It's foolish for anybody to believe that they're saved and God leaves them on their own. Remember that the Church is a hospital for repentant sinners and a museum of righteous saints at the same time. As much as Christians are made into righteous saints but they're still growing as righteous saints. They're still sinners but not dirty rotten sinners but repentant sinners who are growing in holiness. To think that you can serve God in your sinful flesh without His grace is absolutely stupid. It's not that He saves the sinner and leaves them. On the contrary, He walks with the sinner that was redeemed and sanctified to make them do as He pleases.
Here's what the Bible says about God's purpose of salvation and the Christian life:
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. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
1 Corinthians 15:10
But by the grace of God I am what I am: and His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
The truth of the matter is God doesn't only stop with salvation as He continues with the process of sanctification throughout the Christian life. He's too holy and loving to just save the person and leave them as they are. No, what He does is that He gets the sinner, imputes righteousness and grants His grace to give them power. The Holy Spirit convicts of sin and sanctifies the repentant sinner who was just promoted as a saint. The grace of God brings salvation and teaches the saints to live righteously in a world of lost sinners.
Are Christians sinners? Yes. Are Christian saints? Yes. They are sinners in the sense that they haven't been fully redeemed. But they aren't sinners in the sense that they sin all they please and never grow in grace. They are saints because the Bible calls them saints. Even Paul struggled with sin so horribly when he said:
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
Paul wasn't living like the rest of the world but he certainly moaned about sin. He may have made the mistake at several points in his life trying to serve God by His capacity instead of relying on God's grace. This wonderful truth that can't be denied is that God doesn't only save but gives His grace to keep them growing. That's what growing in grace is. Grace helps repentance of sin and submission to the Lordship of Christ grow day by day. Submission to Christ's Lordship is not a one time act but something that God's grace cultivates and grows. If you're eternally secure then one of the signs of being once saved always saved is continued submission to the Lordship of Christ which involves repentance of sin and committing one's self to Christ at a daily basis. While Christians may still sin but they don't live like the rest of the world.
Relying on on the God-given gift than God Himself then would be utter foolishness. Try to remember the fall of Solomon. God gave Solomon incredible wisdom that no one had the privilege to have. But he wasted all that incredible wisdom he had in his later years having more wives and concubines into his harem. He tried to grab more and more yet the Song of Solomon shows he could only love one woman. He later wrote Ecclesiastes revealing how much of a fool he became in relying on his own self. He compromised with his pagan wives by building their altars. He wrote:
Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity. For there is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool for ever; seeing that which now is in the days to come shall all be forgotten. And how dieth the wise man? as the fool. Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit.
So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed My sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed My sheep.
Peter was grieved as he was reminded of how his pride brought him so low. Peter may have remembered how boastful he became and fell down. When Christians get into the state of boasting they end up falling. It's only through humility that the Christian will become useful for the Lord. There's no such thing as Christianity without God's grace. Peter's boldness in Christ wasn't inherent in his sinful nature. Remember how Peter shied out when he was asked if he was a disciple of Christ? Later, Peter became bold in Acts 2 only by God's grace. His situation should tell any pastor of Christ not to rely on themselves but God's grace to overcome sinner.
The situation in Hebrews 11 also shows the marvelous work. Why did Abel give a better sacrifice than Cain? We don't know the quality of Cain's harvest but the Scriptures says it was by faith. Abel relied on God's grace and was able to give a better sacrifice than Cain. What made Noah obedient? Some say grace didn't bring Noah to the ark but obedience did. That's very one-sided because grace made Noah obedient to build and get into the ark. It was always "by faith" and Hebrews 11 is the very book that talks about how faith does marvelous things. All this is by the grace and mercy of God and nothing more. The redeemed life is faith that results to works and not works that don't result out of faith.
How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
The blood of Christ washes away sin and to purge the conscience from dead works. In short, there's no reason not to plead for Jesus' mercy and grace to overcome sin. The flesh overcoming sin is nothing more than sweeping the dirt under the rug. Jesus came to offer the solvent that purges Christians from sin to make them live accordingly. There's no other power against sin but the blood of Jesus. Just as the song "Nothing But the Blood of Jesus":
Oh precious is the flow that makes me white as snow
No other fount I know nothing but the blood of Jesus
Do you have the need for strength to serve God? Ask for His strength. To close, here's what James said as a reminder that we need God's grace to do His work:
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
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