Hello again! I just wanted to share with you something that has happened to me. By the way this is Josh Scruggs, we have talked in the past and as always its an honor. I preach for the Churches of Christ and I am writing to you because I believe you will know were I am coming from . Over the past few weeks I have had a change in my beliefs. After deep study and truly reading the bible with the intent of growing closer to God, I have changed my position. For the past three years I have studied the bible and talked with scholars and theologians and researched many things. I studied Church History and the writings of the Church Fathers. But the whole time I was doing all of this studying, I had blinders on. Now I have read the NT so many times I lost count, but I had blinders on it seems.
I believed that a person had to come to Christ and believe in him, confess him, repent, be baptized to have their past sins washed away and then walk in total holiness and obedience to maintain their salvation. If the person was holy and obedient enough at the end, they would make it. I believed a person could use their free will to sin, fall way or stop believing and loose their salvation. Wow! I believed in a works salvation! I bought a John Macarthur NT commentary and was talking to a preacher who was a former church of Christ. After weeks of really studying God's word and looking at the way John Macarthur believed, it all made since. I started reading the bible in a different light. So after weeks of thinking and reading and studying, I changed my position.
I now believe that you can do and do works all day but until you come to know Jesus Christ in a personal intimate way, it doesn't matter. Christ is everything and my righteousness is filthy rags. With the blinders off I now understand its about knowing God in a personal way. So with that being said, its clear to me now what salvation really is. A person who is truly born again and converted, has died to sin, has Christ living in them, has been made a new creation, will indeed love God and obey him! A truly born again Christian will be holy and obedient. A truly born again Christian will produce fruit and good works! Why? because Christ living in them does it! Christ gives me the power and ability and desire to live holy and obedient. Its all about Christ!
True Christians don't continue in sin or sin habitually! True Christian obey God and love him because they have been changed in the heart and born again. I still believe in free will , but I believe true Christians use their free will to serve God because they love him that much! Most people live a life of religious works but yet never know God! They do not have the personal relationship with him. The reason I obey is because I am saved, not to maintain my salvation. Its all about Christ and not me! I was dead in sin till Christ made me alive and he lives inside me to work and to live his life through me. So religion is a joke to me now, but knowing Christ in a intimate way is key to salvation.
Thank you for this testimony. I am so glad you have come to see that salvation is by grace through faith plus nothing. Once we ad anything to what Jesus did, then we make His death obsolete.
Galatians 2:21 (AV)
21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
Thanks again for your testimony.