Posts Tagged ‘Salvation’


“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.” Romans 1:16

Douglas Coupland is a best-selling author known for his books about cultural trends in America. In his book Life After God, he no doubt surprises his readers when he shares:

Now here is my secret. I tell it to you with an openness of heart I doubt I will ever achieve again . . . My secret is that I need God—that I am sick and can no longer make it alone. I need God to help me give, because I no longer seem to be capable of giving; to help me be kind, as I no longer seem capable of kindness; to help me love, as I seem beyond being able to love.

Amazing—an author who has admittedly bought into the godless secularism in our world has let his godless philosophy of life run its course, and at the end of it all he recognizes that something is missing. The unanswered longing in his soul leads him to admit that his “life after God” has left him barren and hopelessly in need. He calls it his secret because it would be almost scandalous in post-Christian America to admit that we do need God after all—the God who has been banished to the outposts of irrelevance.

I love Coupland’s candor. Life after God—or actually life without God—inevitably leaves us hollow and disappointed. And if someone like Coupland feels this way, you can bet there are a lot of others who feel the same—a lot of others who live and work where you live and work. A lot of others who just may be in your family or your circle of friends.

Well, those of us who live life with God have a secret as well. Our secret is that God exists (Hebrews 11:6) and is all He has promised to be (Psalm 145:13). That He is indeed the answer to our deepest longings (Psalm 34:9-10), and that only He can give us the motivation and power to give, to be kind, and to love (Philippians 2:13). And not only that, but that He gives us the wisdom we need to navigate life’s most complex and confusing problems (Colossians 2:2-3). He brings meaning to suffering and peace in the midst of life’s storms (Psalm 119:50). And most importantly, only God can wipe our slate clean through the death of His Son (Isaiah 53:5). Our secret is that God is all He promised to be!

So, when you feel discouraged that no one in your world has any interest in God, remember Douglas Coupland. It takes time for life to come to the disappointing end of itself when it is lived without God. And you never know who around you is coming to the same conclusions as Coupland. When they do, will you be ready to share your secret? Will they have seen enough of the reality of God in your life to want to listen to your secret? And will you have the confidence that your secret is without a doubt exactly what they need and the boldness to share it enthusiastically?

My wife tells me that I am not a good secret keeper—and in this case, that would be a virtue! Come to think of it, the fact that the gospel is “the power of God for salvation” (Romans 1:16) should be on the tip of our tongues ready to be proclaimed whenever we get the chance!

I wonder if anyone who knows our secret was near to Doug Coupland when he shared his secret?

YOUR JOURNEY…

  • Get alone with God and meditate on salvation. How do you know you are saved? What has He saved you from? Why are you thankful for your salvation?
  • If you had the chance to tell someone how to become a Christian, what would you say? Write down the essential elements of the message of the gospel. Then commit them to memory and look for a chance to tell someone your secret!
  • Take some time to read through the verses referenced above pertaining to your “secret.” How do these verses encourage you to share the joys of life with God?
  • Have you ever been ashamed of the gospel? If so, ask Jesus to forgive you and to replace your fear with boldness to tell people about Him.

http://getmorestrength.org/daily/the-secret-that-should-not-be-kept/


If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new —2 Corinthians 5:17

What understanding do you have of the salvation of your soul? The work of salvation means that in your real life things are dramatically changed. You no longer look at things in the same way. Your desires are new and the old things have lost their power to attract you. One of the tests for determining if the work of salvation in your life is genuine is— has God changed the things that really matter to you? If you still yearn for the old things, it is absurd to talk about being born from above— you are deceiving yourself. If you are born again, the Spirit of God makes the change very evident in your real life and thought. And when a crisis comes, you are the most amazed person on earth at the wonderful difference there is in you. There is no possibility of imagining that you did it. It is this complete and amazing change that is the very evidence that you are saved.

