Feb 26, 2014, 10:00 AM
God our Saviour, who wants all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of
the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:4)
The story is told of a man who made several attempts to save a scorpion in danger of being crushed. The number of attempts made was equal to the number of times the scorpion bit him. Yet he never gave up. Someone standing close by asked this man why he should insist on trying to save the scorpion that bit him each time he made an attempt to rescue it anyway. His response came bluntly: ‘It is the nature of the scorpion to bite and it is my nature to save.’ In biblical terms, this account portrays the salvation of humanity—the act of saving lost souls. God is constantly reaching out to humanity in spite of its sinful ways; but humanity has always turned its back on Him. Salvation is not of prime importance in its calendar.
Actually the scorpion had to do nothing to attract such attention. It’s all about the man and his natural inclinations to want to save a creature in danger----particularly one that could not save itself. Our reaction could well be, what does it matter to save the life of a scorpion anyway? Where others would pass by and not heed the scorpion, this man did. He made a difference!
This is the story of our Lord Jesus and how He came to save humanity from sin---that killer disease that spares no one irrespective of race, colour or creed. “Here I am---it is written about me in the scroll---I have come to do Your will, O God.” (Hebrews 10:7) In spite of humanity’s disobedience and stubbornness, Yeshua, Jesus the Saviour, descended from heaven to save humankind from death and destruction by offering Himself as the ultimate sacrifice for sin.
Salvation, like sanctification, justification and reconciliation, is a rather big word that puts off the ordinary Christian. It simply means ‘the act of being saved!’ Saved from what you might ask? Saved from eternal death and damnation! Jesus said in no uncertain terms that He came ‘to seek and to save those who were lost.’ (Luke 19:10) He did not come for the righteous, but for sinners. (Matthew 9:13b) Humankind has not changed since the fall of Adam and Eve---our great, great, great ancestors. Sin separated them from their Maker, God--- who used to visit and exchange with them in the Garden of Eden---until after they disobeyed Him by listening to the devil disguised as a serpent.
The Bible teaches that “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) God had prepared this rescue plan from the beginning. (Genesis 3:15) Salvation is a gift; we do not merit, deserve or earn it. It has already been made available. All we need do is to claim it by receiving the Saviour into our lives.
Salvation is within ‘voice-reach’ says the apostle Paul. We need only confess it with our mouths. “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: 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.” (Romans 10:9-10)
Available to all
“For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Acts 2:21) Salvation is therefore for everyone who claims it. Though there is no obligation, there should be no excuse for one not to desire to be saved. For the wages of sin is death. For death became a reality when one man (Adam) sinned, but God’s grace has been offered to all human beings through the righteousness of one man, Christ Jesus. “For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.” (Romans 5:19)
In other words, what our Lord Jesus has accomplished has given us access to eternal life. Grace—God’s goodness---is immeasurable and is unlimited and has been made accessible to humankind through Jesus’ righteousness. When we acknowledge Jesus as Lord, eternal life becomes our portion. We are saved through the finished work of the Messiah, our Saviour. In the eyes of the Father we have been justified—as if we have done no wrong.
Jesus’ work on the cross is a finished product---nothing can be added to it to make it perfect. Paul puts it this way: We are “justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Jesus Christ.” (Romans 3:24)
In summary, salvation is saying you are a sinner but you can come to God just as you are. You do not have to bring anything with you. It is you God needs. God has come all the way to your doorstep just to save you. You cannot hide.
Remember only God can purify us from our sins, not our deeds. Amen!