“For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them.”
There are many things in the world around us that we cannot know except through some outside revelation, as an indication of what is inside. For example, I cannot know the love of my wife unless it is revealed in her actions toward me. I don’t know the ripeness of a banana unless it is revealed by the color of the peeling. I cannot know the thoughts of someone’s mind unless they are revealed by words, etc. So it is with salvation. The greatest work of God in the heart and life of a man cannot be hidden. It will be seen in the things that proceed from the man’s heart. Just as love is not simply declared in words but is proven in actions, so salvation is not confirmed by words or ritual; it is only evident by the change that is clearly seen in the life and actions of someone who once followed sin, but now follows righteousness.
In Galatians 5:19, the Bible declares that the works of the flesh are manifest, or clearly seen, in what an individual is involved in doing. The list includes adultery, sexual promiscuity, selfish gratification, envying, strife, drinking, etc., and concludes in verse 21 by saying that anyone who does such things will not inherit eternal life. James 3:11-12 says that fresh water cannot come from a salt spring, figs do not grow on grape vines, and olives are not found on fig trees. The implication is that salvation does not produce sin! The apostle John states in his first epistle that the person who continues to sin does not have God’s salvation; instead, John says he is a liar. Such strong truth ought to cause us to examine our lives to see what is revealed by our actions. Do people see in you a love for God and His commandments, or do they see a love for this world and the things we can get from it?
We love to quote the verses from Ephesians 2:8-9 where we hear of God’s grace toward us in salvation, but we fail to read on and learn that the evidence that we are truly saved is that we “walk” in the “works” that God has prescribed for us. No evidence, no salvation. To not turn from sin and not live in obedience to the commandments of God would surely indicate that you are not saved. When someone is truly “in love”, everyone knows it! Likewise, when we have truly accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, that will also be evident to all! To try and convince yourself that you are a Christian while continuing to live in disobedience and sin is to mock God and belittle His holiness. However, rest assured – God is not mocked! “Whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap. He that sows to his flesh, will of the flesh reap God’s judgment; but he that sows to the Spirit, will of the Spirit reap life eternal” (Galatians 6: 7-8).
Look seriously at your life. What will you “reap” from the holy and righteous Judge when you stand before Him one day? Your only hope is to submit to Jesus and live for Him according to the Bible, God’s Word. Nothing else will work. The evidence will be a new and different life, one of holiness and righteousness patterned after Jesus, Himself.