Counted as Loss…

Posted: December 8, 2012 in Thoughts from the Elders

“But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ”   Phil 3:7

This week I was really challenged in our Grace University class. For those in the class, you heard a great discussion about not only being saved from sin, but also being saved from your good works! You say that doesn’t make any sense, and it didn’t to me either. But then we looked closely at what Paul wrote to the Philippians in chapter 3.

He spoke about being on guard against the “mutilators” of the flesh. He said that if anyone had any reason to be prideful of their accomplishments, it was him. He observed every letter of the OT law (including the parts that the Pharisees added to the law) and was a “Hebrew of Hebrews.” But then the reality of it all hit him and he concluded by stating that all of his so-called works counted AGAINST him. It didn’t gain him anything, in fact, it was nothing but loss or “rubbish. ”  (The Greek literal interpretation would be more like sewage, according to our instructor.) At any rate, the class was a wake-up call to me, that faith is not a one-time deal. It not only looks back when we give our lives to Christ, but it looks forward too. If we fall into the temptation to earn our salvation by doing good works then we cheapen the sacrifice that was made. So how do you know if you’re falling into this temptation:

Have you ever had the thought that you shouldn’t pray because God wouldn’t listen to someone like you? OR have you ever felt like, “Wow, I messed up so bad I can’t go to church because I’d be considered a hypocrite.” That’s not the Holy Spirit talking to you. That’s a “mutilator of the flesh” playing to your human side trying to get you to earn your salvation and throw out the grace of God. Just think about it and ask yourself if you are living in the truth of God’s grace or trying to earn it on your own.

Don’t be one of those who God has to save FROM good works!  Make sure you’re doing good out of a heart of worship and gratitude and not as a replacement for faith in the ONE who has already earned your salvation for you!

Written by Mitch Ratzlaff – GCC Elder

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