I have noticed that when Christians describe their relationship with Jesus, they usually say “Jesus is my Lord and Savior.” Many times, it’s said so fast that it’s all slurred together like “Lordandsavior.” Like it’s all one word. Over the last several decades the church has focused a lot on the savior part and with much teaching on grace as of late most people understand that salvation is a free gift that is paid for with the blood of Jesus that washes away our sin, so we can be born again.
What I have not heard a lot about is that even though Salvation is a free gift it will cost you everything.
I can hear people saying now. “Well how’s that? If it’s free how does it cost anything?”
Well, it cost God his only son.
It cost Jesus his Life.
It will cost us our life.
Salvation is FREE! There is nothing we can do to deserve it. It was paid for with the blood of Jesus. That’s why it’s called grace. We cannot earn it. Grace is an unearned favor. If you ask someone for a $5 favor you’re are asking them for $5 that you did not earn. It is not owed to you. We needed a huge favor from God and there is no way we could possibly earn it, pay for it, or be good enough to deserve it. Ephesians 2:8 says that “we are saved by grace through faith not of ourselves. It is the gift of God not by works.” Salvation is a gift from God that cannot be earned by good works. Most people have a pretty good grip on this part of the gospel.
What I feel we don’t have a good grip on is the Lord part. Romans 10:9 says “If you declare with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved”.
Sure, Jesus wants to be our savior or he would not have died on the cross, so we can be born again. But he also wants to be our Lord. The following Scriptures are things that Jesus said that we have not heard a lot about over the last several decades.
If ye love me, keep my commandments. John 14:15
Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24
Deny yourself means that we quit doing things our way and start doing things God’s way. When people in the bible times took up a cross only one thing happened. They died. We must die to ourselves and live unto God. Many times, dying hurts! When we die to our plans and take up God’s plans many times it will hurt. It will hurt because we really wanted to do certain things and now God might want us to do something different.
Jesus wants to be our Lord. Here in America we really don’t understand what Lord means like people in some other countries do. Lord means boss, master, we love what he loves and hate what he hates. When Jesus is our lord that means, we have turned our back on our way of doing things and we only do things His way. It will cost you everything to make Jesus your Lord. It will cost you your life. It will cost you your dreams and ambitions for your life for his dreams and ambitions for your life. Your plans and purposes for your life for his plans and purposes for your life. It’s not just saying “Jesus is my “Lordandsavior.” It actually means doing something. Doing his will for our life no matter what it cost us. Giving up our will for his will.
Jesus said in Luke 6:46 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say”?
He said in Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”
I believe that too many times we have presented the gospel to people emphasizing the Free gift of salvation and say to people “come say this simple prayer and you will be saved” and have not told them that Jesus wants to be their Lord. When we have said make him your Lord and savior we have not explained what Lord means.
Salvation is a free Gift! But following Jesus will cost you everything!
I think we have done people a big disservice by presenting a one-sided message. Everyone wants a “FREE GIFT” especially one that will get you out of hell and into heaven. People have not really understood what they were getting into. Then after they find out that Jesus wants their whole life, their will, their everything they say to themselves “I did not sign up for all this” and many times fall away.
I have often wondered why so many Christians ride the fence with one foot in the church and one foot in the world. They want just enough of God to escape their problem, but not enough of God to fulfill His purpose. When evaluating how we have presented the message of salvation it’s no wonder we have so many halfhearted Christians that have said a prayer and might be born again but are not living for God. There is no difference in them and the world. They never really understood that this “FREE GIFT” was going to cost them anything. So, we have our American version of Christianity where we love our American lifestyle and culture so much, that we are not willing to conform it to God’s will for our life. We are not willing to give up anything to follow Jesus; and Jesus wants it all.
I realize that some may say aren’t you preaching a works salvation by talking like this?
To that I would say NO!
We are not saved by our good works. We are saved unto good works. Paul said in Ephesians 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them”. The change in our heart when we are born again will produce the good works. Sure, we have a will we can choose not to listen to our heart and not do the will of our father, but if Jesus is really Lord of your life then you will want to do the will of your heavenly father.
When we are born again there is a change in our spirit man. According to Romans 5:5 God puts his love in our heart. That love will cause us to want to do good. As we listen to that love in our heart and obey it, we will follow God’s plan for our life.
You may also want to read other articles I wrote on this subject called “Teaching children about salvation.” and “Why I still give altar calls and Invitations to be born again“