We marvel at people who go from rags to riches, or who rise from obscurity to great popularity. Yet far more amazing is the way God elevates those who in simple faith come to Him for salvation. One Bible teacher often said God lifts us from the gutter-most to the uttermost. We read this in Ephesians CH 2: “God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead….He raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus. God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” The Bible is clear: No one can earn God’s salvation; it is God’s gift to us. We can only accept or reject it.
Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More