Thursday, March 22, 2007

He Came To Save?

I'd like to start off this morning by asking you the age-old question, "Are you 'saved'?" (pause) OK, have you answered yet? You have? Good. What I want to discuss really isn't affected by your response, so let's continue. This morning I read the first half of John chapter 3. Jesus is hanging out with Nicodemus one evening and discussing such topics as the kingdom of God, heavenly things and how He came into the world to save, not to condemn. Before that He mentions that one must be "born of water and the Spirit" in order to enter God's kingdom. We could spend all day discussing what God's kingdom is and all of that, but I want to elaborate a bit on two key words: "born" (vs. 5) and "saved" (vs.17).

Let's look at "born" first. In the Greek it means such things as "regenerate, bring forth, conceive, be delivered of". So if I'm to enter the kingdom of God, I must be evidence of such things, right? We so often hear the words, "born again" and "saved" thrown around like church slang, but do we even truly know what they mean?

Next up is "saved". We, of course always hear about John 3:16, but I'd like to look at verse 17 to get my point across. It states, "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him." Another version ends with, "...but that the world should be saved through Him." So there we have this word "saved". If you've been involved with most church denominations in your life, then you've likely heard something along the lines of "Do you wanna get saved?" or "Come and get saved!" at some point along the way. But does the church even know what that means anymore?

Before we look at what it is, let's look at what it's not. Being "saved" through Christ isn't just Gospel hymns that sing of pearly gates and the sweet by-and-by. Is it sweet? Of course! Will heaven be beyond comprehension? You better believe it! But, I am saved NOW! I'm not "waiting" to get through this life of sin, drudgery and despair so that I can one day (sigh) get my heavenly reward. Being "saved" is also not an "OK, I did it, now I'm fine" decision. We seem to think that if you recite a prayer and the entire church claps for you, you're "saved". Well, I'm sorry to inform you that being a church member for 50+ years doesn't "save" you either (don't laugh, I know people that still struggle with this).

So what is "saved" then, you ask? Well, the Greek origin defines "saved" as: "healed, preserved, made whole". What? I'm healed? I'm preserved? What's this "made whole" all about? You see, Jesus came that we might be saved through Him. So my question for you today is not "Are you saved?" but "Are you healed today? Has your life been preserved (protected)? Do you walk out your daily life as one that has been made whole?"

If not, then I encourage you to sit down and talk with God for a while. If you doubt, then secure your salvation today. You don't need to turn on TBN, call your pastor or even recite a prayer. Open your heart and mouth and talk to your Creator. The kingdom of God awaits you TODAY!

1 comment:

Steve Neff said...

Hello Joel:
Steve & Cheryl Hill here. Good stuff! This is a very good subject.What does it really mean to be saved? You are so right about the altar call thing. Much if not most of today's church has made the gospel too complicated. An altar call won't determine the condition of the heart.Neither will giving an offering in the plate on Sunday morning.

To us, being saved and having relationship with God requires that we live our lives as best as we know how according to His Word.End of story.You don't need to purchase bishop Holiness's "I can show you the way" 4 CD packet on how to walk with God or apostle Divine's DVD for a love gift of $25.Read what the Word of God says and do it to the very best of your ability and you'll not only love God but your neighbor as yourself.

How easy it would be for those who need God if the gospes was made simple, minus the religion which makes everything complex.

We love you Joel.
Steve & Cheryl