Are You Being Saved?

After the sermon this morning I had a conversation concerning the extremes that we Christians seem to continually battle.  On the one hand, is the extreme of legalism where no matter what you do, or how much you do, it is never enough.  At the end of the day you feel unsure of your salvation knowing that you could have done more and that you could have done better than you did. 

The other extreme is libertineism (or more popularly known as “cheap grace”) where you don’t worry about about a thing since God’s got everything covered.  The consequence of living in legalism is that you are continually either proud of your accomplishments or guilty for not achieving enough.  Either way you become a very poor reflection of Christ who opposes the proud and sets the guilty free. 

The consequence of living under “cheap grace” is that you ultimately live anyway you want to so that there is no discernible difference between you and someone who claims no belief in Jesus.  This is, of course, an unacceptable option for one who claims to serve Jesus as Lord. 

The concept of salvation we talked about this morning is a grateful acknowledgment of how Jesus has supplied all we need for life and godliness AND a working out of that salvation through repentance and growth in the Holy Spirit.  It is truly a marvelous concept that absolutely must be recovered if we would be the transformed people of God living as Christ in our communities. 

I must give credit for the “garden tools” illustration to Marjorie Thompson and her marvelous book, Soul Feast.  These are her words which sparked my illustration, “Spiritual disciplines are like garden tools.  The best spade and hoe in the world cannot guarantee a good crop.  They only make it more likely that growth will be unobstructed.  The mystery of maturation lies in the heart of the seed, and the outcome of planting depends largely on the vagaries of weather.  Still, tools are important in helping to ensure that planted seeds will bear fruit.  Tools can remove stones and roots, aerate the soil, weed and water the garden.  Disciplines like prayer, spiritual reflection, and hospitality have the character of garden tools.”

For those who might like one good book introducing the concept of spiritual disciplines I would recommend Soul Feast.  There is plenty of depth so that the book is not simplistic, but it is also extremely practical with thought provoking questions and many easy to learn exercises. 

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Byron FikePreaching Minister

Byron has been the preaching minister at Clear Lake since 1999. He and his wife have three grown children, who have also devoted their lives to serving the Lord. In his personal time, Byron likes to read books, watch movies, and play with his little dog Willie. He also is an avid follower of Alabama football, having grown up in Tuscaloosa during the glory days of Bear Bryant.

Comments

3 Responses to “Are You Being Saved?”

  1. avatar Amanda says:

    Ha ha! I beat Tommy! :D

    First of all, I wanted to say, please don't apologize for the length of your sermons. It seems like lately you have been making more and more references to people being asleep or bored during your sermons. I don't know if they really are, I never am, but it makes me wonder when you say stuff like that and I get off track. It distracts from the message, for me.

    That being said, I really liked the content of this sermon. It was helpful and answered a question I have long had. I would like to see more on this topic. I think a revolution in our phrasing wold be useful – like the title of your post “Are you being saved?” I am still figuring out what exactly this means for me, but I hope to see more people thinking in this way.

  2. avatar tommytwotoez says:

    Good job Amanda, I'll get you next week!!

    Anyways, I agree with Amanda on all fronts. Don't apologize for awesome sermons!

    Also, this sermon was a great lesson for me to hear. How much is to much, is there even such a thing? How little is to little? And so on… Trent and I talked about this issue not to long ago about the “golden ratio” which is a moral balance between two extreames have working to much for the kingdom that it becomes more of a pride fuel or doing very little- a life style as you pointed out that says nothing of our love for Christ.

    I'm like Amanda in this situation. I'm still trying to find my place on the spirtual scale.

  3. avatar Byron says:

    Thanks for racing to the post! I apologize for apologizing. I'll work on keeping a more positive outlook.

    I thought perhaps I was trying to do too much with this sermon and that people might be confused and lose interest. That was why I tried to “walk people through” what I was doing as the sermon progressed.

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