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Wordwise Insight, Issue #123
November 14, 2014


BIBLE INSIGHTS (and Reader Q & A): Is it necessary to suffer for Christ in order to be saved?

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Salvation and Sufffering

(Is it necessary to suffer for Christ to be saved?)

QUESTION: I have a question about Romans 8:17. If we do not suffer for Christ or share in His sufferings, does that mean we will not have eternal life at all? I kept struggling with the thought that if I do not suffer for Christ or share in His sufferings, I do not belong to Him at all.

ANSWER: Thanks. You ask an excellent question. There are several points we need to deal with to provide a full answer.

First, the implication that there is something else necessary for salvation, other than trusting in the saving work of Christ. The simplest explanation of how to be saved comes from Paul’s encounter with the Philippian jailer. He asks the apostle, “What must I do to be saved?” And the answer comes back, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 16:30-31). It’s not “Believe and suffer...” or “Believe and join a church...” or "believe and do good works...” It’s simply “believe.”

Each of the things mentioned has its place in the Christian life, but not in terms receiving the gift of salvation. And that’s an important point–it is a gift. That’s what God’s grace is all about. It’s unearned and unmerited favour. Something God gives us that we haven’t paid for. Christ did the paying on the cross (I Cor. 15:3). Salvation is not a do, but a done. By putting our faith in Christ, we are accepting what He did as being for us, personally, and receiving God’s gift.

The Bible is quite clear that grace excludes any kind of works (Rom. 4:4-5; 11:6; Eph. 2:8-9). Instead, to be saved, we are to receive (believe on) Christ as our personal Saviour (Jn. 1:12-13). Something like a hundred times, the New Testament gives simple faith in Christ as the one and only means of salvation (e.g. Jn. 3:16, 36; 6:40, 47; Acts 13:38-39; Rom. 1:16; 5:1...

(To read the remainder of this article, click on Salvation and Suffering.)


Come and Pay Us a Visit!

I have developed a blog that is called Wordwise Hymns. As the title suggests, it is about hymns, and church music in general.

But as many of you will know, a blog is especially designed to facilitate a conversation on its particular subject. Readers can easily post comments about what they see, and I'm able to reply. I hope you will take part in the discussion!

Through 2010, almanac entries dealt with what happened in hymn history on each day of the year. Beginning in 2011, I hope to analyze hymns from a biblical standpoint, linking to the material that has come before.

My hope is that the blog will add to the value of the website and this newsletter, and promote some profitable exchanges on the subject of sacred music.

What happened on this day in hymnology? To find out, click Wordwise Hymns.

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