Tag Archives: Salvation

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.

“Basket Cases”

We sometimes hear about someone who is so messed up that they are referred to as a “basket case.” They appear to be trapped in a hopeless no-win situation.  However, I’ve seen God take some of these so-called “basket cases” and turn their lives around. Individuals  whom many had given up on are now walking with the Lord and have become productive members of society.  It is wonderful to see how God can take someone out of their “basket” situation and use them for His glory!

There are a few “basket cases” in the Bible.  I think of Moses who was put in a basket as a helpless baby and set adrift in the Nile River.   Who would have thought that God would take the baby Moses out of that crude basket and make him the deliver of His people out of Egypt and write the first five books in the Bible!

Paul was another “basket case.”  He wrought havoc with the early church and was greatly feared by the disciples.  But God saved Paul.  Then the Jews, whom Paul worked for, turned against him and sought to kill him.  But the disciples rescued Paul by letting him escape in a basket (Acts 9:25).  Who would have thought that God would take Paul out of that basket and later use him to write thirteen books of the New Testament and become the apostle of the Gentiles!

Do you know of someone who is a “basket case?” Who knows what will become of that “basket case.”  Maybe you consider yourself a “basket case.” Never underestimate what God can do with a “basket case.”  God specializes in “basket cases.” God takes the left-overs of life and puts them baskets so none are wasted (John 6:12-13)!

Close is not Enough

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; —Romans 3:23

While my wife an I were getting some R&R at a river-side cabin recently, there was a place to pitch horse-shoes.  I hadn’t played horse-shoes in years, so I thought I’d check it out.  To my surprise, I threw a ringer within a few tosses.  However, most of my tosses landed away from the horse-shoe stake.  But, the nice thing about the game of horse shoes is you don’t have to toss a ringer to get points. The game is really about “closeness.” If you toss a horse shoe within a certain distance of the stake, you could get points.

But not so with salvation.

An accountant answered an advertisement for a top job with a large firm. At the end of the interview, the chairman asked, “One last question—what is three times seven?”

The accountant thought for a moment and replied, “Twenty-two.”

Outside he realized he gave the wrong answer and and concluded he had lost the job. But two weeks later he was offered the job. He asked the chairman why he was hired when he had given the wrong answer.

“You were the closest,” the chairman replied.

Some people have the mistaken idea that God is like the man who conducted the interview. They think it doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you’re close to the truth.

Salvation is only found in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Anything else will miss the mark. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:1).

The “Jesus Nut”

Be it know unto you all…that by the name of Jesus Christ…doth this man stand here before you whole… Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. —Acts 4:10, 12

440px-Jesus_nut    The main rotor of a helicopter is held to the mast by what is called a “Jesus nut” or “Jesus pin” (pictured here).   If the “Jesus nut” fails in flight, the rotor would detach and result in catastrophic consequences. The term was likely coined during the Vietnam War when large numbers of soldiers were transported by helicopters. If the “jesus nut” failed, the only thing left for the crew to do would be to “pray to Jesus.”

Just as the “Jesus nut” keeps the helicopter in flight, so it is with the Lord Jesus Christ—It is only the Lord Jesus that will save you take you to heaven. Without Him, you are doomed to destruction.

Is your soul secured by the Lord Jesus Christ?  Will you “pray to Jesus” and ask Him to save you (Rom. 10:13)?  Unlike the “Jesus nut” on a helicopter, the Lord Jesus Christ will never fail and cause you to crash into the lake of fire.

The Lord’s “Swap Meet”

The Lord’s “Swap Meet”

“…beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness…” —Isaiah 61:3

Growing up I remember my parents taking me to a “swap meet.” It is like a flea market where people gather to either sell stuff, barter for things, or trade one item for another.

In today’s text we find the Lord making three “swaps.” Although Isaiah 61 is about the millennial reign of Christ, we can make a spiritual application for us today.

First, “…beauty for ashes…”  Before I became a Christian my life was nothing but a heap of ashes.  But when I got saved the Lord took those ashes and began to make something beautiful (Eccl. 3:11). One day, I will be made into His likeness.

Second, “…the oil of joy for mourning…” Salvation begins when we mourn about out sin (repentance) and trust Christ to save us. Then our mourning is turned to “the oil of joy.”  While a Christian may have nights of sorrow, joy will come in the morning!

Third, “… the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness…”  Before I was saved, I was clothed in filthy rags (Isa. 64:6). “The spirit of heaviness”  was upon me.  I traded my heaviness for praise because He saved my soul! “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness” (Isa. 61:10).

Here are a few other things we should “swap”—

  • Swap hell for heaven.
  • Swap defeat for victory (1 John 5:4). It’s time you quit begging God for the victory, and claim the victory that is already given us in Christ.
  • Swap worry for peace (Ps. 55:22; Phil. 4:6; 1 Pet. 5:7). You can either enjoy the ride, trusting the Driver, or you can be terrified every step of the way.  Many of the things we worry about do not happen; and those that do fall into two categories: those I have power over, and those I don’t.  I might as well let go of those I cannot control, and change the things I can – leaving it all in God’s hands.
  • Swap your will for God’s will (Eph 5:17; Lu 22:42). Trust God. He knows what’s best and what will make you happy in the long run.
  • Swap gossip for prayer (Pr 18:8; 20:19; 26:20-22). You can talk about me all that you please; I’ll talk about you down on my knees.

Are there some things you’d like to swap for something better?  The Lord invites you, “Let’s make a Deal!”