There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. (1 Corinthians 12:6)
Inasmuch as the benefits of salvation for the saint are far too many to number—for we have been blessed in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ (Ephesians 1:3)—salvation is not primarily about the saint; it is about the Savior. We have been saved by Jesus and for Jesus. We are not our own; we were bought at the incomparable price of the precious blood of the Lamb of God. Therefore, because we are His, the life we live must be lived for the honor and glory and praise of His name.
It is vitally important that we understand the difference between being saved for service and being saved by service. Far too many in the church today wrongly believe they are saved by their service to God—that is, by their good works. They believe that God will grade their lives “on a curve” of some sort, and that those who perform enough good works will be allowed into heaven. But the Bible knows nothing of this pernicious error. As Paul writes, “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). You see, if we were saved by service, salvation would indeed be all about the saint, but it is not . . . which is why no one can boast.
On the other hand, being saved for service frees us to find God’s plan and purpose for our lives, so that we are able to live in a way that demonstrates our love for God and for our neighbor. A person who has truly been saved by God’s grace is a person who lives for serving God. Think about it this way: God doesn’t need us for anything. He is capable of accomplishing His will all by Himself. He hung the sun in the sky just by speaking a word! Yet God wants us, and the proof of that truth is the fact that you are reading this right now. Unlike the good thief on the cross, who went to Paradise mere moments after being saved, you are still here, which means God has work for you to do in this world.
How does knowing that salvation is all about Jesus and not about you impact the way you use your time, talent, and treasure? Are you allowing God to use you for His glory . . . or are you striving for your own glory? Are you spending the lion’s share of your time expanding the cause of His glorious kingdom . . . or are you trying to build your own kingdom?
The choice will always be yours, and please don’t forget this: Even though God does not need your service, everyone else does. If you fail to give yourself in service to your Lord, we are all diminished. Keeping in view that your salvation is about your Savior will keep you in the center of His plan and purpose for your life, and there is absolutely no better place to live in order to find the meaning and significance we all crave.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!