What does it mean when a Christian talks of salvation? Is it something they do in order to get their act together? Is it trying with all your might to be a good person? Is it attending church on a regular basis, reading the Bible, telling others about Jesus? Does salvation mean you quit drinking, smoking, cussing, stealing etc.?
One of the most well known verses in the Bible that tells us about salvation is Romans 10:9 “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved…” The word “believe” as used here means “To entrust one’s spiritual well-being to Christ.” In other words it means to have faith or trust in Jesus Christ for salvation. It really has very little to do with you at all according to this definition other than placing your simple, even if small, faith in him rather than anything you can do for yourself.
In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians he tells us “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” One day the little word “of” jumped out at me. Notice it says, “It is the gift “OF” God, not the gift from God. Some may say I’m nitpicking here or splitting hairs, but just hear me out. If this salvation Paul speaks of is something God gives to someone, as we might give someone a package for instance, then there is the possibility it could get lost or misplaced. On the other hand if the gift is He, himself, it’s something completely different isn’t it?
According to the Bible mankind is born a sinner which means without the Spirit of God. We discover we “were dead in our trespasses and sins, and were by nature children of wrath.” Now if we are, not only lost, but actually dead we’ve got a much greater problem than we first thought. So we don’t just need someone to come looking for us we need someone that can raise us from the dead.
Jesus told us “I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly.” You see he didn’t come to make us good people he came to give us life. He knows our real need isn’t to become a more moral person we need to be enlivened. The question then is how is he going to do this? How can he give us life again? I’m glad you asked.
Since sin is the reason we died in Adam; righteousness will make us live again in Christ. “If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.” Alright then sign me up! How do I obtain this righteousness? Well, it is part of the overall gift of salvation.
In 1st Corinthians 1:30-31 we read that Jesus Christ is righteousness. Since God gave us the gift “of” God, which is Christ, we now have these things because we have received all of him. God has placed us into Christ, “who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.” Once again we see our right standing before God is based on his gift, therefore we have nothing to brag about other than how awesome God is for having such a wonderful plan. What do you say we find someone we can brag to about our Lord?
Written by Louie