Adams Chapel AME Church
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BlogTime With The Pastor
|Posted on March 18, 2014 at 8:05 PM||comments (85)|
Salvation is about relationship. It is a part of our call to know and get to know God. Each of us was made in the image of God according to Genesis 1:27 and have the potential to be remade in that image (Colossians 3:10). As such, we have the capacity to fellowship with Him. We come to know God because someone has born witness of Him to us (Romans 10:17, 20). In other words, someone introduced us to God just as friends and family have introduced us to many others in our lives. Further, we get to know Him more because we spend time with Him in prayer and His Word which reveal Him more and more (1 John 2:3-5, 13a).
In essence, sin had broken relationship and caused estrangement from God (Psalms 66:18; John 9:31). In simple terms, sin is missing God's target or missing God's mark of perfection. If left unattended, sin can branch out and grow stronger, ultimately resulting in eternal separation (Romans 6:23a). Yet, because God desires a personal relationship with you, He put everything into place so that you could have a joy-filled relationship with Him now and always (John 3:16; Romans 6:23b).
The ease of salvation has to do with a price paid. If we sin, we have to pay the price. Instead, God has paid the price for our salvation (Acts 20:28; Colossians 1:13-14; Hebrews 9:12-14; 1 Peter 1:18-19). The price for our sin is too high for us to have been able to pay. In other words, our salvation is costly and expensive but it is a free gift (Ephesians 2:7-9). So, the ease of salvation involves the love, grace, and willingness of God as well as the trust and faith of those who would receive His gift (Romans 10:9). The ease is not the absence of work but the acceptance of the only work that can save us, the work of redemption given because of the sacrificial gift of God. It means we do not work to obtain salvation but after we have been given the gift of salvation, we do good works as children of a good God (Matthew 3:8-9; Acts 26:20; Philippians 2:12-13; James 2:22-24). To demonstrate the ease of salvation, Bishop Gregory G. M. Ingram (1) places the steps to salvation into the following mnemonic:
Admit that you are a sinner and cannot save yourself. (Romans 3:23)
Believe that God loves you and that the passion [suffering and death] of Jesus as the Son of God was sufficient. (John 3:16)
Confess with your mouth your desire for God to enter your life, admit your sinful nature, and ask for continued direction for the future. (John 1:12) (1)
Salvation basically means to be rescued or saved from calamity. In regards to Christian faith, one aspect of salvation means to be rescued from sin and its consequences: separation and suffering, death and judgment. (Matthew 1:21; Galatians 3:10-13; 1 Thessalonians 1:10, 5:9). According to the Bible salvation assures us of a blissful everlasting life with God in His Kingdom of life, light, and love. The Apostle John makes it clear that we can know that we have everlasting life based on the veracity of Scripture and faith in Jesus Christ (1 John 5:9-13) and he assures us of God's power to save when bears witness of the words of Jesus Christ that no one can snatch us from His hands (John 10:27-30). Apostle Paul agrees with John and is persuaded that Christ is able to keep against the Day of Judgment that which has been committed to Him. (2 Timothy 1:12)
Receiving Christ and receiving salvation is not the end of the story. It is the start of a new journey and a new life. It means that we are justified or saved (Romans 3:20-28; 5:1-2). However, it means so much more; it means we are being sanctified or set apart for God's good purposes. (2 Corinthians 3:17-18; Philippians 1:3-6; 3:12-14; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; 1 Peter 1:2) Moreover, at the consummation of this age we will be finally saved, entirely sanctified (2) (Philippians 3:15-21; 1 Peter 1:3-9; Revelation 12:10-11). In short, we have been "called out of the world" and away from futile and meaningless living. (Romans 12:1-2; 2 Corinthians 6:17; 1 Peter 4:2) . We have also been "sent back into the world" to walk out our salvation (Galatians 2:20) and to live out the principles of Christ (Philippians 1:21). In so doing, we fellowship with other believers and commune with God (1 Corinthians 1:9; 1 John 1:3-7), we love and encourage each other as believers (John 13:34-35; Romans 12:10; Galatians 5:13; Hebrews 10:24), we do good to all in the name of Christ (Luke 6:35; Galatians 6:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:15), and we proclaim the good news until He comes again (1 Peter 2:9).
(1)The S. A. T. Manual For African Methodism, 2007, G. G. M. Ingram, p3.
(2)The 2008 Book of Discipline of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, 2008, AME Sunday School Union, p32.