What difference has my salvation and sanctification made? For instance, can I stand in the light of 1 Corinthians 13 , or do I squirm and evade the issue? True salvation, worked out in me by the Holy Spirit, frees me completely. And as long as I “walk in the light as He is in the light” (1 John 1:7), God sees nothing to rebuke because His life is working itself into every detailed part of my being, not on the conscious level, but even deeper than my consciousness.

http://utmost.org/the-changed-life/


The life of faith is represented as receiving- an act which implies the very opposite of anything like merit. It is simply the acceptance of a gift. As the earth drinks in the rain, as the sea receives the streams, as night accepts light from the stars, so we, giving nothing, partake freely of the grace of God. The saints are not, by nature, wells, or streams, they are but cisterns into which the living water flows; they are empty vessels into which God pours His salvation. The idea of receiving implies a sense of realization, making the matter a reality. One cannot very well receive a shadow; we receive that which is substantial: so is it in the life of faith, Christ becomes real to us. While we are without faith, Jesus is a mere name to us-a person who lived a long while ago, so long ago that His life is only a history to us now! By an act of faith Jesus becomes a real person in the consciousness of our heart. But receiving also means grasping or getting possession of. The thing which I receive becomes my o wn: I appropriate to myself that which is given. When I receive Jesus, He becomes my Saviour, so mine that neither life nor death shall be able to rob me of Him. All this is to receive Christ-to take Him as God’s free gift; to realize Him in my heart, and to appropriate Him as mine. Salvation may be described as the blind receiving sight, the deaf receiving hearing, the dead receiving life; but we have not only received these blessings, we have received CHRIST JESUS Himself. It is true that He gave us life from the dead. He gave us pardon of sin; He gave us imputed righteousness. These are all precious things, but we are not content with them; we have received Christ Himself. The Son of God has been poured into us, and we have received Him, and appropriated Him. What a heartful Jesus must be, for heaven itself cannot contain Him!

http://www.crosswalkmail.com/ShareArticle.do?perform=view&articleID=icgmmhmmg&siteID=yqmblcsgbmbsvgzfrtpypscvqrrvmkspllz&recipID=526889780

 


If when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life —Romans 5:10

I am not saved by believing— I simply realize I am saved by believing. And it is not repentance that saves me— repentance is only the sign that I realize what God has done through Christ Jesus. The danger here is putting the emphasis on the effect, instead of on the cause. Is it my obedience, consecration, and dedication that make me right with God? It is never that! I am made right with God because, prior to all of that, Christ died. When I turn to God and by belief accept what God reveals, the miraculous atonement by the Cross of Christ instantly places me into a right relationship with God. And as a result of the supernatural miracle of God’s grace I stand justified, not because I am sorry for my sin, or because I have repented, but because of what Jesus has done. The Spirit of God brings justification with a shattering, radiant light, and I know that I am saved, even though I don’t know how it was accomplished.

The salvation that comes from God is not based on human logic, but on the sacrificial death of Jesus. We can be born again solely because of the atonement of our Lord. Sinful men and women can be changed into new creations, not through their repentance or their belief, but through the wonderful work of God in Christ Jesus which preceded all of our experience (see 2 Corinthians 5:17-19). The unconquerable safety of justification and sanctification is God Himself. We do not have to accomplish these things ourselves— they have been accomplished through the atonement of the Cross of Christ. The supernatural becomes natural to us through the miracle of God, and there is the realization of what Jesus Christ has already done— “It is finished!” (John 19:30).

http://utmost.org/justification-by-faith/


Paul has four of these “faithful sayings.” The first occurs in 1 Timothy 1:15, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” The next is in 1 Timothy 4:6, “Godliness is profitable unto all things, having the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation.” The third is in 2 Timothy 2:12, “It is a faithful saying-If we suffer with Him we shall also reign with Him”; and the fourth is in Titus 3:3, “This is a faithful saying, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works.” We may trace a connection between these faithful sayings. The first one lays the foundation of our eternal salvation in the free grace of God, as shown to us in the mission of the great Redeemer. The next affirms the double blessedness which we obtain through this salvation-the blessings of the upper and nether springs-of time and of eternity. The third shows one of the dut ies to which the chosen people are called; we are ordained to suffer for Christ with the promise that “if we suffer, we shall also reign with Him.” The last sets forth the active form of Christian service, bidding us diligently to maintain good works. Thus we have the root of salvation in free grace; next, the privileges of that salvation in the life which now is, and in that which is to come; and we have also the two great branches of suffering with Christ and serving with Christ, loaded with the fruits of the Spirit. Treasure up these faithful sayings. Let them be the guides of our life, our comfort, and our instruction. The apostle of the Gentiles proved them to be faithful, they are faithful still, not one word shall fall to the ground; they are worthy of all acceptation, let us accept them now, and prove their faithfulness. Let these four faithful sayings be written on the four corners of My house.

