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Bruce Goettsche • March 07, 2021
It is important to notice that the Bible does not say "work hard FOR your salvation." Salvation is a gift from God.
However, this gift gives us new life. We begin to head in a new direction, have a new outlook, and are empowered and filled with the Holy Spirit. Paul is telling us to move forward in this new life. God has opened a door now He summons us to walk through that door.
Unfortunately, many see the open door and simply sit down. Others put their toe inside and then turn back. The world right now needs Christians to live out the results of their salvation. We need to allow the Holy Spirit to give us the strength to swim against the current of our culture.
We have been given an astounding privilege and opportunity. Paul simply says, "don't squander it."
Bruce Goettsche • March 06, 2021
May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God. (Philippians 1:11).
A person who genuinely turns to Christ as Savior and Lord is a person who is changing from the inside out. This is the fruit that is produced in those who are truly saved. We are not saved because of this fruit . . . it is the result of our salvation and the work of the Holy Spirit inside of us.
This is important because it is easy to "have an experience" (at a church service, a conference, camp or even at home) and conclude the experience indicates you are truly saved. That is not necessarily true. A true encounter with Christ changes you forever. It is falling into His arms, trusting His ability to save AND lead your life.
People should see a difference in you. A true follower is becoming more and more like Jesus (this takes a lifetime) and less and less like the world around us. No one should be surprised to learn we are followers of Christ.
Here's the question: Are you trusting Christ or are you trusting an experience? Are you following Jesus or the crowd? Have you surrendered to Jesus or only had "an experience?"
Bruce Goettsche • March 05, 2021
The verse that follows this one is one of the most abused verses in the Bible. It is the verse that says, "wives submit to your husbands." The word "submit" in verse 22 is not even in the Greek text . . . it is implied from verse 21. The entire passage describes what it means to submit to one another (wives to husbands, husbands to wives, children to parents, parents to children, and employers and employees). Submission is something all of us should be doing out of reverence to Christ.
Submitting to another is not the same as being walked on. It is to see the needs of another; to look for ways to give of yourself to help or love another; it is to listen to each other and seek out the wisdom others possess. It is to cooperate with those who in authority over you (as long as they are not asking you to do something God forbids).
This, I hope you recognize, is countercultural. We live in a world where people declare, "I have to take care of Number 1" (and they are not referring to God). We demand our rights, we want to get whatever we can from others, we insist on being respected. In other words, we live in a time when we exalt and promote self in a way that puts us in competition with each other rather than submission to each other.
Listen carefully to this section in Ephesians starting with 5:21. Reflect on what it means to submit to one another because of our love and devotion to Christ. If we do what He tells us to do, our marriages will be stronger, our families will be unified, church families will live in harmony, and different churches will respect each other and work together. We will be the finest citizens, we will be humble, and we will influence the world because we will pay attention to the people around us, showing compassion, grace, and respect to all.
May God help us to be what He called us to be.