Short Meds in ‘Living the Life’: 19. Being Saved
1 Pet 1:9 “you are receiving the end result of your faith, the SALVATION of your souls.”
It is very easy to forget both what has happened to us and the state we are in today. I came to the Lord over fifty years ago and I therefore need to remind myself what I was like before I met the Lord and, indeed, how I met the Lord and what the change was like initially. When your conversion was a long time back, not only is it easy to forget those things but it is easy to forget how different you are today from your neighbour who hasn’t had that experience and hasn’t had years of change taking place in them at the direction of God. We all go through changes as we grow older, but my changes are unique because they involve experiences with the Lord. Yes, it is easy to forget or take for granted just what salvation means.
Awareness. In the analogy yesterday we are receiving this salvation. The ship was sinking, we were going to die. Then, at his bidding, we stepped ‘into’ Jesus. Paul taught (Eph 2:1-) that, in one version, we were ‘under God’s judgment, doomed forever for our sins’.
The truth was we were helpless (we couldn’t get off the ship) and hopeless (we were doomed, it was sinking) and then Jesus came and saved us and we are now BEING saved. I often wonder if we fully appreciate the wonder of being saved, or have we forgotten (or perhaps never realised the desperate nature of our plight) the reality of the old life we were saved from?
Of course these things are affected by the nature of our old life and the nature of the changes that have taken place. My wife asked Jesus to be her friend when she was five. It was a real experience, one that was reinforced, as such childhood conversions are, by a major encounter with the Lord in her teenage years. She, like others I’ve heard who made childhood professions of faith, often rue the fact that they didn’t have a major conversion experience from ‘a life of big sins’. Such people have a very precious privilege of having Jesus build things into them at such a young age that I observe their foundations are often much more stable and stronger than the ‘sinner’ with their big conversion experience later in life.
So yes, there will be some who have big stories of dramatic changes, we’re all different. Jesus told a parable about two debtors and asked, “Now which of them will love him more?” to which the reply was given, “the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.” (Lk 7:42,43) The truth is that each Christian’s ‘salvation story’ is different but none is more worthy than another.
Yes, the child hasn’t got into prostitution, committed adultery, been a criminal or whatever other ‘bigger sin’ we can envisage but when we define ‘sin’ as self-centred godlessness, then anyone at any age and any experience needs saving from that. The self-centred, godless, utterly spoilt (not my wife!!!) brat of a child needs saving as much as any older person because of ‘what might be’, what they might become, apart from their present obnoxiousness! Salvation starts at a particular point of time and, like the lifeboat, will take some time to reach the far shore. From the sinking ship to the land, is a journey and much can happen on the journey and all the way through the stormy seas, we are being saved, a process if you like, an ongoing experience of change – but Jesus keeps us secure. Hallelujah! Relish the journey to shore. Enjoy the wonder of this ‘lifeboat’!