October 30th 2010

When Were You Saved?

“But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.”
Galatians 4:4-5 (NIV)

I’ve heard vigorous discussions on the topic of whether people are ‘saved’ before they believe or after they believe. Like many disagreements, it’s a matter of perspective.

From one perspective, we could say that even though all human beings are atoned for by Christ’s blood, and therefore reconciled to God through Christ, they only become finally ‘saved’ when they put their faith in Christ. For example, the Bible tells us: “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2).

And again: “for God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross” (Colossians 1:19-20).

Everyone, without exception, is included in Christ’s atoning work, and is reconciled to God through Christ’s blood. And yet, Paul also writes: “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes…” (Romans 1:16).

We must believe God—we must trust him—if we are to take part in our salvation.

In Christ, God has already finished his saving work for humanity, adopted humanity as his beloved children in Christ, and raised humanity with Christ, seating everyone with him in the heavenly realms. And yet, to take part in that fellowship with God we have to believe it.

When were you saved? I think the best answer might be in the words of Paul, as quoted above, coupled with these: “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves” (Ephesians 1:4-6).

Your salvation, from beginning to end, is not your doing, it is God’s. In Jesus Christ, God has already made you his beloved child. He will never give up on you. He will never let you go. Thank God for that!

Holy Father, thank you for your work of salvation for everyone through Christ Jesus. But then comes our part to believe, to accept, your work of salvation for us. Fully comprehending what you have done for us becomes a matter of faith. We echo the father of the possessed son: we believe, Father; help us in our unbelief. In Jesus’ name we pray

Study by Joseph Tkach

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