Archive for March, 2009

Saved!

Posted in Saved with tags on March 1, 2009 by evangelist

I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. – John 10:9

Jesus is the Good Shepherd.  He is also the only door to enter God’s kingdom. He serves as the Way to the Father so that we might “be saved.”

We hear that term a lot in church but how often do we really stop and think about what it means. If we have repented and believed in Jesus then we have been saved! Saved from what? Saved to what? Saved, why? Saved, how? Those are the questions we will answer today.

We are saved from a number of things when we believe in Christ. First we are saved from sin. Because Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life and He imputes His righteousness to us now God is able to declare us righteous (justified) and we are right with God. He has taken away our sin and imputed to us His rightness with God. He saved us by taking our sin upon Himself on the cross – the death He died was OUR death – the one we should have died as a result of our sin. (Rom. 6:23) So now we are saved from (freed from) sin (Romans 6).

Secondly we are saved from death. The wages of sin is still death, but because the price for our sin has been paid we never have to fear death! We may die physically, but that is simply a transformation as we step into life in the spiritual realm face to face with Christ. But we will never die spiritually – we will not die the eternal death in hell that the lost will. The death we are saved from is referred to in Scripture as the Second Death. To be separated from the goodness and grace of God and to suffer the agony of dying forever! (This could also be termed being saved from judgment or wrath!) In examining this closely we see that since we are saved from the wrath of God, we are literally saved from God’s justice. We are given mercy and favor (grace) instead of justice and wrath.

Thirdly we are saved from self! We now have the power from the Holy Spirit to be self-controlled or better said, Spirit-controlled, so that we can overcome temptation and sin and truly live a victorious life! We are saved from everything wicked and awful that we were without Christ.

Fourth we are saved from bondage. Before we entered Christ we were bound in sin. Another term is to be dead in sin. There was no spiritual life in us at all. We were dead to God and would never have even thought to come to Him unless He had called us by His Spirit to salvation. (1 Cor 2:14; John 6:39, 44). In essence to be saved is to be free! Truly free. In reality our freedom is nothing more than slavery to Jesus! Now we are bought at a price and belong to Him for all eternity.

If we are indeed saved, we now know what we are saved from – but what are we saved TO? We are saved to His glory for His good pleasure. He saved us because He wanted to save us! It glorifies Him to show His love and mercy through our salvation. Actually, the Old Testament talks about it being HIS salvation.

We are also saved to eternal life – now we can live forever in the presence of God because our sin debt has been paid and we are counted righteous in His sight! The thing that separated us from the Heavenly Father has been removed and we have been reconciled to Him just as He wanted.

While all of us will live forever somewhere because of Jesus now we can be sure that our eternal life is lived in His presence, with Him in the new heaven and earth instead of separated from Him in the lake of fire!

Jesus saved us to good works as well! We have the power daily to do what is right because He has given us freedom to chose obedience to His Word and His will whereas before we were bound to sin. He produces through us the works that glorify Him! He lives through us on a daily basis to help us BE right with God moment by moment.

We have been saved to fellowship. Our ability to fellowship carries us through trials and hardships and gives us reason to rejoice with one another at all that God has done for us! You cannot enjoy true fellowship unless you are serving God with brothers and sisters in Christ. The lost offer no fellowship and no godly counsel. They provide no encouragement of help in true times of need, because they do not know our Father – and even if they are blood related, they still aren’t family as much as other believers are and can be! There is a friend closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24).

To continue our list, we are also saved to carry out a mission – and that mission is to spread the good news of the Gospel to as many people as we possibly can. We have purpose in our lives, not the least of which is proclaiming the salvation that has been secured by the sacrifice of our Savior!

Now let us answer the final two questions: why are we saved and how are we saved? We are saved because God loved us so much that He created us to have fellowship with Him – and when Adam and Eve sinned and broke that fellowship, God’s plan to redeem us was simple – He would send His Son to die in our place, to pay the penalty for our sin and to give us His rightness with God.

His desire for fellowship saw Him plan this out long before He even created us. He knew we would fall, and He knew what it would cost Him to redeem us and He still created us and loved us enough to carry out His eternal plan!

The how is as simple as can be. We are saved when we are regenerated by the power of the Holy Spirit (Eph. 2:1, 5-6; Ezek. 11:19) , converted, justified, and adopted. All of this happens as we answer His call and turn from our sin (repent) to Christ (believe) in faith. We are called by grace through the Spirit of God and respond with the faith He has given us. He saves us, we don’t save ourselves – and He continues to save us! We are saved, we are being saved as we grow to be more like Him day by day, and we will be saved. Eventually our physical bodies will be redeemed as well as our spirit! (see also Eph 1:3-4; 1 Peter 3:18; Eph. 2:8-9; Acts 5:30-31; Acts 11:18; Gal. 1:1-9, 11; Rom. 8:15; and 1 John 3:1).

Jesus tells us that we will be saved if we “enter” the proper door, namely, Him! He is the Way, Truth, and Life, and none of us can hope to ever come to the Father unless we come through Christ. And once we are saved and part of His sheep fold, then we can come and go and find pasture!

The implication here is that we are now free! We can come and go as we please, whereas before we were dead and bound to sin and to sin alone. Now we have been given our freedom to “roam” the Kingdom and go wherever we want! Indeed, finding God’s will is not nearly as difficult as we make it – if we are walking by faith in obedience to the Word of God and following the direction of the Holy Spirit, then we can do whatever we desire, for to delight in Him is to find Him giving us the very desires of our heart! (Not the object of desire, the desire itself!)

He also tells us that as we go and come we will find pasture. He is talking here about being spiritually fed and growing in grace. I want to look at several ways that we are fed as we “go in and out to find pasture.” We are fed spiritually by the Word, by pastors and teachers, and by fellowship with others.

The first on our list is obvious. We are fed by the Word of God. It is to be to us like food as we must have it to survive. From it comes our faith and our desire to do His will. From it comes the instruction as to what His will is and will continue to be. The Word tells us how to be safe, be saved, and be fruitful. In it we find His blueprints for our life, day to day. The Bible serves as an owner’s manual (written by our Creator and given to us so that we can “run” the most efficiently and as long as possible!).

Secondly we are fed by pastors and teachers. The Church is the Body of Christ to which has been given leaders to “plant and water” , to grow us and equip us to live our lives by faith and in a manner that serves as salt and light in a tasteless and dark world! The job of a pastor is to feed (equip, teach, instruct, encourage, counsel, motivate, care for, rebuke, etc.) the flock of God. As a matter of fact the Bible is plain in telling us that the pastor of your church is actually God’s gift to that church! (see Eph. 4:11-16). And we are also fed by others who teach us, whether through tv or radio, or by books or tapes – there are many good teachers out there who can give us a steady diet of truth!

Thirdly, we are fed and nourished by fellowship with others. There is a great need in our day for believers to realize that the Spirit of God has gifted them to minister to others in the body of Christ! Many times we fail to see that the trials we have faced and endured or have fallen to are there for us to share with others to “save” them from the same mistakes or to sympathize with them as they face the same kind of hardships that we have had to endure! There is great encouragement and strength in sharing our Christian walk with others – that is precisely why we are COMMANDED not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together for worship regularly (Hebrews 10:24-25).

Because of Christ, we are free to go in and out and are promised that we will find pasture. We will be fed many times and many ways, most of all we are fed by His love for us as He walks side by side with us and often even carries us through this life! Today, be thankful to God for the things He will save you from when He accepts you in His Son. Today – BE SAVED!

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