http://www.crosswalkmail.com/ShareArticle.do?perform=view&articleID=vpphpkrhm&siteID=ojfrzmtlrfrtqlvkgncsctmqjggqfwtczzv&recipID=526889780


And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

These days, many things can pressure us to doubt the truth of the Gospel, the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ. The popularity of the so-called “new atheists” can make us wonder whether our faith is an obsolete remnant of a pre-scientific world. Scholars whose claims seem to undermine Christianity often get headlines and primetime interviews. A growing awareness of non-Christian religions suggests that faith in a single savior is arrogant. And then there’s the corrosive impact of living in a postmodern culture in which the very notion of transcendent truth is denied if not scorned. Thus, we wonder: Is the Gospel of Jesus Christ really true?

According to Ephesians 1:13, the answer to this question is “Yes!” This verse refers to “the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation.” The phrase translated here as “the message of truth” literally reads, “the word of truth.” In this context, it refers not to God’s written word (the Bible) or to the Word of God Incarnate (Jesus) but to the message that was proclaimed to the Ephesians, the good news of God’s salvation in Jesus Christ through his death and resurrection.

One who is steeped in postmodernism might point out that this message is a moving story. In this story, those who were lost are found. Those who were imprisoned are set free. Those who were dead are made alive. This story brings to life the love of God for human beings. It can fill us with gratitude and joy.

But the Gospel is not just a moving story. It is a true story. Jesus really was God Incarnate. Jesus really did die for us. Jesus really was raised from the dead, thus demonstrating God’s victory over sin and death. For the Christian, these are not just beautiful themes or powerful symbols. They are accurate statements at the core of the Gospel. They not only move us, but also demonstrate to us the love and grace of God. Thus, we stake our life, both in this world and the next, on “the message of truth, the gospel of our salvation.”

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: What, if anything, has caused you to wonder about whether the Gospel is really true or not? What helps you to affirm the truth of the good news?

PRAYER: Gracious God, sometimes it is not easy in this day to affirm the truth of the Gospel. We face many pressures that lead us to question, even to doubt, the good news. Help us, we pray, to have confidence in you and your truth. Give us discerning minds and confident hearts.

I pray today for those who are struggling with doubt. Meet them in their questions, concerns, and worries. Lead them to resources that will help them to think clearly about matters of faith. Bring into their lives those who can lovingly and wisely help them to grasp and grow in the truth. Amen.

http://www.thehighcalling.org/reflection/gospel-jesus-christ-really-true


Sharing the Good News

The impulse to share, to impart, normally accompanies any true encounter with God and spiritual things. The woman at the well, after her soul-inspiring meeting with Jesus, left her water pots, hurried into the city and tried to persuade her friends to come out and meet Him. Come, see a man, she said, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? Her spiritual excitement could not be contained within her own heart. She had to tell someone. Is it not possible that our Lord had this in mind when He spoke about the impossibility of secret discipleship? Have we misunderstood the true relationship between faith and testimony? Christ made it clear that there could be no such thing as secret discipleship and Paul said, With the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. This is usually understood to mean that God has laid upon us an arbitrary requirement to open our mouth in confession before salvation can become effective within us. Maybe that is the correct meaning of these verses. Or could it be that the confession is an evidence of the salvation which has come by faith to the heart, and where there is no impulse to impart, no outrushing of words in joyous testimony, there has been no true inward experience of saving grace?

http://www.cmalliance.org/devotions/tozer?id=674