January 5, 2011
What Does It Mean to Be Saved?
"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" (Romans 10:9 NIV).
Friend to Friend
I walked through the receiving line during the visitation for a godly man who had passed away a few days before. As the person in front of me embraced the wounded widow he whispered, "Oh, but you will see him again." My heart broke as I heard her reply, "I hope so. I don't know if I've been good enough."
This was no place for me to reprimand or scold, but my heart was torn in two. This eighty-six-year-old woman had been in church all her life. She read her Bible often, pondered devotions daily, and attended church regularly. And yet, she believed a lie. Somehow she believed that she had to earn her way to heaven…that she had to be "good enough to get in."
Oh dear friend, we will never be good enough to earn our way to heaven. We will never be good enough to "get in." If we could, Jesus would not have had to give His life in our stead. It is a free gift.
So many are trying to earn what they already have. And it is the lie of performance-based acceptance that keeps women bound.
Perhaps you have found yourself believing the lie that you have to earn your way to heaven, or that you could somehow lose your salvation if you did not perform properly. Let's expose that lie and learn to walk in God's incredible gift of grace.
Or perhaps you have the helmet of salvation fixed securely in place and it has never left your pretty little head. It that's the case, just sit back and thank God for His precious gift and rejoice with your sisters who are about to pluck the bow from the most precious gift of God and join the party.
What does it mean to "be saved?"
The word "saved" has been tossed about so much in the church that I feel it has lost its wonder and mystery. What does it mean to be saved?
The word salvation is used five times in Romans and the verb form, saved, occurs eight. It means "deliverance" or "rescue." So what are we saved from? Through Jesus Christ we are saved from lostness (Matthew 18:11), the wrath of God (Romans 5:9), the penalty of sin, the realm of darkness (Colossians 1:13), eternal separation from God, and eternal punishment in hell (Revelation 20:6). We are saved from the penalty of sin the moment we believe. We are being saved from the power of sin as we continue to live on this earth and become more and more conformed to the image of Christ. And we will be saved from the presence of sin when we leave this earthly body to spend eternity with God.
Saving faith involves our entire being: mind, will and emotions. With the mind we understand the truth of the gospel, with the will we choose to submit to God and make Jesus Lord of our lives, and with the emotions we express sorrow over our sin and joy over God's mercy and grace. Salvation is more that a "get out of jail free" card. It is more that a ticket into heaven. Eternal life begins the moment you believe, and God's desire is for you to experience the abundant life here on earth (John 10:10). It is passing from spiritual death to spiritual life in the twinkling of God's eye. We are not saved by how we behave, but by how we believe.
So here's the question. Are you saved? Have you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior? If you are still exploring, join me in my next devotion as we walk down the Roman Road to the Cross.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that while I was still a sinner, lost and separated from You, You sent You One and Only Son to save me. Jesus did for me what I could never do for myself. In His Name I pray,
Now It's Your Turn
In my last devotion I asked you to define or describe what it means to be lost. Now let's describe what it means to be "saved." Pretend you are describing it to someone who has never heard the gospel. Don't use "churchy" words. Remember, that lingo is like a foreign language to someone who did not grow up in the church. I'd love to hear your answer. Let's chat. Share your description on my Facebook page. www.facebook.com/sharonjaynes.
In 10 days, I'm going to pick my favorite description and send a free copy of "I'm Not Good Enough"… and Other Lies Women Tell Themselves!
More from the Girlfriends
Today's devotion was taken from Sharon's book, I'm Not Good Enough…and Other Lies Women Tell Themselves. If you've believed the enemy's lies that you are not good enough, totally worthless, would be happy if…, etc. and are ready to begin living in victory by believing God's truth, then this book is for you! It's time to be set free to see yourself as God see you: His holy, chosen, forgiven, and dearly loved child. Now that's a truth worth repeating.
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