Posts Tagged ‘Faith’

Ever been in a crisis
A crisis too deep you don’t know how to get out
A self-inflicted crisis with murderous results
A crisis you saw coming but chose to ignore?

Now ever been in a spiritual crisis
Where day and night you wonder if you are still in the faith
And to drown that still small voice telling you where to go
You indulge in what your depraved soul knows best – sin
Ever been in a spiritual crisis?

That you need the word so badly but feel like you’ve gone too far to be redeemed
And so again instead of climbing out, You dig yourself deeper into the pit
You know the way out but walking in it suddenly seems so hard
You don’t know who to reach out to or how to
Scratch that, you know exactly who to reach out to but wonder if they’ll ever understand coz you can’t even explain it
If they’ll look past your wandering and feed you with the word you so deeply desire
Because after all is said and done, you realise it’s all vanity
Why would I gain the whole world and lose my soul
Why would I gain the appeal of man only to be disowned by my Maker
Why would temporary pleasures satisfy, or rather feel like they satisfy when in reality they are killing me
Why gain that relationship and lose out on the one that matters most
Why would I do all these and yet I am a Christian
How did I go these far, how did I miss the signs
Is this indwelling sin or have I just lost it
Because if I’m to be judged by my fruits God knows I won’t pass any test?

Yet deep within the thirst is still there
My soul deeply longs and groans for Him
He still seeks me upto now
I know I’m able to see I’m in a crisis because His grace still saves
But I’m too weak to get myself out of this mess
The cross seems so far to reach to
But my heart, Oh my heart, wants to fall upon it
To leave everything else and cling to it
To never look back again because this pit is ugly
To lift my eyes to God and cry ‘Father forgive me’
Cause’ much as I try to fight it
I know this is the Christian I’m not.

Recently, I got a chance to talk to a group of campus students on the above topic. I remember wondering how exactly I was going to deal with the subject, this is how the Lord enabled me.

Question: What Really is Salvation?

1. Salvation means Repentance

The human race is totally depraved, we inherited the sinful nature from the man Adam and since then, his seed has been the object of God’s wrath, Ephesians 2:1. We must understand just how sinful we are and how in need of a Saviour we are for until we do, repentance is impossible. Romans 3:10-18 talks of none being righteous, we were dead in our transgressions, Ephesians 2:1 and this is where Christ comes in. Romans 5:8, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. This same Christ commands that we should turn away from our sins for He came to seek and save that which was lost, Luke 19:10. Acts 3:19 is the clarion call for this where we are told, ‘Repent therefore and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out.’ For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved, Romans 10:13. The 1st letter of John chapter 1:9 further encourages us that if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. We should be full of gratitude that sinful us, can be shown mercy by the Great I am to to the extent that he tells us he has not destined us for wrath but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ and that Christ has come to deliver us from the coming wrath. 1 Thessalonians 1:10 & 5:9. Therefore people, the choice is yours, repent and be saved. That’s the first step.

2. Salvation means Faith

After repentance, comes faith. Salvation is an act of faith for it calls for you to believe in the Lord Jesus to be saved. We see this in Acts 16:30-31, where the Jailer asks Paul and Silas what he needs to do to be saved and they tell him to ‘believe in the Lord Jesus and he will be saved together with his household. Acts 4:12 continues by stating that there is salvation in no one else , for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. Romans 10:9 says, ‘if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart God raised him from the dead you will be saved.’ It takes faith to believe, it takes faith to be saved, and faith not being some mystical illusion but faith in the Lord Jesus.

3. Salvation means Justification

Justification is an act of God’s free grace, wherein he pardons all our sins and accepts us as righteous in His sight. It is an imputed righteousness, a righteousness that is outside us, a judicial act where a condemned sinner is declared righteous. The law could not help us that’s why Christ had to come and be our justification.

Let me just take you through scriptures that support this theology.

In Galatians 3:24, we see that the law was meant to lead us to Christ that we may be justified by faith. We could not and cannot uphold the law. The law requires that every command be kept and if you break even one, you have broken all, that’s where Christ the perfect Saviour comes in and becomes our righteousness. He is the only one who could uphold the law and so we were delivered from the curse of the law and his righteousness was credited unto us and it’s the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. Another thing that justification does is that it enables us to be at peace with God. Remember me telling you how we were objects of God’s wrath and the wrath that is to come, this is what justification has saved us from, now we are no longer sons of wrath but sons of peace, peace with our maker. Adam’s tresspass led to condemnation for all men but Christ’s act of righteousness lead to justification and life for all men, Rom.5:18. We are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, Galatians.3:26, and through the act of justification we have become regenerates. Regeneration is God’s act of creating new life in a sinner by the power of the Holy Spirit, seen in 2 Corinthians 5:16-18, we are a new creation, the old is gone. We are told in Ephesians 2:8-9 that it’s by grace we have been saved, not by works that any one shoud boast. Justification is an act of grace.

4. Salvation means Sanctification

Sanctification is a progressive act of God making us more and more into the image of Christ. It is God’s will that we may be sanctified, 1 Thessalonians 4:3, for he has not called us to impurity but in holiness. Romans 6:6-7 says, ‘for we know that our old self was crucified with him inorder that the body of sin might be brought to nothing so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin.’ This is what sanctification is all about. We become dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Sanctification is the fruit of salvation Rom.6:22 and at the same time we are exhorted in 1 Peter 1:15 to be holy as he who has called us is holy.

