Thursday, April 11, 2013

Pentecostals are Saved By Grace, Through Faith (Ephesians 2:8)

Grandma Jones with Mother and Dad at the General Assembly
Indianapolis, Indiana

Mom and Dad
As I write these words it occurs to me that many may take it that we are saying we are more deserving of God’s blessings than others.  Not so.  Let me state two things here.  Number one, You do not receive salvation (nor any other gift of God) by doing good works.  It is by grace, through faith that we receive from His bountiful hand.  Number two, speaking in tongues is not as important as being sanctified.  God demands a lifestyle of holiness.  That does not mean we are perfect but that we strive for perfection.
But then, why would God give one person such blessings and not give the same to others?  Is it because one is perfect and the other is flawed?  Is it because one is doing a myriad of good things?  Why would one individual’s life be so full of good and another’s be filled with nothing but turmoil and strife?  I know from personal experience that it is not because of one’s goodness.  And I’m reminded that the Psalmist said, “3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”  (Psalm 14:3)   A man came to Jesus in Matthew 19 and – calling him “good master” – asked what he could do to inherit eternal life.  I believe Psalms 14 was in Jesus’ mind when he asked the man, “Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.”   (Matthew 19:17 )  Now all believers know that Jesus was good.  So what did these words of Jesus mean?  I believe that Jesus was saying to him, “If you recognize that I am God, then you have your answer.”
          I learned some years after my spiritual crisis from some well-meaning folks that a person could not even be saved until they were at least 12 years of age.  They just came too late to tell me that because I knew beyond any shadow of doubt that God had saved, sanctified and filled me with the Holy Spirit. I have thanked God for that experience many times in my life as I went through times of doubt. Thinking back to that time even as I write these words gives me strong assurance that God is real. As wonderful as my experience was = there were many other things which I was told later that would have negated all of my experience had my faith not been based in the Bible. Of course I have had questions. I have doubted. I have failed the Lord and had to repent again (more than once) – but I KNOW that God changed my life that night in 1946 and that I’ve never been the same since.


Ginny said...

What a good post on basic grace! I have heard that the Christian religion is the only one that offers pure grace with works not involved in any way. I just went to a lecture and talked to a pastor who is famous as being a mediator with the Muslims and he has converted many, and written several books. He said that since they believe so strongly in dreams, that is how God will come to some of them, and so God uses what we know and believe to come to us and relate. Anyway, he said the Muslims are usually totally confused by the forgiveness part! Sorry if I am rambling, I have to go but thought all this was so fascinating..

Jean said...

Hi Fred, thank you for visiting my blog and for the nice comment. Ron Past away April 1 at 3:56 AM. The doctors couldn’t do anything more for him and he wanted to come home to live his last few days. They brought him home to Opp from Birmingham Alabama by ambulance on March 27th. Ron knew he had only a few days to live but he wasn’t afraid and continued to joke around. He went to church, he was a good man and believed in GOD I want to believe that he’s in heaven today. Your post made my day.

jack69 said...

Good reading. I hear too many folks talk of depending too much on HIS Grace, but I don't think that is possible. More Grace!

Love the pictures of the seniors. I was a kid at the GA in Indianapolis, we stayed at a boarding house.

Thanks for posting, if for nothing else, for Jean, she is one sweet lady and has been broadsided at the loss of a son.

Love from here, ((HUGS)) to you and Frances.

Betsy Adams said...

Interesting writing, Fred... We are truly saved by GRACE... I think that some people 'think' it's all about works, what we do!!! BUT--it's much more than our works... I think it is all about what is in our hearts. God is so GOOD..

Glad you are doing so well.. Hope you all get to Yellowstone sometime. It's marvelous.

shirl72 said...

Thanks for stopping by. I am sorry
you have trouble going to my blog.
Glad you keep trying.

You write a very good blog. It makes Jack happy when I write one. I just finished one about birds in a decorated bird house on my front porch. It has been a pain. I didn't see the mother and and I got nervous thinking I may have to raise two birds. Thank goodness she came back and they have all flown away. I moved the house 3 spaces down. They have been some more birds wanting to use it. It looked like they were doing some renovations. I hope not because I want to take it down. Love the birds but not that close to my front door. I have 4 bird
feeders in the back yard.

JDS said...

This is a very thought-provoking post. I especially like how you pointed out that salvation is received not because of good works but "by grace, though faith" - we all need to be reminded of that.

About Me

My photo
Cleveland, TN, United States
I am Fred Alton Brannen, the son of Louis A. Brannen (deceased) and Bonnie Jones Brannen, Louis was an Ordained Bishop with the Church of God. Bonnie is an Ordained Licensed Minister and at 89 years of age is still actively engaged in speaking and singing engagements. I am married to the former Frances Hildreth. We celebrated 53 years of marriage this past June and we are the parents of 3, grand-parents of 10, and great-grandparents of 10. I pastored in Tennessee for 24 years and served the Church in some capacity in missions for over 23 years. I retired from full-time ministry in August of 2008 but remain active, speaking and singing and teaching whenever opportunity affords itself. In January of 2010 I received a letter of commendation for having been credentialed as a minister in the Church of God for 50 years! My family is very important to me. Our get togethers are always noisy affairs and most times will include family sing-alongs. The children love their Mom's cooking so we have the privilege of seeing them regularly! WE LOVE having them over.

TheCabin on Day One

TheCabin on Day One
Fred Alton