Thursday, February 26, 2009

Saved by Faith

God gave me his life-giving Spirit on March 27, 1977. It was on that day that I publically proclaimed my faith in Jesus and was baptized calling on the name of the Lord. My sins were washed away that day, not because of the flowing, clearing, cold water in that chest deep creek outside of Florence, Alabama; but because of the resurrection of Jesus. "My sins, which were many, were washed away and gone."

I died to sin that day. I certainly will never return to what previously brought me shame and death. That would be nothing less than rebuilding what was torn down. I will not rebuild what killed me. The works of the flesh are obvious, Paul asserts. I will not live in them and give life back to that old man.

I determined to put the new man on that day. As a student of Jesus, I had come to know what he is like. As a follower of Jesus, I have determined to live like him. Paul said there is no law against love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. He called living like that "walking in the Spirit." Those great characteristics are the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5). Any follower of Jesus will make every effort to live like him.

To be honest, though, even on this side of washing of rebirth, I'm still pitiful compared to Jesus. My best efforts fall woefully short of the mark. I couldn't be saved by my own human effort. I can't stay saved by my own effort either. My faith and Christ's love compels me to be like him; but I lose many battles in this war to do the right thing with my eyes, ears, hands and feet. I have a strong desire to do what's right, but my flesh is weak. Too weak to save. Thank you, Jesus. I am saved by faith. That's Life at Work!

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