The first and foremost response of the believer to the free gift of salvation which he has freely received also should be thanksgiving and adoration.
”Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s”. (Ps 103:1-5)
The Psalmist, though under the Old Testament understood that forgiveness of sins came first in the order of things to give thanks to God for and apparently, the most important! He further talked about this gift in Ps. 130:3-4 “If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.” A clearer translation puts it this way “If You, Lord, should keep account of and treat [us according to our sins, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You [just what man needs], that You may be reverently feared and worshiped” Weymouth.
Eph 2:8 clearly states that the gift of salvation is of Grace, not of works. Therefore, the believer responds in continual and ceaseless thanksgiving to God for the eternal sacrifice of Jesus by which he is saved. An occasional celebration of the finished work of Christ, for example; on Easter weekends alone like it is practised in certain quarters is a sign of a myopic understanding of the essence of the Christian life. The finished work of Christ is the essence of the Christian life and it should be talked about and celebrated on a continual basis by the believer. If God’s forgiveness of the believers sins is not temporary or periodic, then, acknowledgement of this eternal fact should not be tied to an event, rather it should be continuous.
“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins”(Col. 1:12-14). Paul, the Apostle tells us the reason for the lifestyle of gratitude a believer should exhibit. A believer in Christ Jesus has a continuous lifestyle of gratitude and thanksgiving centred around the finished work of Christ. A ceaseless adoration or giving of thanks to the Father for the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of Christ by which we are saved is what a believer is known by.
Begin to give thanks now!
To be Continued…