The Lord Jesus Christ came to this earth, “to seek and to save that which was lost.” In my case He accomplished what He set out to do. I was definitely lost, in need of being saved, or else I had to die in my sins and try to pay for what Christ already paid through His precious blood, death, and resurrection. For me at that time, it wasn’t that I thought I lacked the ability to save myself, but rather, that I had gone too far in life and Christ couldn’t save me. The scales of good vs. bad were unalterably tilted toward bad. I didn’t realize that man cannot save himself. I wasn’t familiar with the number of Bible verses that spelled it out so clearly, that the Lord Jesus Christ, Who was sinless, became sin for me in order that I might repent toward God, and trust Christ and His finished work for me. In my case, being saved was not easy. I remember agonizing and probably debating with the man who was concerned enough for my soul to explain God’s plan of salvation to me. I was fortunate to be able to talk with someone who was giving to me God’s plan and not the watered-down or added-to, term-switching, or compromised version of man. Sales techniques are intentionally created for the customer to agree with what the salesman wants you to agree with. The Gospel of Christ goes against that grain. There is no sales pitch. There are no discounts, no buy one-get one free deals, no coupons, no hidden extra qualifications, and there is no sale price to our salvation.
Upon receiving Christ as my personal Savior, God, in His infinite grace saved me through my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. There were no works involved, no meriting being saved, no water baptism included to finalize the salvation, no walking an aisle, no raising a hand, no saying a prayer: I was saved by the grace of God through the action of faith. . . alone. Saved, not reformed or on probation – Saved! Saved! All glory goes to the Lord for what happened to me.
The Bible speaks of salvation in three tenses: past, present, and future. Either I have been saved from the penalty of sin, or I haven’t been. If I haven’t, then I am not saved. Salvation is what God say it is. Its power is in the Gospel of Christ. I am either saved or I am not as to the past tense. Christ took both my sin debt upon Himself on the cross and paid my whole debt with His blood, or He didn’t. But since He did and the Bible spells out that it is faith alone in Him and His finished work that God honors enough to save us by His grace, then I am saved from sin’s penalty- eternal separation from God in Hell, and then the Lake of Fire. If this cannot be a settled matter and an eternal matter – all else is meaningless, superficial, and vain – much if not most of what would happen then would be dependent on us, not the finished work of Christ alone.
Secondly, all born again saints of God, of which I am one, are being saved from the power of sin in their everyday lives. I am a work in progress, a masterpiece in the making by the Master Artist of life, the clay being molded by the Potter. I am being conformed to the image of Christ day by day, hour by hour, decision by decision. Christ redeemed me by His blood. He purchased me in the marketplace of sin. But He didn’t then leave me there. He didn’t expect me to stay there, or go back there. He took me out of that place, set me free from sin’s power, to which I can now freely and wholly serve Him all the days of my pilgrimage here on earth. It is useless to say, “I can’t help myself,” if born again. You can, for you have the ongoing and progressive power over sin in your life. It is not that you will not sin – it’s that you have the power not to. Listen to how John puts it in I John 2:1, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not.” I, through yielding to the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, can produce fruit, a fruit that lasts, good fruit. Through that same Holy Spirit I can produce good works as well. I am the workmanship of Christ, and He doesn’t make shoddy or inferior products. Eph.2:10, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” I came to Christ with a boat load of the life of the flesh, and one by one those things have and are being cast overboard, while at the same time, I am taking on new cargo, putting on the new man – the things of God and of the Spirit from His Word. I never knew before I was saved that life could have such value and purity and sweetness and blessing. And, let’s not forget – trials and testing. “First comes the testing, then the blessing,” a wise teacher used to say. Any strength that I have today in the Christian life and walk is due to the victories over the trials or testing at one time or another. Praise God for His continued working in my life to gain victory after victory over sin’s power.
The third tense of salvation is future: saved from the presence of sin. This is that great day of eternity future. I can’t write much here as it beyond my finite capacity to understand or even relate to my being in a setting wholly free from the presence of sin or its consequences. This is when my salvation, through beginning by trusting the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior reaches its fulfilled purpose in God. I can’t wait. Won’t you join me? God is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance;” Christ shed His blood and died in your behalf and then rose from the dead to give you the same opportunity of salvation that I had. It is a life or death issue . . . and the final word always has been and will always be – God’s.