Don’t Get Confused…

Beware of confusing the BY and the FOR.

I am talking about salvation here.

We are saved by something, and we are saved for something, but the by and the for can be easily confused.

In talking about salvation, Peter said in 1 Peter 1:2, that we are saved for obedience to Jesus Christ. He doesn’t say we are saved by obedience, but for obedience. Beware of confusing the by and the for.

We get tricked into believing, at times, that we are saved by obedience to Jesus. As if we have to do certain things and avoid certain others in order to obtain salvation or keep salvation. The Bible doesn’t teach that.

But it does teach that we are saved for obedience. Paul also clearly communicates this distinction in his letter to the Ephesian church:

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.[1]

We’re not saved by good works, but we are saved for good works. We aren’t saved by obeying all of Jesus’ commands, but we are saved to obey him.

One of those commands from Jesus is known as the Great Commission, where Jesus tells his followers to go into all the world and lead others to follow him through baptizing and “teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you.”

Kevin DeYoung, in his book The Hole in our Holiness, comments on this passage from Matthew 28:18-20:

“We aren’t asking the nations to look at Jesus’ commands like an interesting Rembrandt. We are teaching the nations to follow his commands. The Great Commission is about holiness. God wants the world to know Jesus, believe in Jesus, and obey Jesus. We don’t take the Great Commission seriously if we don’t help each other grow in obedience…do not miss what many churches have overlooked: Jesus expects obedience from his disciples. Passing on the imperatives of Christ is at the heart of the Great Commission.”

Be careful, Christian. Be careful that you do not confuse the by and the for.


[1] Ephesians 2:8-10

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About Pastor Andrew

Follower of Jesus, Husband to Carissa, Daddy to four daughters, Lead Pastor at LifePoint Church in Vancouver, WA.
This entry was posted in 1 Peter, 2theSource, Discipleship, Gospel and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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