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|Found by God||JANUARY 30|
SALVATION, THE GIFT OF GOD2
Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gales into the city. Rev. 21:14.
This text speaks of a specific fitness for the heavenly city, for life in the new earth. A certain quality of life is required in contrast with those who must remain outside. "Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless" (2 Peter 3:13, 14).
Our receiving the gift of Christ's righteousness means that we truly want to live that way. That is why we accept the gift. By the power of the Holy Spirit we intend to live accordingly. Our receiving the gift of acquittal from sin's condemnation and the death penalty means that we stand with Christ in His hatred and condemnation of sin. We are not alone in working out our salvation. We are one with Him. The gift of Christ's righteousness guarantees the solution to the sin problem in our lives.
To us as Christians who live on the earth now, this is particularly significant. Now is the preparation time for the life to come, on the new earth. By our lives here we become fitted for that life. This is the worth of man's obedience. The life we live now is of vast importance. Our right to the kingdom of heaven is not founded on our obedience. That right was won for us by Christ. But obedience proves that we are in possession of that right.
An adequate preparation is necessary to practice medicine. The purpose of that profession is to practice medicine efficiently and skillfully. An adequate preparation is necessary to fit oneself to be a good teacher. The purpose of teaching is to educate students well and fit them for whatever profession they choose. The purpose or work of salvation is to prepare us to live in harmony with God, for life on the new earth.
These works of obedience earn no merit. God does not bestow eternal life on the basis of our obedience. But obedience is the beginning of a life here and now that is to continue in the hereafter.
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