Greenhouses And Salvation

Ponder: Grace, Faith, an Obedience – how are they related?

Today’s Bible Verse:  “For by grace you have been saved through faith . . .” (Ephesians 2:8, NKJV).

Why is a greenhouse full of light? One answers, “Because it is made of glass.” Another replies, “Because the sun is shining.” The two answers are not contradictory; they simply approach the question from different angles. Cover the glass, and the greenhouse will be dark even at high noon; but at midnight the greenhouse will be dark no matter how much glass it has.

What saves sinners? One answers, “God’s grace.” Another replies, “We’re saved by faith.” A third says, “We must obey the gospel to be saved.” All three are correct. The ultimate source of salvation is God’s grace (Ephesians 2:8). But the sunshine of God’s grace radiates through the glass of trusting obedience (Mark 16:16; Hebrews 5:9). Sadly, multitudes of sincere people utterly reject the third answer (obedience), mistakenly thinking that it contradicts the first two (grace and faith).

In particular, most religious people reject the necessity of baptism for salvation. Erroneously viewing baptism as a work of merit, they think it detracts from God’s grace. Baptism, however, is like the glass in a greenhouse. It does not, of itself, provide salvation. Without God’s grace and your trust in Jesus, you could be immersed until you wrinkled up like a prune, but you would remain utterly lost. On the other hand, God ordained believer’s baptism as one of the conditions for receiving His grace. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Peter said baptism is “for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38), and that it saves us (1 Peter 3:21).

Is baptism a “sacrament” that produces salvation? Absolutely not! Nor does glass originate light. ‘But glass is still necessary for the greenhouse to be illuminated. And baptism is still necessary for sinners to receive God’s gracious gift of eternal life.

Let’s teach and practice the truth about the most important question of all: “What must I do to be saved?”

Song: “Trust and Obey”

Prayer: Father in heaven, we praise and thank You for Your rich grace poured out upon us through Jesus Christ. We pray for those who have not yet accessed Your grace through faith and obedience. Help us to reach them before it is eternally too late. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Joe Slater (Justin, TX)