Over and over again we read in the New Testament that God justifies the sinner not based on works but by faith. Romans 5:1 declares, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (ESV). Titus 3:5-7 (ESV) says, “He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
Salvation is a complete work of God and not of men. Our good works or our church membership or our baptism are all worthless if we have not been justified through Jesus Christ. Jesus is our life (Romans 6:23). We are justified only in Him and thus we must continue to have faith in Jesus in order to remain justified.
2 Corinthians 1:24 demonstrates the reality that justification is through our continued faith in Jesus and not in a past experience. It reads, “Not that we lord it over your faith, but are workers with you for your joy; for in your faith you are standing firm” (NASB). 1 Corinthains 15:1-2 reads, “Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you are saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you – unless you believed in vain” (ESV).
The word, “hold fast” in 1 Corinthians 15:2 comes from the Greek word, Katecho (Strongs 2722) which means, “have, hold, keep, move toward, possess, retain, seize on, stay, take, withhold.” This truly describes what the disciple is to do in our faith. We are not to look back to a past experience with God but we are daily to retain our faith (Hebrews 3:6-19).
Jesus is our salvation (1 Peter 1:8-9). We are to continue in our faith until the very end (Hebrews 10:19-39). We are not to allow sin, neglect, unbelief, or anything else to rob of us the joy of our eternal salvation in Jesus Christ.
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