In John 9, a man who was born blind received a grace gift from Jesus. Jesus made mud and put it on the man’s eyes. He then told the man to go to the pool of Siloam, and to wash in it. In the words of the blind man, “The man called Jesus made mud and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed and received my sight.”
We need to note that Jesus required the man to do something to receive the grace gift. He had to go. Jesus specifically named the pool to which the man was to go; Siloam. The blind man went to that pool, and none other. Jesus told the man to wash in the pool. The blind man not only went to the pool, but he washed. This individual did what Jesus told him to do and he received his sight.
This blindman was required to exercise his faith in complete obedience before he received his sight. Yet, his obedience never converted the gift to a wage. It was a gift from the time Jesus made the mud to the time the man returned, seeing.
God gave the children of Israel the grace gift of manna. Yet to receive the benefit of it, the children of Israel were required each day to gather just enough of it for that day. The exception to the rule was Friday of each week. On that day, they were to gather enough for two days because there would be no manna on the ground on the Sabbath. (Exodus 16:13-30)
When the children of Israel obeyed God, they received the blessing of the manna. When they did not obey God, they received His rebuke.
These people were required to obey God to receive this gift from Him. Yet the manna never changed from being a gift into being a wage due to their obedience. (John 6:31-34)
The children of Israel received a grace gift from God when they were given the Promised Land. Yet to receive the land, the people were required to demonstrate their faith by driving the native inhabitants from the land. (Numbers 33:50-56). To keep the land, they were also required to faithfully obey God’s commands. (Deuteronomy 30:15-20)
To receive and to continue to enjoy the grace gift of the Promised Land, the children of Israel had to allow their faith to cause them to obey God. Yet, the Land of Canaan never changed from being a gift into being a wage due to the expectation of obedience.
We today are told by Jesus, Peter, and Paul that salvation (the forgiveness of sins), is a grace gift. (Ephesians 2:1-10). These authorities have also told us that we receive this gift by demonstrating our faith in penitently being baptized (Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:38; Romans 6:3-7). When our faith prompts us to be immersed, we call upon the name of the Lord, and receive the promised washing away of our sins. (Acts 22:16)
Yet, like the lame man’s sight, the manna from above, and the Promised Land, when our faith prompts us to obediently submit to God’s plan for our salvation, the gift remains a gift. Our obedience does not convert salvation into a wage. We simply receive the gift which God so graciously offers us.
Think on these things.
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