December 26, 2017

Ephesians 2:8-9 (NLT) — 8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it

Let’s just look at verse 8 for a minute or two. People have read this verse and said, “Yes God did the work of saving me but I supplied the faith.” That statement couldn’t be farther from the truth. If you supplied the faith then you could take partial credit for your salvation; however our verse says that you can’t take any credit for your salvation because it is a gift. A gift is not earned it is given.

Did your children earn the gifts that you gave them this Christmas? No because then it would have been a wage. The bible says that we are all sinners and that the wages of sin is death.(Rom 3:23, 6:23). The only wage we deserved was death.

The bible also says that we were dead because our disobedience and sin.(Eph. 2:1). Dead people have no faith. God by his grace supplied the faith that you needed to believe in Jesus >

Romans 3:11 (NLT) — 11 No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God.

and then by his grace he supplied the motivation for you to place that faith in Jesus. >

John 6:44 (NLT) — 44 For no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them to me, and at the last day I will raise them up.

John 15:16–17 (NLT) — 16 You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other.

Salvation is a pretty wonderful gift isn’t it. Nobody earns a birthday gift because no one had control over their birth and no one earns salvation because no one has control over their being born again. The Lord does expect us to do something with this wonderful gift. Now that we have been changed on the inside our outside behavior will bear witness to this. Immediately we will have the ability to love the unlovely just like Jesus did. And as we go about doing this, regardless of our feelings, because love isn’t a feeling it is an action, that love will bear fruit.

Galatians 5:22–23 (NLT) — 22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

Those things listed after love are the fruit of love. It is the lasting fruit that Jesus has appointed us to bear. Works do not produce salvation but salvation does produce works. Christmas truly does give us purpose and that purpose if for us to be Fruit Producers. And unlike fruit that is produced in the orchards of Florida and California our fruit is not affected by the weather:)

Merry Christmas. Jesus Christ is God’s birthday gift to you. And as we go about producing fruit, Jesus truly is the gift that keeps on giving.

Be Inspired Hilltop!