We approach matters holistically to present views that are scriptural, for better understanding. I’ve observed many people living on assumptions, but an assumption isn’t the same as a fact. Then, they will say, “Oh, I made this mistake  but no big deal, I’m just a work in progress.” I fail to comprehend. David mentioned stumbling seven times, implying repetitive forgiveness. That’s on the surface, in reality he was saying, I learn from my mistakes, I don’t return to them. For example he learnt to overcome anger through the wisdom of Abigail, years later, when Shimea cursed and taunted him, he stopped his General from killing him. When you repeatedly engage in the same behavior, you’re justifying nonsense. You’re rationalizing carnality. You’re validating mediocrity. Rather than acknowledging your mistake and seeking help to overcome it, you’re opting for a  route that leads to a blind alley. Once you hide behind the excuse of being a work in progress, you won’t seek God’s assistance to overcome that shortcoming.

Why do these things happen? Consider Joab, David’s uncle, who accompanied him since their wilderness days, fleeing from Saul. Reflect on their enduring companionship. In the end, David proclaimed by the spirit of the Lord that Solomon would succeed him as king, yet Joab supported the kingship of Adonijah, leading to his demise.

Abiathar, a respected priest who survived Saul’s massacre of the priests at Nob and  aligned with David, eventually also sided with Adonijah. I wonder, what’s wrong with consistency? What’s wrong with standing firm? The word of God should guide you. Adhering to God’s standards drastically reduces the chances of succumbing to the devil’s temptations or backsliding. If God had chosen Solomon, contesting it is fighting God. And you can’t do that without suffering dire consequences.

It’s disheartening that many won’t make it, even those who knew God; or in the context of the parable of the sower, those who have had the opportunity to hear God.

In Matthew 13, as Jesus closed the parable of sower He threw the bombshell statement which many don’t run with.  He said only one out of four, a mere 25% of those that received the word of God bore fruit that glorified God. Those are the ones welcomed in heaven. That’s a staggering statistic. Only 25% out of 100. Why the majority failed is a separate discussion. I didn’t lead them astray, I didn’t direct them to rocky ground. I didn’t send them into the world where worldly cares would choke them. No, Jesus didn’t do that, he presented the word so they could receive it and bear fruit. They went to the bad grounds by themselves.

Thus, the foundation is crucial. That’s why true salvation matters. Once the foundation is secure, true salvation is established. Building upon it involves cultivating a relationship with God, studying His word to discern what to accept and reject in our lives. That is when you will see steady progress in your spiritual journey, and when God calls, you’ll have confidence in your heavenly destination. No assumptions. That’s my prayer for you, as you journey through this series with us.

Today, we revisit the misconceptions surrounding salvation that the devil has propagated. He knows that without a solid foundation, everything crumbles. Hence, he attacks it using various tactics—church attendance, infant baptism, and today’s topic: self-righteousness.

A strong foundation sustains your relationship with God, enabling growth and readiness for heaven. The keyword here is initiation, consider the first individual raptured: Enoch, his name signifies dedication, initiation. He was initiated into God’s truth. He walked with God and was taken to heaven alive. He serves as a prototype. You must be initiated into God’s covenant, grounded solely in His word. Now, self-righteousness, some equate being born again with a mere change in character. They believe that exchanging vices like smoking, alcoholism, theft, and cruelty for virtues like chastity, humility, kindness, and obedience to biblical laws ensures God’s favor. While these are commendable traits, Satan often uses them to deceive and enslave.

Salvation isn’t attained through righteous deeds or comparing oneself to others. That’s self-righteousness—believing one’s actions are superior, qualifying for heaven while others fall short. Consider the founders of certain denominations, like the Methodists. They devised methods of serving God, but salvation isn’t about methods; it’s about trusting God’s promise of salvation through repentance and acceptance of Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Good deeds, categorized as worship, are commendable but shouldn’t be mistaken for salvation. Salvation is being born again, experiencing a profound transformation where sinful desires dissipate. Personally, after accepting Jesus, my urge to smoke and drink vanished instantly. That’s true transformation. Self-righteousness won’t secure your place in heaven.

Ephesians 2:8-9 emphasizes salvation through grace, not works, to prevent boasting. Salvation transcends adherence to laws; it’s the only remedy for sin. As descendants of Adam, we’re inherently sinful. Good works won’t change our nature. Only Jesus’ righteousness imputed to us can (2 Cor.5:21).

Salvation isn’t about religious rituals or adherence to church traditions. It’s about genuine repentance and faith in Jesus. Job acknowledged this when he said self-justification is futile. David also recognized that true blessedness comes from forgiveness and righteousness imputed by God (Psalm 32:1-2).

In conclusion, salvation is a gift of grace, not earned through works. It’s marked by a transformed life and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Let’s not grieve the Holy Spirit but embrace His guidance, ensuring our readiness for Christ’s return. Let’s move forward, understanding the ministry of the Holy Spirit and aligning ourselves with God’s truth.

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