Salvation, the Free Gift of God
Many religious people often say, “Salvation is the free gift of God.” This statement is certainly true, because the Bible says “the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:23).
“Well,” some may continue, “since salvation is free, and since God is no respecter of persons, then everyone is going to be saved, right?” Wrong. While it is true that God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34), it is not true that all are going to be saved—Jesus said that many will be lost (Matt. 7:13-14).
“Then how can salvation be free, if many people are going to be lost?” one might ask. The answer is this: Even though salvation is free, there are still certain things that we must do in order to receive it. In other words, salvation is conditional—it is conditional upon our compliance with certain requirements that God has seen fit to require of us.
These requirements are explicitly and repeatedly stated in the Scriptures. After learning of God’s will we must believe (John 8:24; Heb. 11:6), repent of our sins (Luke 13:3; Acts 17:30), confess that Jesus is the Son of God (Matt. 10:32, 33; Rom. 10:10), and be baptized (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 1 Peter 3:21). We must obey these simple commands in order to be saved.
However, our obedience to these commands does not mean that we deserve to go to heaven. No one deserves to be saved because “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). By obeying God we are accepting His free gift of eternal life, not earning our way to heaven.
Yes, salvation is the free gift of God, but God requires us to meet a few simple conditions in order to receive it. Let us obey God!
(Note: This article was an assignment when I was a student at the Brown Trail School of Preaching—just a few years ago.)