“How can I be saved?” This is a question that is at the heart of being human. It would be fair to say that this question is really the theme of the Bible. This is the real question that all philosophies and religions attempt to explore. This is also the question that man finds most difficult to answer.
Before answering that question it is appropriate to explore the question, “What does it mean to be saved?” For many people, there are circumstances and handicaps that can be debilitating. If a person is reeling under the grip of modern-day slavery or a painful disease, perhaps being saved is escaping from the same. However, for most other people and even for those going through painful situations, there is an underlying void that is even more disconcerting. What are my true origins? What happens to me after death? How do I find meaning in my life’s pursuits? How can I explain evil within me and suffering around me? How can I overcome the forces within me that prevent me from living an honest and productive life? Everyone finds within himself a need to be saved. These questions are but a reflection of the fact that at the very center of our being is a void that needs to be filled, a primary fuel that has been denied and a knowledge that has proven elusive.
Being saved is fulfilling that void. It is moving from death to life. It is making sense of the world with its many complexities. It is no longer struggling with the experience of evil or with questions about it. It is no longer being in bondage to evil but living in true freedom. It is to find satisfaction in life’s pursuits and to find meaning in what you do here in the context of the assurance of eternal life following death. For one who has not found it, there is always something missing from life- a void that has either been ignored or found elusive despite one’s best effort to find it. For one who has found it, it becomes the most crucial event in life and defines everything thereafter. In Bob Dylan’s words,
“Don’t matter how much money you got, there’s only two kinds of people: there’s saved people and there’s lost people.”
“How can I be saved?” The shortest and most comprehensive answer to that question is found in Romans 10:9-11.
That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”
Believing that God raised Jesus from the dead is acknowledging the finished work of Jesus on the cross. Jesus, despite being God himself, came down to earth and gave himself up for us. He died that we might be saved from our sins and enter into eternal life. Believing that Jesus was resurrected is to say that He lives to guide us and enable us to live new lives for him as we trust him for our lives. Confessing the same is a reflection of the fact that we declare Him to be the lord of our lives and acknowledge Him as the same. When we confess Jesus’ lordship publicly, we move away from duplicity and are forced to stand with Him and against evil.
In John 3, we see how Jesus builds this theme in his conversation with Nicodemus.
3 In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” 4 “How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!” 5 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
New life is a necessity for every person who wants to be saved. Many who were born into Christian homes or educated in Christian schools mistakenly assume that knowing about Christ suffices for salvation. Jesus makes it clear that unless a person is born again of the Spirit of God, he is not saved. This is God’s initiative that mysteriously cohabits the decision a man takes to believe in and live for Christ. For one who genuinely makes that decision, the Spirit of God comes in to take residence in him- he is born again and saved! Once salvation comes home to a person, he is a new person. Everything in his life changes and he can barely see a resemblance with his old self. As Casting Crowns sing in their popular song,
“Jesus can you show me, Just how far the east is from the west,
Cause I can’t bear to see the man I’ve been, Rising up in me again.
In the arms of your mercy I find rest, Cause you know just how far the east is from the west—
From one scarred hand to the other.”
If you are wondering, ‘Am I truly saved?’ examine yourself in the light of the Biblical verses outlined above. If you are not sure, you sure need to find out more about Jesus. In the words of Russell Wilson, outspoken Christian and Super-Bowl winning quarterback.
“I had a dream that my dad passed away and that Jesus came into the room and he was basically knocking on my door, saying, ‘Hey, you need to find out more about me.’ So that Sunday morning I ended up going to church, and that’s when I got saved.”
If there is that still small voice within you inviting you to discover Jesus or even accept Him, don’t delay, you will soon have a story to tell- the story of your life.
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- THE HEART OF TRUE WORSHIP
- JACOB’S DEATH