Today’s Scripture: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
When we add to the gospel, what we are consciously, or more likely, unconsciously, adding is works. Even when we believe salvation is all by grace, some still add what can easily be confused by many as works. In Romans 11:6, God is very clear it cannot be both grace and works. Ephesians 2:8–9 is crystal clear that salvation is not of works, but by grace.
Salvation can only be by grace, not works. No human merit can enter the equation because our best is considered filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). Therefore, let us make sure we are not adding anything that may even be mistaken as works as we share the gospel!
I have heard and read many gospel invitations. In many, I find something added. Here are a few examples:
Make Jesus Lord of your life
Give your life to God
Promise to stop sinning
Turn from your sin
Turn from all known sin
Be sorry for your sin
Promise to live for Jesus
Confess Jesus as Lord
Be water baptized
Join our church
Most of the time, the people who give these invitations are good people who mean well. But, any time we add to the gospel, we are acting in a reckless way because lives are at stake.
Don’t be like my former friend who could not afford to fix his brakes but wanted to continue driving. His solution — he bought a louder horn. We need to fix the real problem, or we are more dangerous and reckless than my late friend.
Devotional by Jim Scudder, Jr.