Christianity Defined 1
I gave my heart to the Lord in 1985. I did not understand anything about The New Birth. I only knew that I was weak, helpless and hopeless. I knew I could not fix my own miserable heart and life. The Holy Spirit somehow made me understand that what I needed was something that only God could do. I had heard a radio evangelist speak on Ephesians 2:8. He made a comparison between physical heart surgery and spiritual heart surgery. He expressed the idea that a heart patient*s part is simply to be sick enough to need it and the surgeon*s part is to perform the needed surgery. The patient must trust that surgeon to perform what is needed. At the end of that message I asked God to be my spiritual heart-surgeon. For the first time in my life I was fully trusting God. And it worked!!
Ephesians 2:8: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
I knew that God had somehow changed me. I understood that God was going to change my life and I was willing. I knew that Jesus had become my Savior. I knew from that moment on that I would be in heaven after this life ended. I knew my sins had been forgiven. I knew that God was hearing my prayers. I knew I would have work to do for the Lord. I thereafter had a hunger that was only satisfied by the Word of God, The Bible and by serving God. I have ever since loved my fellow believers. I have never regretted that moment. I knew this was the Lord*s doing.
Psalms 118:23: This is the Lord*s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.
Truly it is marvelous in my eyes! It is the best, most powerful and most important thing that has ever happened to me! I heard of a pastor who said of his salvation that he went to Seminary to find out what happened to me. In the years since that heart-changing, life-changing and destiny-changing event in my life, God has given me many details, words, phrases, descriptions and word-pictures to help me understand more fully what He did for me that day. He also reveals what He is doing for me right now and what He will do in the future. As He teaches me these things, they are like delightful treasures to me.
To me salvation is an umbrella word, an all-encompassing word that includes all that God has done for me, is doing for me and will do for me. I sometimes think of salvation as being like a beautiful diamond. There are many facets, each one special and beautiful. It*s possible to enjoy the whole of the diamond or each facet, one at a time. I also think of salvation as being a beautiful gift which can only be opened and unwrapped one day at a time, one detail at a time on into eternity. Many of the things of salvation are indefinable to us now and will only be revealed to us in heaven after we have been changed into beings with a whole lot more understanding than we have now. There can be no explanation we could fully understand now.
I Corinthians 13:12: For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
The Bible calls salvation a birth John 3:3, an adoption Galatians 4:5, a conversion Matthew 13:15, John 12:40, Acts 28:27 and many other things. Each reveals to us some truth about salvation.
Salvation is becoming a new creature, one that didn*t exist before.
2 Corinthians 5:17: Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Salvation is a passing from death unto life.
I John 3:14: We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
Salvation is a change from unbelief to belief.
John 3:18: He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Salvation is a passage from darkness to light, a spiritually blind person receiving sight. Salvation is an unforgiven person receiving forgiveness of sins.
Acts 26:17-18 Jesus speaking to Paul: Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
Salvation is when a child of Satan becomes a child of God.
John 8:42a, 44a: Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: . . . Ye are of your father the devil, . . .
Salvation is when a person totally devoid of the Holy Spirit of God is sealed and indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Now there is a seal that cannot be broken!!
2 Corinthians 1:21-22: Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.
An unbeliever may have peace with the world but has enmity with God. Salvation reverses that. It is immeasurably better to have the peace of God and peace with God.
Philippians 4:7: And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
We all become witnesses for Christ. Some of us are lousy witnesses, some are a little better and sometimes it takes some time and growth. But we are all witnesses.
Acts 1:8: But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Salvation is reconciliation with God. We have been at odds with God since Adam and Eve sinned in the garden of Eden. We become His ambassadors. We begin to speak FOR HIM.
2 Corinthians 5:18-20: And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray in Christ*s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
Unbelievers are totally unable to hear from God. Salvation gives a growing ability to hear from God, understand, obey and follow Him.
I Corinthians 2:14: But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Salvation gets one off death row. Salvation is a miracle of God! If you are a saved person, God has wrought at least one miracle for you!! Salvation is an internal cleansing by the Holy Spirit. Salvation is God happening to someone. God happened to me and I*m glad!!! Has He happened to you?