact remains a mystery to many. In part 3 of the “Walk Applied” series, we will address the question of "Why did God allow the Fall"?

Other articles you might like:

The Walk Applied Series: Part 1: Jesus bride is the reason why we are here

Do curses come from God?

Jeremiah 6 tells us to follow God’s path for us

Your value as a Christian is equal to Jesus’ life and death

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Mr. Marica contributes incisive and contemporary Christian commentary for Examiner.com on a regular basis. He holds an MA from Liberty University, and he is the Director of Godly Training Ministries. You can find out more about him by clicking here.

You can contact Mr. Marica at godlytraining@comcast.net.

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