Salvation Is a Gift; You Don’t Work for a Gift
By Rick Warren
“All need to be made right with God by his grace, which is a free gift. They need to be made free from sin through Jesus Christ” (Romans 3:24 NCV).
If you were to ask a hundred people on the sidewalk, “How do you get to heaven?” you’d get a lot of different answers that could be summarized by the idea that you have to earn your way to heaven. You’d hear things like, “Try to be good and do your best” or “Work really hard at being a moral person” or “Do more good things than bad things in life.” All of these ideas are based on works, not grace.
But salvation is a gift, and you don’t work for a gift. It’s free! You can’t earn it, you can’t buy it, and you can’t work for it.
This is a fundamental difference between Christianity and every other religion. Christianity is the only religion that’s built on grace. Every other religion is based on works, and you can summarize them in one word: “do.” There are certain things you have do in order to gain God’s approval, to gain bliss, to gain heaven. There are always rules, regulations, and rituals—something you have to do.
On the other hand, one way you could summarize Christianity is with the word “done.” Jesus Christ has already paid the price for you on the cross. It’s done!
A guy asked me one time, “Pastor Rick, what can I do to be saved?” I said, “You’re too late!” (That kind of shocked him.) “You’re about 2,000 years too late! What needed to be done for your salvation has already been done, and you can’t do anything about it.”
Jesus Christ already did it. He paid for your salvation on the cross, and it’s now a free gift that’s offered to you. That’s why when Jesus was hanging on the cross, he said, “It is finished.” He didn’t say, “I am finished,” because he wasn’t. He’s still alive today. The “it” is your salvation. The plan to provide grace for every person is finished.
Romans 3:24 says, “All need to be made right with God by his grace, which is a free gift. They need to be made free from sin through Jesus Christ” (NCV).
You won’t get to heaven based on what you do. You get to heaven based on what has already been done for you by Jesus Christ.
When we really understand grace, we’ll accept it, because it is the greatest gift we’re ever going to be offered.
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You can live with joy even when life is hard!
Joy is a daily choice. But when you go through difficult times, joy becomes hard to sustain. It’s a choice you have to make minute by minute.
In her inspiring Choose Joy devotional book, Kay Warren offers 30 short readings that will empower you to choose joy, no matter what you’re facing.
You’ll be encouraged by powerful Scriptures, a reflection from Kay and a short prayer for each devotional—to help guide you closer to the Lord.
Find out how to live with joy even when . . .
• Your plans are shattered
• Your health fails, or
• You feel like you’re walking through life alone.
The hardcover Choose Joy devotional is our way to say thanks for your donation today to help share the hope of Jesus with more people around the world.
So request your copy as you give today, so no matter what you’re going through, you can learn to choose joy—today, tomorrow, and always!
This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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