Prophets and preachers, theologians and pastors — believers of every sort have sought to understand and explain the root cause of Salvation. If you want to be saved, how can you make that happen?
The ironic answer is, you need to be in need of salvation.
The more accurate answer is that Salvation is accomplished by God because He desires to save every human life, including yours. It doesn’t require prerequisites or justification. It isn’t the result of your personal holiness or because you deserve it. Salvation is provided to all who accept it.
In point of fact, by the time you are making a choice about salvation, it has already happened, you are just choosing whether you want to receive it, stay with it, be defined by it, and do something with it, or not.
That’s the paradox. Salvation isn’t earned. Salvation is accepted.
So, how does someone accept salvation? The most commonly understood and accurate explanation of the mechanism of salvation is to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. But for many, this sounds like a theological statement of belief — not an action, but a thought. So, let me try to put it in a bit more context.
When you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, life stops being about you and starts being about salvation. Not your salvation, but everyone within your reach.
Salvation is rooted in love. People’s struggles and failures are not an obstacle to salvation, they are an opportunity for salvation.
Salvation is not about purity or a personal journey to perfection. To be a believer is to be perfectly aware of the mess around you and within you — the combat, the struggle, the defeats, and the failures — but to refuse to be defined by them.
To be a believer is to be defined by the God who created you, who redeemed you, and who saves you not because you deserve it or have earned it but because He wants to because He loves you and is dedicating everything that He has to bless you, give you life, and grant you the victory — all you have to do is accept it.
You will not find salvation by directing your focus onto yourself and your story. The classic psycho-analytical approach of delving into your past to uncover the answer to your future is not the root of salvation. You will not find salvation unless your life stops being about you and starts being about receiving and sharing all of the blessings that God has in store for you as He promised from the beginning. This is the salvation paradox.
Your salvation is not assured by your personal spiritual state, carefully preserved and maintained and protected like the monastic traditions suggested. It doesn’t have to be defended or justified. And it certainly doesn’t result in you stepping away from the world, other people, and the challenges and opportunities that they present to weakly preserve and defend your own personal purity.
Your salvation isn’t about refusing to do anything that might compromise your personal status or avoiding all situations where you might be exposed to the influence of sin. On the contrary, your salvation is confirmed, expanded, and amplified by the work you do to achieve and ensure the salvation of others even in challenging contexts and messy situations, knowing that God is going before you.
Reaching deep and going long, unafraid and ready to make a difference. Christ is a bold savior, who seeks and saves those who are lost no matter what corner they have gotten themselves into or what dark alley they find themselves in. And for those who would accept Him, that means accepting His boldness to walk with Him right on through the dark, right on through the mess, right on into the mix, and right on up against all odds.
Salvation means joining the savior. Accepting Jesus Christ, means accepting His love for all people, accepting His mission to improve every circumstance, His desire and His plan to bless, to provide for, to reach, and to recover those who have lost their way, and most of all, accepting Jesus Christ is accepting that nothing can stop Him, prevent Him, or overcome Him — no sin, no mistake, no error, no flaw — so to accept Jesus Christ is to accept victory.
The question isn’t “Who is right?” or “Was what they did wrong?”. Let judgment belong to God. The question is “What can I do to save them and introduce them to the God who loves them?”
As believers it is time that we stopped running scared from sin, trying to convince each other that we are perfect, flawless, and beyond further need for a Savior.
Salvation is not about achieving a state of personal perfection for all to see, it’s about becoming witnesses to the grace and power of Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God. So stand firmly in the presence of God in full confidence that it is He who makes you holy because He loves you, not because you are perfect, flawless, beyond reproach, or without sin, but because you are His child and He loves you so much that He will stop at nothing to save you.
Stop spending time considering and seeking to preserve your own salvation and stop worrying so much about whether you appear saved or not, and start accepting His mission to seek and to save all who are lost and in need of salvation. Only then will you discover the root and the accomplishment of salvation through your acceptance of Jesus Christ.
“Then Jesus said to the disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross, and follow me. If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for me, you will find true life. ” – Matthew 16 (NLT)