Salvation: A New Beginning
November 2013 Blog: Ephesians 2:8-9, NIV
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast."
Revelation 21:1-4, NKJV
"Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” "
Salvation is God’s free gift to mankind- He alone is qualified to save after all He is our Creator and if we are damaged by the wear and tear of life and the ravages of sin ( as we are), He alone is equipped with the wisdom, skill and component parts essential for our rebuilding. Isaiah 59:16 confirms that:
“He saw that there was no man, And wondered that there was no intercessor; Therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him; And His own righteousness, it sustained Him”.
It is also important to note that it is God through the agency of His Holy Spirit as the Comforter, Counsellor, Spirit of Truth, Wisdom and Revelation who provides us with the spiritual fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control (see John 16:7, John 16:13, Isaiah 11:2, Galatians 5:22-23) who is the motivating force that works within us filling us with the desire to seek salvation and enables us to develop a Christ-like character.
We see from the bible numerous examples of how the fall into sin corrupts humanity when we are left to our own devices. Even the best of saints: Noah, Abraham, David and the disciples for example made mistakes when they responded to their selfish desires and human logic rather than the voice of God. After all “are born in sin and shaped in iniquity” (Psalm 51) and our hearts are deceitful and wicked (Jeremiah 17:9).
When we are separated from God’s goodness, we are unable to thrive. As the opening text describes- God’s grace saves us when we believe in Him. Anything we attempt to do that appears to be “good” is the product of human “works”, which by definition are vain, fleshy and self-centred.
Having established that salvation is free and just a matter of our acceptance of it through in the finished work of Christ upon the cross, let us see what it means for those who believe. I would like to think that a declaration of faith is the key that unlocks the door of Amazing Grace which grants access to the experience of salvation to all who believe. Paul in Romans 10:9 puts it this way:
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved”.
Salvation is the beginning of the awesome journey of our walk with God! If we were really able to comprehend what that means for us- we would hurry to receive it. Observe human behaviour at department store sales. When everything is half price or 75% off- you will find queues of people- missing sleep, camping out, just so that they can get their desired object. Although grace is free, I see no queues and people are hardly willing to camp out or lose sleep for the sake of salvation. I tell you there is something wrong with this picture! Sadly “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God”. (2 Corinthians 4:4).
This is no sales pitch- this is true. God is saving us to bless us with unbelievable beauty; untold riches; godly perfection; celestial excellence; divine holiness; majestic glory and unutterable magnificence. To top it off, He is waiting to welcome us into heaven Himself! He has given the honour of escorting us home to Christ and an entourage of an “innumerable company” of glorious angels. We will hear the sweet melodious tones of the heavenly choir; our bodies will be glorified and changed to the likeness of our beloved Saviour. Our hearts will be filled with inexpressible joy.
What ever we experience in this world pales into insignificance, compared to what we will experience in the next, when we are reunited with God in the majestic splendour of the eternal habitation that He has prepared for that wonderful reunion. There will be no death; no need for tears; no pain; no sorrow; no poverty; no wars; no natural disasters; no violence nor abuse; the list goes on… John the disciple that Jesus loved saw it and recorded the breathtaking sight so that we could be encouraged with a glimpse of heaven beforehand- what a privilege.
Dear Friends I want you to see the bigger picture. This world and everything in it is disintegrating. It is guilty of sin and sentenced to death. Christ the Lamb of God paid the price for mankind. He was sinless yet became a curse, taking upon Himself the death sentence for all humanity so that we could be reconciled with Him in a new heaven and a new earth. He is the Bridegroom who is patiently waiting for His Bride to be ready. We are His Bride and its time to get ready- He will not return until we are.
The way I see it, there is no alternative to heaven for me. I am homesick, like the song says: “this world is not my home- I am just passing through”. This world is finished and so are we if we do not lift our eyes up beyond the hills to see the true source of Hope- Our Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). I urge you today make a choice for Christ, Salvation and Eternity in His glorious company- He has made it simple. He has done all the hard work, all we have to do is believe. If you haven’t already done so, choose Jesus without delay and you will receive immeasurable blessings from His divine treasure store. I pray that when you do, that you will begin to see thereafter, “the light of the glory of God” in His beautiful face.
© hopecalls.org, 2013 (all rights reserved)
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