SAVED!

This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to SAVE sinners…” —1 Timothy 1:15

I love the word “saved!” What a glorious word! It is the theme of so many songs we sing in church. “SAVED by the Blood,” “Jesus Saves,” “Saved, Saved,” etc.

“Saved!” It is a Bible word! Matthew 1:21, “…thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” Acts 4:12, “…there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” John 3:17, “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” Luke 19:10, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Ephesians 2:8, “For by grace are ye saved through faith…” Acts 16-30-31, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Romans 10:9, 13, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

I’m afraid this terminology is beginning to be replaced from the modern Christian’s vocabulary. Many modern Christians no longer say “Jesus saved me.” Instead they say something like, “I have a personal relationship with Jesus.” Or, “I’m following Jesus,” etc.

When someone says such things, they make themselves the subject. “I have a relationship with Christ… I’m following Jesus.” The verb is also about me—something that I’m doing, not what Jesus has already done. But when I say, “Jesus saved me,” it puts the emphasis on what Jesus has done.

I SEE GRACE!

When he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad… —Acts 11:23

    Barnabas saw something at Antioch that made him glad. What did he see? He saw “the grace of God” in the lives of people who recently turned to the Lord! When a person experiences the grace of God that brings salvation, it will be observable in their life (see Titus 2:11-12).

    I “see” the grace of God every time I attend our church. I “see” the grace of God in a mother who was recently in bondage to drugs, but now disciples others for the Lord Jesus Christ. I “see” the grace of God in the life of a young man who lived like a wild animal, but now is a manager of successful a business in our city.  I “see” the grace of God in a man who was controlled by an angry and violent spirit, but now is one of the kindest gentlemen you could ever know. I “see” the grace of God in women who once had an abortion, but now live in forgiveness. I “see” the grace of God in the lives of people who were blinded by heretical doctrines but now walk in the truth of the gospel. I “see” the grace of God every time I look in the mirror.

As one song says:

I see grace, in every life, on every face.
On the faithful who gather each week in this place.
I see grace.

    What do you “see” when you come to church. I hope you see “the grace of God” in the lives of those who attend. It will make you glad, like Barnabas. Do people “see” God’s grace in YOU?

OTHERS

Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: ―Philippians 2:4-5

Several years ago I was at our bank doing some business with my wife, Barb. At the time the bank was promoting the new Seattle Mariners baseball season with free bumper stickers. Barb noticed a badge the teller was wearing that displayed the theme of the Mariner promotion. Barb asked the teller if she could have one of the badges. She was not asking for one for herself. She wanted the badge to give to one of our daughters who loves the Mariners. The first thing Barb thought of was, “Joyce would love that badge.” (The teller was glad to get her a badge.)

I thought, “That’s just like my wife to always think about doing something for someone else.”  Barb is one of the most selfless people I know. This is the mind of Christ, to have an “others-focus,” instead of a “self-focus.”

Joy is spelled: “J”=Jesus, “O”=Others, “Y”=You. That is the way to JOY. Put Jesus first, Others second, and You last. If you change the order of the letters you lose the joy!

Lord, help me live from day to day

In such a self-forgetful way,

That even when I kneel to pray,

May my prayer be for others.

Others, Lord, Yes others―May this my motto be.

Help me live for others―That I may be like Thee!

“UNTIL” to “UNTIL”

“From the First Day… Until the Day”

“For your fellowship in the gospel FROM THE FIRST DAY UNTIL now; being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it UNTIL THE DAY of Jesus Christ.” —Philippians 1:5-6

Last night our Associate Pastor preached an excellent sermon from this text. The word untiloccurs twice—UNTIL now and UNTIL the day of Jesus Christ.” The word day also occurs twice. Paul is talking about something that is happening between these two days. What goes on between until NOW and until the DAY of Jesus Christ?”

The first until refers to a fellowship in the gospelthat started on the first dayof a person’s salvation. I remember that “day” very well—The day I got saved! What a wonderful day! And what a blessed fellowship I’ve enjoyed.

It was on this first day when I got saved that God began a good work in my life. That good work is still being performed. God is still working in me and His work will not be complete “UNTIL the day of Jesus Christ—That is the day when He comes to take me home!

But it started with the first day.” If there has been never been a first day in your life there is no good work being performed in your life. And there will be no “day of Jesus Christ for you either.

Can you remember a first day when you know you got saved? If not, why not make TODAY the first day of your salvation (2 Cor. 6:2). Receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior (John 1:12). At that point God will begin a good work in you until that wonderful day when He comes to take you to heaven!

Information Overload

Knowledge puffeth up —1 Corinthians 8:1

Daniel 12:4 prophesies in the end times, “knowledge shall be increased.”  By the time of the industrial revolution (1820-1840) a body of knowledge was established, accumulated from Adam to the time of the industrial revolution.  By 1900 this expanse of knowledge doubled. By 1950 it doubled again. By 1960 it doubled again. By 1965 it doubled again.  Today, this mass of knowledge—everything man knows—is doubling every two years.  We are truly living in the “information age.”

Alvin Toffler’s 1970 book, Future Shock, prophesies what might happen when there is “too much change in too short of a period of time.” He contended that the enormous changes taking place and the sudden increase of knowledge will eventually overwhelm people.  Man’s cranial computer would not be able to take it all in.  The accelerated rate of technological and social change will leave people disconnected and suffering from “shattering stress and disorientation,” hence, future shocked.  In such a scenario as Toffler described he coined the term “information overload.”

What a picture of today when many are educated beyond their intelligence!   “We’ve created more information in the last five years than in all of human history before it, and it’s coming at us all the time” (Daniel Levitin, author of The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload).  “In a sense,” Levitin says, “we become addicted to the hyperstimulation.”

As Paul wrote, “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7). It’s not how much you know, but who do you know? Do you know Jesus, “in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:3).

Leading from Redemption to Spiritual growth…