Can a person live as he or she pleases after trusting Christ? The answer is no. The Bible says that God will discipline us and chasten us when we disobey His Word. Hebrews 12:7 explains, “If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?”
But do we have to keep doing a certain amount of works in order to know that we still have salvation? Of course not. We are saved by grace and we live by grace. Once we trust Christ, we are in Christ. Nothing can take us out of His hand. He will treat us like sons and daughters, and this means that He will discipline us when He needs to. Believers need to understand that they can rest in their salvation. They can know for sure they are saved.
When a person is taught that he can know for sure he is going to Heaven (1 John 5:13), that God loves him so much He sent His Son to die for him, and that when he accepts that payment without any merit of his own, he can know he is saved, he will live more according to the Scriptures because of gratitude for what Christ has done.
Those who teach you can’t be saved unless you commit completely to a life of discipleship before you’re saved will frustrate people. They will also keep them from desiring to live according to the Spirit because they aren’t ever sure they’ve done enough.
Salvation is dependent on Christ, not on us. Doesn’t that take a load off your mind? Doesn’t it make you want to shout and sing and thank God for the gift of eternal life? Now go out and tell others about this wonderful gift.
Confusing grace and works is making our churches more carnal, not less. – Dr. James A. Scudder
Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder