“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners…”
1Timothy 1:15 (NIV)
If you saw a young boy who couldn’t swim fall into a river and call out to you for help what would you do? Would you throw him a book called ‘Five easy swimming lessons?’ Would you shout from the side, ‘Come on, you can do it. Just put one arm in front of the other?’ Would you jump into the water and yell, ‘Just follow my example, I’ll teach you how to swim?’
None of those actions would be particularly helpful as they wouldn’t save the drowning boy. At that critical point in time he doesn’t need a book, a motivational speech, or swimming lessons. What he needs is a saviour. Someone who can and will reach him where he is, pull him out of his life-threatening circumstances, and deliver him to safety.
Our spiritual condition demands the same kind of action. Because of Adam’s sin all humanity are in this life-threatening position. As the apostle Paul wrote, ‘…just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people…’ (Romans 5:12)
What is the solution to mankind’s dilemma? We cannot save ourselves by reading books about religion, or trying harder to do right, or by following the example of others. Our only hope of escape from sin’s deadly grip is for someone to jump into the river where we are drowning and pull us to safety.
Thankfully this is what Jesus did. He stooped down in love, grace and mercy to meet us where are. Again, Paul writes, “For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people.” (Verses 17-18) The One who came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10), has saved all humanity from drowning in the river.
Jesus’ work of salvation for humanity is a finished and a complete work. We just need to believe it. We just need to embrace it. We just need to accept it. Objectively we’ve been saved from before the foundation of the world (c.f. Revelation 13:8, 1 Peter 1:20), but subjectively we need to turn our minds (repent) to the Saviour and personally receive what he has already provided for us. Just as that drowning boy must cease struggling and relax in the arms of his rescuer, we, too, must trust in the saving arms of the Lord Jesus. There is no safer place to be.
Father, thank you for saving me. Thank you for giving me the eyes to see that in Christ I am free. Mercy and grace are mine, forgiven is my sin, great is you name.
Study by Barry Robinson
Worldwide Church of God London
Mahatma Gandhi Hall
41 Fitzroy Square
LONDON W1T 6AQ
Local Congregational Contact:
Phone: 07958 386944