Truth is not only
violated by falsehood;
it may be equally
outraged by silence.
Although it’s true that Christ died to save us from the consequences of our sins, salvation isn’t automatic. Nor is it universal. Only those who genuinely put their faith in Christ qualify.
Some folk don’t like the idea of having to rely on someone else. It offends their feelings of self-worth. They would rather earn their salvation through their own efforts. And they’re free to try to do this if they wish. But it isn’t God’s desire that anyone should perish. He wants to save us from the coming judgment (1 Timothy 2:4).
On the opposite end of the spectrum are those who don’t understand that they have a role to play. They assume that as long as they acknowledge that the Lord Jesus is the Son of God and the Saviour of mankind, this qualifies them for salvation. But the demons acknowledged who Christ is, yet they’re going to end up in hell.
“And unclean spirits, when they saw him [Christ], fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God.” (Mark 3:11, KJV)
“For by grace ye are saved through faith
…” (Ephesians 2:8, KJV).
“… As it is written, the just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:17, KJV).
A Frenchman named Charles Blondin pushed a wheelbarrow along a tightrope suspended 160 feet above the Niagara Falls. Then he asked the spectators if they believed he could carry a man across the falls on his back. They said they did. So he asked for a volunteer. Someone in the crowd had genuine faith in Blondin. He climbed on to his back, and Blondin carried him across the falls.
That man’s faith in Blondin motivated him to put his life into his hands. His faith was the catalyst that enabled Blondin to carry him across the falls. In exactly the same way our faith in Christ will enable Him to save us. Only those who realize that they are utterly dependent upon Him will be saved because they’ll have become humble enough to allow Him to have His way with them.
“… Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3, KJV)
Our trust in Christ needs to be such that it replaces any reliance we may have had on ourselves, church membership, temple ceremonies, baptism or any other so-called means of qualifying for salvation.
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6, KJV)
Christ doesn’t save anyone by force. We have to voluntarily turn our backs on our old, independent lifestyles and cast off all thoughts of ever reaching heaven through our own efforts. (Self-reliance and pride are the traits that estranged us from God in the first place.) Then we need to come to Christ just as we are, warts and all, and ask Him to forgive us and save us from our sin.
It’s no good trying to clean up our act first. If we’d been capable of doing that we wouldn’t have needed a Saviour.
Once we’ve surrendered ourselves to Christ for salvation He will start changing our hearts so that we can become the people God wants us to be. Then we’ll begin the most exciting journey of our lives. Our only regret will be that we waited so long.
“God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the
fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1
Corinthians 1:9, KJV).
“Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him …”. (Hebrews 7:25, KJV)
Christianity isn’t a religion: It’s a relationship with God through the Lord Jesus Christ. And it comes about through trusting in Him. He proved His love for us by laying His life down to save us from the consequences of our sins. Now He’s committed to saving us from the power that sin has over us. He wants to teach us how to cope with life in a world that is crippled by sin. He overcame the world (John 16:33) and He calls us to come to Him so that He can make us overcomers too.
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30, KJV)
In biblical times farmers trained an inexperienced animal by yoking it to one that was more mature. The practiced animal taught the younger one the art of pulling a heavy load with a minimum of effort. It was a common sight, and this is the picture that the Lord Jesus has in mind. He wants to teach us how to cope with the burdens of life so that they won’t weigh us down.
However, pride keeps us stubbornly struggling along. Some of us have to reach breaking point before we’re prepared to give up our battle of independence. But once we’ve yoked ourselves to Christ we discover how foolish we’ve been. To our surprise we find that we’ve lost nothing and have gained everything. Fellowship with Christ enables us to know the meaning of true fulfillment. And as He walks with us through life He teaches us His ways. Soon our relationship takes on an intimacy that blossoms into an absolute devotion to the One who not only died for us, but who lives for us too.
After a while we realize the secret of His ability in coping with adversity. It’s the practice of acceptance, sometimes called dying to self (c/f Luke 9:23). So we try to stop pulling in the other direction. And as we struggle to give up our old, destructive habits and submit to His ways He gives us the grace we need. Sometimes we slip and stumble but He never fails us. Then to our amazement and overwhelming gratitude, we find that we’re starting to develop His inner strength and serenity.
That’s what the Christian life is all about. It’s a daily walk yoked to Christ our Saviour. He is our closest friend, our constant companion, and the One who always understands. He’s already travelled the road that we’re walking now and He teaches us to cope with life’s burdens in a way that gives us inner peace.
“Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5.24, KJV).
The following article explains the purpose of salvation and what it is all about: Biblical Salvation
This site is dedicated to helping Mormons understand the Bible.
Copyright © 2013 by Yvonne Gibbs. All rights reserved.