We are currently going through a series of questions from J.C. Ryle to help us examine our spiritual condition.
Do you ever do anything about your salvation?
“Do you ever do anything about your salvation? There are many who sometimes think about Christianity, but who never get any further than thinking. Perhaps when they are in trouble, or someone has just died, or perhaps when they have met a real Christian or read a Christian book they think a good deal about it. But that is where they stop. They do not separate themselves from serving sin and the sinful world; they do not take up their cross and follow Christ. Remember – it is not enough just to think about God and about salvation. You must do something about it or you cannot be saved.”J.C. Ryle, Walking with God (Abridged and simplified version of Practical Religion)
There were those in the early church and it is no different even now where people professed faith in Jesus but continued to live in sin and unrepentance. These are people who are not separated from the world but continue to live as unbelievers do. They may have a form of godliness but they deny its power (2 Timothy 3:5). It’s not that God is unable to save you, but without transformation, which is the other side of the same coin of faith, we cannot honestly say that we are truly saved. As it says in the book of James, faith without works is dead.
I know someone who is personally very close to me who still professes that they are a Christian and yet does not see anything wrong with not being part of a church and continues to live a self-serving life. They are convinced, some might say they have great faith, that God listens to every prayer request they make and has blessed them all their lives. And yet the reason why we can know they are not saved is by the fruit of their lives. The good tree cannot bear bad fruit and likewise the bad tree cannot bear good fruit.
What is the fruit of salvation? It is obedience to God’s Word. Fruit is not something that we as the branch work to gain. It bears in our lives naturally. It is the natural result of true salvation.
Nobody can be perfectly holy and obedient. That’s why Jesus needed to die in our place for our sins. Obedience and holiness in this life is not a destination or status to attain, it is a direction to walk in. And as long as time continues to tick, we are walking in this life towards God or away from Him and there is only one way to God which is through faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
What is God calling us to do in this specific season of lock down?
During this time, God is revealing in us things that need repentance and He is calling us back to His Word.
What is salvation to you?
Is it merely the comfort of believing you will be going to heaven no matter what you do in this life? Because if that is all it is and there is no conviction of sin, no matter how good you are and no matter how much good you do in this life, you may arrive at the gates of heaven to a Jesus who says, “depart from me, I never knew you!”
May we do something about our salvation and be assured by the fruit of obedience to His Word and surrender to His will.