In a recent “Grace in Focus” newsletter, Bob Wilkin says, “Most Evangelicals believe that saving faith includes committing one’s life to Christ.” This is a very profound statement, but, unfortunately, also very true. We need to understand what Dr. Wilkin is saying. Most evangelicals don’t understand the basics of salvation. Most church members, including evangelicals, don’t realize that salvation is simply by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-10). They don’t believe the free grace method of eternal life to all who simply believe in Jesus Christ (see Salvation by Works). They want to add their own opinion to the gospel message; i.e., that salvation is by grace through faith AND their own works, like “committing one’s life to Christ.”
This is a grave mistake, and it originates in our flesh. By our own nature, we don’t want to accept something that is absolutely free. We feel like we must have a hand in, at least partially, paying for it. We would do well to remember the following verses from Paul:
“Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.” (Romans 4:4-5)
“And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.” (Romans 11:6)
The real tragedy is that if evangelicals don’t understand this, then what chance does a non-evangelical have of understanding the true gospel? How can a person evangelize if they can’t even articulate the gospel message?