MY PART in the Finished Gospel
MY PART--When and How?
What is My Part in the Gospel? Do I have any part?
THE KEY...Who You Are; Now, Walk Like It!
My Part in my salvation is not to pre-pump, pump-up, or post-pump my faith with promises, commitments, pledges, actions, attitudes, holy thought, holy goals, good works, deeds and standards, etc. These are meritorious works.
Works are the substance of the Ten Commandments, the Law. The Law is Holy, and always requires MY PART to WALK in perfect Holy Living. As such the Law cannot save us. It condemns us because it proves that I Cannot DO MY PART.
That is why Jesus gave us the Finished Gospel of Grace.20 The Gospel of Grace is always and totally from the top down.21 From God to me. That is how Lot, Samson and Solomon were Saved (see below). Totally from the top down.
It is not the Unfinished Gospel--needing some degree of MY PART from the bottom up. How can I possibly help in my own salvation? I am helpless (Rom. 5:6). My only part in my salvation is Faith Alone, as made clear in Ephesians 2:8-9,
For by grace you have been saved through faith;
and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
not as a result of works, that no one should boast. (Eph 2:8-9)
But make no mistake--there is a place for MY PART somewhere, sometime. It Follows AFTER the Free Gift. It Follows AFTER belief in Jesus and His Finished Gospel. And therefore, it follows AFTER I am no longer helpless. Here's how that works in the Bible;
1. First; Through my faith in Jesus the Free Gift gives me instantaneous Salvation that cannot be lost.22 It makes me a new person in Christ. It assures me--"This is WHO YOU ARE--from now on and forever."
2. Second; Then MY PART is made possible. God enables me, and says,
Now, WALK LIKE WHO YOU ARE. Walk as a “new creation in Christ”.23 Walk as a disciple of Jesus.
We see this truth clearly and succinctly in Ephesians 5:8.
for you were formerly darkness, [WHO YOU WERE; a lost sinner, separated from God]
but now you are light in the Lord; [WHO YOU ARE; a saved, justified new creation in Christ]
walk as children of light " [WALK LIKE WHO YOU ARE; in sanctified discipleship in Christ]
This is a central message seen throughout the New Testament in almost every Epistle.
Understanding and spotting this repetitive message will eradicate a ton of confusion!
This Biblical distinction between
justification (Who You Are in Christ)
sanctification (Walk Like Who You Are)
has been seen by some of the greatest Bible teachers, including
Lewis Sperry Chafer, Everett Harrison, John Walvoord,
Charles Ryrie, Dwight Pentecost, Mal Couch,
Thomas Ice, Arnold Fruchtenbaum, Mike Stallard,
Andy Woods, Paul Benware, David Anderson,
J.B. Hixson, Charles Bing, Joseph Dillow,
Dave Hunt, Robert Lightner, Norman Geisler
and many, many more.
All do not agree on particular issues, but all agree on the paramount issue; that the Bible makes a distinction between justification and sanctification, and that this distinction is the Biblical key to keeping Works out of the Faith that saves.
Below: This chart shows a few passages illustrating this truth framed so concisely in a single verse--Ephesians 5:8.