SALVATION

But what does [the righteousness based on faith] say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:8–13

To be saved means to be rescued. De-theologizing that the word salvation for a moment may help us here to answer the question. We need rescue. We are in dire straights and without rescue, we will be lost. What sort of rescue do we need and what does it mean to be lost? 

Scripture provides three interlocking answers: sin, death, and Satan vie against us. Sin brings justice which we know as divine wrath, so that we must pay restitution and so satisfy justice’s demand to avoid it; death kills us, so that we need immortality to avoid it; Satan deceives us, so that we need to conquer the deceiver to overcome his schemes. 

On one hand, salvation is a simple matter. When we trust Jesus to take away our sins, we are made right in God’s sight. C. S. Lewis said, "The central Christian belief is that Christ’s death has somehow put us right with God and given us a fresh start."

 

On the other hand, salvation is a serious matter—it cost Christ His life in order to free us from our sin. Sin created a deep valley between a perfect God and imperfect humans. We cannot bridge this gap on our own. We need help, just as a person who’s in debt needs someone with money to pay off the debt.

God sent Jesus into the world to pay our debt and to be the only way to be reconciled with Him. Jesus paid the penalty for our sin so that we could again be in a deep relationship with God.

 

Why didn’t God just snap His fingers and make sin go away? God is a just God. The debt for sin in our lives had to be paid. But instead of us paying the price, in God’s magnificent love He sent Jesus to earth to pay that price. He died on the cross for our sins. After three days in the tomb, Jesus rose from the dead and appeared before many witnesses. The debt had been paid. Henry Drummond wrote, “The sense of the infinite worth of the single soul, and the recoverableness of man at his worst are the gifts of Christ. The freedom from guilt and the forgiveness of sins come from Christ’s Cross; the hope of immortality springs from Christ’s grace.”

 

Salvation changes our lives. It frees us from guilt, remorse, shame, and fear. “Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.” - C.S. Lewis

More importantly, it is crucial to know you are not saved by works "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God."(Ephesians 2:8). 

“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

If you have put your faith in Jesus Christ, it's time to learn about the God who saved you.
"Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things." (2 Timothy 2:7)

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. 

Romans 12:2

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