All Posts Tagged: salvation
“We are saved by grace through faith—a gift from God.” Ephesians 2:8
“God is love.” (1 John 4:16) Humans were designed to love and be loved! Jesus confirmed this: “Love God … and love your neighbor as you love yourself.” (Matthew 22:34-40)
The virus of sin has caused a major malfunction in the human spirit so that we “fall short” of loving God, others and self. We’re dis-eased and the disease is deadly! “We were dead because of our sins….” (Ephesians 2:5) We exist but are unable to fulfill our destiny!
“How helpful it is to see sin, like addictive behavior, as a dis-ease, a very destructive dis-ease instead of merely something that was culpable, punishable, or “made God unhappy,” If sin indeed made God unhappy, it is because God desires nothing more than our happiness. and wills the healing of our dis-ease.” (Breathing Under Water, p xv, Richard Rohr)Though our prognosis is extremely bleak, we’re not hopeless! Father has a medicine to cure our dis-ease.
Blood is red in appearance; yet it contains white blood cells. When your body is under a viral assault, white blood cells attack the virus. However, in gaining victory they die. Healing is won via death!
Father’s medicine is called GRACE: God’s Restoration At Christ Expense! “We are saved (the meaning of this word is “made whole”) by grace….” The old hymn calls it “amazing.” Why? Whereas grace is extremely costly (“You were rescued by the precious blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:19), yet, it’s “a gift from God”!
How does one obtain the Medicine Of Life? Jesus said, “Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? I’m here inviting the sin-sick, not the spiritually-fit.” (Mark 2:17)
Have you been to the Doctor yet?
“[To have faith in Christ] means, of course, trying to do all that He says. There would be no sense in saying you trusted a person if you would not take his advice. Thus if you have really handed yourself over to Him, it must follow that you are trying to obey Him. But trying in a new way, a less worried way. Not doing these things in order to be saved, but because He has begun to save you already. Not hoping to get to Heaven as a reward for your actions, but inevitably wanting to act in a certain way because a first faint gleam of Heaven is already inside you.” —C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
Martha, Mary and Lazarus were close friends of Jesus. Lazarus got sick “so the sisters sent word to Jesus, ‘Lord, the one You love is sick’” (John 11:3). While Jesus traveled to the home, Lazarus died. Upon arrival Jesus consoled the grieving sisters after which, “still terribly upset, He went to the tomb, which was a cave with a stone rolled against the entrance. ‘Take away the stone,’ He said. Martha objected, ‘There will be a bad smell, Lord. He has been buried four days!’” After encouraging Martha, the stone was rolled away. “Then Jesus shouted, ‘Lazarus, come out!’ And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in grave clothes, his face wrapped in a head cloth” (John 11:38-44).
The story illustrates what it means to be “born again”—getting connected to Jesus! Like Lazarus we’re bound and wrapped in death. Furthermore, our spirits have decomposed to such a degree that, to put it bluntly, we stink! Into our darkness, depravity and death Jesus extends an invitation of grace: “COME OUT!”
Lazarus responded to the Word of Life. Slowly shuffling from the tomb, he wobbled his first steps in following Jesus. Note his condition. Lazarus’s spirit was alive but his soul and body were still bound in garments of death, a strange situation. Nonetheless, this is how we all begin following Jesus.
To Nicodemus Jesus said: “You must be born again. Humans give life to their children. Yet only God’s Spirit can change you into a child of God.” Paul described the born again condition: “Friends, I’m completely frustrated. You’re acting like infants in relation to Christ, capable of nothing much more than nursing at the breast.”
Here’s the point. One is born again upon responding to the call of Jesus. Connection person to Person is established. However, no matter what our chronological age, we are at that point infants in Christ. The best thing one can do is put on a giant Depends, proceed to the bathroom and look in the mirror and say: “This is who I am in Christ!”