If We’re Already Saved Forever, Why Bother Being Good?

Q. According to many of your comments about Eternal Security, nothing can cause us to become ‘unsaved’. What then, is the point of a Christian offering himself as a living sacrifice to God (Romans 12) and living a life worthy of the Gospel of Christ (Phil.1)? We all might as well accept Jesus as Lord and Savior then carry on living exactly as we were before.

Please don’t get me wrong, I believe totally in the gift of salvation and know there is nothing I could ever do that would be worthy enough to earn it. The gratitude I feel to the Lord for dying for me cannot be put into words. But what about those who don’t put their faith into action and continually live as the world would live, refusing to take responsibility for their actions and avoiding repentance. On a personal level I have sacrificed what my flesh has wanted in favor of what God would have me do. Are you saying I needn’t have bothered?

A. One of the most disappointing discoveries I’ve made as a Bible teacher is how little effort the church as a whole invests in teaching the benefits of living a life pleasing to the Lord. In fact some Christian leaders seem much more willing to threaten us with the loss of our salvation for not adopting a Christian lifestyle than they are to convey the Lord’s promises of blessing for doing so.

Here are two great reasons for living a life pleasing to the Lord.

1) because it’s the only way given in Scripture for us to express our gratitude to the Lord for saving our life and granting us a place of honor in His Kingdom, and

2) because in living the Christian life we’re also promised great blessings both here on Earth and in eternity. These include escaping the bondage of our destructive behavior and experiencing the joy of the abundant life the Lord came to bring us (John 10:10) and the receipt of a victor’s crown straight from the hand of the Lord at the bema judgment (1 Cor. 9:25).

Paul said that the Christian who strives to please God is like the Olympic athlete who trains for the Games. We both sacrifice nothing but the wasting of our time on frivolous and often destructive behavior in favor of devoting ourselves to a noble quest that brings great reward. And we both experience the same sense of personal fulfillment when we’re victorious. The difference is the athlete does it all for a temporary reward and the accolades of men, where we do it for a permanent reward and the blessing of our Lord (1 Cor. 9:24-27).

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