Though sin no longer controls us, sin stills dwells in us. That’s why we find ourselves falling in every manner of evil. A believer isn’t controlled by sin but rather struggles with it, fights it and finally kills it, this is the path of sanctification. We are being transformed and renewed in our thoughts and minds that sin no longer has dominion over us because we are under grace and that’s why Paul says in Romans 6:12, “let not sin reign in your mortal body to make you obey its passions’ that means sin is in you but it should not rule you. Why or how you may ask? Because you have the Spirit of God who helps you not to gratify the desires of the flesh, Galatians 5:16. Because it is no longer we who live but Christ who lives in us, we have been crucified with him, remember? Because the fruit we get from being slaves to Christ is sanctification. When you read Galatians 5:16-26, James 4 and Romans.7 you get to understand better the battle with indwelling sin. The good news, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him since he always lives to make intercession for them, Hebrews 7:25. Jude vs.24 also says he is able to keep us from falling and present us blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy. Read 1 John 5:18-20 too. We are not in this alone saints, Christ is with us all the way. REJOICE!

5. Salvation means Slavery

We all agree in the Lordship of Christ, aye?

In the words of a one John Macarthur, ‘when you confess Christ as Lord, you are at the same time confessing yourselves as slaves.’ That’s not good news for some people yet it is the good news of salvation. Salvation is slavery in the sense that Christ has exclusive ownership of you because He bought you at a price. It means that you are subject to the will of your master, you need to have singular devotion to him. It means that there should be compete and constant availability to your master on your part. It means total dependence and allegiance to your master, you cannot serve two masters. It also means that all discipine and rewards come from that master, ‘whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth.’ It means you are under the yoke of your master and all this is seen when Christ says if any man will come to him let him deny himsef and carry his cross. It means you die to self and become subject to your master’s will.

The interesting thing though is that, unlike the worldly masters, we are under a loving, gracious master who cares, protects and provides for us. A master who adopts us into his family, makes us sons and joint co-heirs with Christ. Loving us as much as as he loves his son and that’s why He says in Matthew 11:28-29, ‘…… take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls, For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.’ What a joy to be his slave. Read Romans 6.

6. Salvation means Suffering

The gospel of salvation is one that includes suffering. Anyone that brings another gospel or fails to state this is not preaching the whole counsel. Suffering is there and it serves a purpose. Let’s go through scripture.

Matthew 10:16 -24 Christ is blatantly telling the disciples and in extension us, that persecution will come, for he is sending us as sheep in the midst of wolves. 2 Tim.3:12 gives you the same promise, ‘Indeed all who desire to live a godly life in Jesus Christ will be persecuted.’ We are children of God, if chidren then heirs with Christ provided we suffer with him in order that we may be glorified with him.’ Romans 8:16-18. Philippians 1:29 does not mince words when it says, ‘for it has been granted to us that for the sake of Christ not only to believe in him but also suffer for his sake.’ 2 Tim.1:8 exhorts us to share in the suffering for the gospel.

So how shoud we react to the sufferings that come our way?

1 Peter 4:12 – 19 talks about suffering as a Christian and it tells us not to be surprised at the fiery trials that come our way but REJOICE insofar as we share Christ’s suffering that we may rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. James 1:2 says the same thing, ‘COUNT IT ALL JOY.’ Romans 8:18 tells of the glory that will be revealed at the end of time therefore making the present sufferings bearable. Rom.8:28 all things work for good for those who are called by God. Christ being a loving and just God told us all these things in advance to keep us from falling away when they do happen, John 16:1.

And in the words of John Piper, I will say, through the deepest possible pain, God is enough and God is most gorified in you when you are most satisfied in him not just in prosperity and health but also in suffering.

7. Salvation means Judgement

Whatever has a beginning, has an end, apart from God. In the beginning God created the world and in the end, God will judge the world. Psalms 75:7 says it is God who executes judgement and Hebrews 12:23 talks of God being the judge of all.

There will be judgement when the Son of God comes and he will repay each one according to what each has done. So salvation is not of works in terms of gaining it but salvation will be of works at the end of time in terms of what you have done because in asmuch as Christ has done everything for us, we each have a personal responsibility to live upto what we have been called to, 2 Peter 1:10. That’s why in Acts 17:3 we see it being said that in the past, God overlooked ignorance but now, he commands everyone to repent for he has set a day when he will judge the word with justice by the man he has appointed – Christ. You don’t want to be on the wrong side of Christ on that day, submit to his terms of peace now when you still can for you will give an account to every careless word, every deed you have done in the body whether good or bad.

The following are a list of verses that talk of the coming judgement you can read through them:

– Mark 9: 43 – 47, Matthew 16:27, 25:31-46, 12:36, Romans 2, Reveation 20:12, 2 Corinthians 5:9-10, John 5:22, Nahum 1:28, Romans 1:18, 2:5, 9:22, 1 Thess.1:10, 5:9, Rev.6:16, Hebrews 12:28 – 29.

Kindly go through those verses and remember this, behind every display of God’s goodness, stands a threat of severity in judgement if that goodness is scorned.

So salvation comes by faith alone, in Christ alone, through God’s word alone, so that it may be by grace alone to the end, that all glory wil go to God alone. Amen.

Grace & Peace