Once for my birthday, my family bought me a bottle of cologne and an electric toothbrush. I didn’t have to present them a voucher stating I had earned enough points to merit those gifts. I wasn’t required to make breakfast for them to pay for my presents. I wasn’t forced to give up my old cologne or toothbrush. All I had to do was accept their gifts.

And yet, many make salvation that complicated. We’re saved by grace through faith in Jesus’ death, shed blood, and resurrection. It’s the greatest gift of all. But many preachers will tell you if you’re not “earning points” after salvation, either you’ll lose your salvation, or you were never saved to begin with. Others say you must “pay off your present” by asking forgiveness for your sins. Still others require you to “give up your old cologne” by turning from all your sins to enter Heaven.

These things are impossible apart from the work of the Holy Spirit, which indwells every believer. Any progress we’ve made in our Christian lives is only through the grace of God. To add such stipulations to the gospel is to insult God and His Son’s finished work.

Friend, I hope you’re serving God and you’re living a pure, separated life for Him. But I also hope you understand Christ saves us apart from our works. Let’s take Him at His Word.

If you would like to know how to tell others about God’s free gift, click here.

If man could have saved himself there would have been no need for the Son of God to come on Earth. Indeed, His coming is proof that people cannot save themselves. — M. Lloyd-Jones

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.