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How Saved are You?

CrossAs I think about Resurrection Sunday coming up this weekend, I want to talk about our salvation. It seems like we hear about it so often that it loses its appeal. It’s so important that we keep what God has done for us fresh in our hearts.

In this series, I’m not going to give you a detailed theology of Biblical salvation. Rather, I want to talk about some important aspects that we’ve glossed over in the modern church. The saving power of the Lord Jesus Christ is so rich and powerful, yet in many Christian circles we’ve reduced it to only a fraction of God’s desire.

There’s a tendency in the evangelical church to use this word in the past tense.

“I’ve been saved. Are you saved?”

“When did you get saved?”

Statements like these relegate our salvation to an event that happened sometime in the past. It was a great thing. It changed my life. But now it’s something I can look back on. This is the furthest thing imaginable for the true definition of our salvation.

The Greek word sozo is what’s normally translated as saved in our English Bibles. It is a huge word that’s crammed full of meaning.

To enter into sozo means that you’re not only saved, but kept safe and sound, and are rescued from danger and destruction. Also included in that word is the fact that you’re saved from disease, healed, and restored to health. It applies to both the physical and spiritual realms.

The word saved includes the entire scope of everything that Christ paid for on the cross. It contains the answers for our past, present and future. To see it as anything less is an affront to the Gospel – the Good News – of Jesus Christ.

Let’s look at what the Scripture has to say about it. We’ll start with our entrance into this great work of God.

…That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
Romans 10:9-10

This is the only way possible to enter into the salvation of God. Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one can come to God apart from His work on the cross. The death, burial, and resurrection of Christ is the only door to our salvation.

In this sense we can look back at the initial work of God’s saving power in our lives. It was the day we heard and understood the Good News. We learned that we were incapable of pleasing a Holy God. Yet, because of the work of Christ, His Son, we could be saved.

We believed the message in our hearts. Then, in an outward response to that faith, we confessed with our mouth that Jesus Christ was Lord.

It doesn’t matter the semantics you used. Whether you say that you received Jesus or prayed the sinner’s prayer. If you bowed your knees to Christ in the above manner, you entered into the salvation of the Lord.

It didn’t matter who you were or where you came from. Your good works or your evil past had no bearing on what God did in you. When you called upon Him, you were saved.

Question: What were the events surrounding your initial salvation experience?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

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Posted by on April 16, 2014 in Faith, The Gospel

 

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Alive to God! #prayerinthespirit

Garden PathIn my last post I showed that God’s definition of death is an inability to communicate.  In the same way, Adam didn’t die according to our modern definition.  He died in God’s definition.

From that point on God could no longer fellowship with Adam and Eve on the level He desired.

God wanted an interaction in the spirit, but this was no longer possible because of sin.  Therefore, to God, Adam and Eve were dead.  God could no longer communicate to them on the level of the spirit.  He would now have to use other means.

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
Genesis 3:8

Notice the wording that’s used here.  The man and the wife heard the sound of God.  This is the first place in Scripture where it specifically says that God made a sound.

This is emphasized because Adam and Eve had never before heard with their ears, God making a sound.  Before that, they always communicated by the spirit.  This new experience inspired fear.

He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
Genesis 3:10

We can hear it from Adam’s own mouth.  The two things that caused fear in him were hearing God, and seeing his nakedness.  At that point, as a race of people, mankind was cut off from spiritual communication with God.

Please understand, our spirits are still active.  This is how mediums, witch doctors, and spiritists can communicate with familiar spirits.  They can still interact in the spiritual realm, they just don’t understand the dangers of this practice.

As far as communication with God is concerned, mankind’s spirits can not talk to God because of sin.  After the fall, God could only communicate to man by very limited means. God could speak bodily, through angels, a donkey, a voice, or by taking on flesh.  He could speak inwardly, directly to our mind.  He could also “move upon” someone, which literally means that He “put them on like clothes” and spoke through them.

This was the sad condition of the human race until Christ came on the scene.  He really was “God with us”.  The Gospels record the work He did for us on the cross.  Because of His death, burial, and resurrection we can now enter into a salvation that we could never experience in our own strength.

Now, if we receive His great gift, the Holy Spirit takes up residence on the inside of us.  This means that communication lines are open once again between us and the Lord.  According to God’s definition, we are now alive to Him.

In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Romans 6:11

But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.
Romans 8:10

It’s clear from Scripture that your spirit is now alive to God!!!

Question: How important to you, is the knowledge that God’s Holy Spirit lives in you?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2014 in Prayer, Prayer in the Spirit

 

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