Friday, June 15, 2012

Are you saved in your sins or from your sins?

The claim that Jesus saves us from our sins is not very controversial, at least not among Christians. We believe that were it not for the sinless life, sacrificial death, and righteous resurrection of Jesus we would still be "dead in trespasses and sins" (Ephesians 2:1).  

But who would dare to claim that what Jesus did for them goes so far as to actually save them from committing sin in this present life. Saved from hell? Yes. Saved from the penalty of our sins? Yes. Saved from the practice of sin? No. "No one is perfect." "We all sin."

Do you know why Jesus was given the name Jesus? He was called Jesus (Joshua), meaning "Lord saves", because he would "save his people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21). That means that Jesus sets his people free from their sins -- not just sin's penalty.

The New Testament describes the lifestyle of God's people as: "blameless", "unblameable", "without offense" and "without blemish" (Luke 1:6; Philippians 2:15; 1 Timothy 3:2, 10; Titus 1:6-7; 2 Peter 3:14; Philippians 1:10; Ephesians 5:25-27). God demands that his children have a holy lifestyle (1 Peter 1:15; 2 Peter 3:11).

One might object, "but isn't God full of grace?" Since God is so generous we should be able to continue to practice sin. This very objection is raised and refuted in the Bible (Romans 6:1-2). Many people have misunderstood the power and purpose of grace. God's grace teaches and enables us to turn our backs on sin in this present age (Titus 2:11-13; 1 Corinthians 15:10).

We are not saved by our works. We are saved by grace. But no one is saved who does not have works (Matthew 7:16-21). Jesus taught his disciples that they would practice good works because of his life flowing into them (John 15:5). Truly, without Jesus we can do nothing. But with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). When we walk in the Spirit we really are free from sin (Galatians 5:22-23).

Jesus came to do more than save you in your sins. He came to save you from your sins!