Progress Toward Salvation: Transform Your Life
Every day we make choices in our life, just like Moses did in Hebrews 11:25, mentioned in last week’s issue. Romans 6 told us to put to death our life of sin, then to live as servants of righteousness. Titus 2:11-12 said that Christ’s “grace” taught us to deny ungodliness and worldliness (those things which tempt man to sin), and then how to live: soberly, righteously, and godly “in THIS present world”. So these passages teach the transformation anyone who wants to go to heaven must make. Also consider 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” How are you doing with your change? If there isn’t any change in your life, then one must consider if they are in Christ. While faith is a necessity for salvation, it is baptism with that faith, which puts one into Christ, Romans 6:3-4 and Galatians 3:26-27.
The terms “ungodliness and worldly lusts” refer to the works of the flesh in Galatians 5:19-20, just as the fruits of the spirits in vs. 21-22 refer to that “soberly, righteously, and godly” living. We walk by the spirit, not the flesh, Galatians 5:16, 17. In Galatians 2:20, Paul explains his change in life, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
So you might ask, “So how does one stop sinning?” One thing is certain, that if I don’t do some things differently, there will be no change! Forget this false idea that man is totally evil and has no good in him. That will lead you to give up trying to overcome sin. Just the opposite of what these scriptures are saying. Please indulge me a bit here. IF baptism is the new birth of John 3, and it is, then as a baby I must grow! But do the scriptures teach this? Absolutely! 1Peter 2:2, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:”. Also read Hebrews 5:12-14. These brethren should have grown and didn’t. They didn’t apply themselves to studying God’s word, in order to grow. Instead of progressing in Christ they had digressed. Verse 11 said these were “dull of hearing”, thus the problem. Don’t misunderstand, a baby doesn’t walk the first day of its life, and a Christian doesn’t stop sinning the day of the birth. It is a growing process, and the scriptures explains the growth process. Next week, we will see what God’s Word says about this.