Most religions are extremely complicated because their works salvation systems depend on you following intricate laws, rituals, and to-do lists in the hopes of climbing the ladder to heaven.
By contrast, Biblical Christianity (and, by implication, Free Grace Theology) is simple.
I think you can summarize the Christian’s “duty” with these three words—
- Believe. There is one condition to have everlasting life: believe in Jesus. Most religions teach the need to do works to be saved. Not Jesus. On the contrary, Jesus did all the work on the cross so you can have eternal life as a gift (Eph 2:8-9). Jesus paid the price for salvation so that you can have it for free. How do you receive it? By simply believing in Jesus for it:
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).
- Abide. After you believe, the Christian adventure really begins. God wants you to grow in your friendship with Christ (John 15:15). He wants you to not only have life, but to have abundant life (John 10:10). How can you do that? By abiding in Jesus. That means reading God’s Word and letting Jesus’ teachings “sink in.” Listen to Him. Think about what He taught. Meditate on those words, letting them challenge, correct, inspire, and otherwise transform your thinking. If you abide in Him, you will be fruitful:
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples” (John 15:5-8).
- Love. What does God require you to do? Love your neighbors. Think of it this way—God gives the believer salvation for free so you won’t waste your life being religious, trying to save yourself. Instead, you can get on with the business of loving your neighbors, however they need to be loved. If you see a need that you can meet, do something about it. Care for your family, feed the poor, clothe the naked, support widows, be a friend to orphans, write to prisoners, and do whatever other good needs to be done:
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another” (John 13:34).
Biblical Christianity is simple, but I did not say it is easy.
It is hard to believe that Jesus gives you eternal life as a free gift.
It takes years of abiding in God’s Word for it to impact all your thinking and living.
And as you know, the world is full of endless needs, so loving your neighbors can require enormous self-sacrifice.
No, living the Christian life is not easy.
But it is simple: believe, abide, and love.