You know, sometimes I think I know exactly what it takes to guarantee salvation, only to discover how wrong I really am. Again and again and again, I am reminded I have nothing to do with my own salvation. I cannot earn my way into heaven no matter how hard I try. Hell is quite a different story, but for someone like me, who has gotten by on a unique blend of intelligence, street savvy, business skills and basically a good heart, not being able to help myself is a difficult concept to swallow. I mean, the more I read and the more I accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and savior and the more I understand Scripture, I begin to accept the fact that I simply need to get over it. I need to stop fooling myself into believing that I’ve actually got it when I really don’t. I am powerless in this regard. I’m naked and clearly vulnerable when it comes to realizing that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the light of my salvation.
That may sound trite to some of you, but I’m constantly struggling not to go beyond this rather easy to understand reality. God has given all of mankind, not just me, the only guarantee possible to secure eternal life. He’s called Jesus. You know you can come up with other scenarios about works and lifestyle and love and other things because the Bible refers to them all in some form or fashion. But in the final analysis, the answer to this riddle is still Jesus. Now can you accept that? Can you accept and do you believe he is the son of God? Can you accept and do you believe he was crucified on the cross to absolve mankind of its sins, now and forever? Can you accept that he died and rose from the dead and acts as the only acceptable way to get to God? Can you accept the fact that Jesus is coming back? “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12.
The entire Bible rests on this one set of principles that guides us in the development and maturation of our faith. At least that is what I’ve come to believe at this very moment. And if I truly believe, then my focus must change from trying to earn the right to enter eternity to rejoicing in a job well done by Jesus. He did what I couldn’t and what you can’t. My efforts, then, must be to honor God by honoring his child. I honor his child by first thanking him for the greatest sacrifice that he made for me and mine. The best way to do this is to try to emulate his way, copy his style, live according to his Word, never questioning his motives, his intent or his authenticity.
As with most things in Scripture, this is not difficult to understand. This indeed is the point of the Gospel. The question is, can you handle it fully, immediately and comprehensively? The answer to that question is not as simple as it seems. The answer requires a truth, a faith, a knowing that is only known by you and the God you claim to serve. I’m just publicly acknowledging that it’s a struggle at times, and a struggle I am more than willing to undertake. I must. I have to. “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me, the task of testifying to the Gospel of God’s grace.” Acts 20:24. It’s amazing to me no matter how hard I try to confuse myself in this regard, it all comes back down to this. Do you believe? If you don’t, then you have a number of compelling issues facing you in order to try to prove yourself in the eyes of God. If you do believe, then you have the only reason you need to fall on your face and give thanks to the Creator of all things who so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son for your salvation. It’s called grace. The question before all of us is, can you handle it?
May God bless and keep you always.