Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
- Romans 5:9-11
“I am not saved by believing— I simply realize I am saved by believing. And it is not repentance that saves me— repentance is only the sign that I realize what God has done through Christ Jesus. The danger here is putting the emphasis on the effect, instead of on the cause. Is it my obedience, consecration, and dedication that make me right with God? It is never that! I am made right with God because, prior to all of that, Christ died. When I turn to God and by belief accept what God reveals, the miraculous atonement by the Cross of Christ instantly places me into a right relationship with God. And as a result of the supernatural miracle of God’s grace I stand justified, not because I am sorry for my sin, or because I have repented, but because of what Jesus has done. The Spirit of God brings justification with a shattering, radiant light, and I know that I am saved, even though I don’t know how it was accomplished.
“The salvation that comes from God is not based on human logic, but on the sacrificial death of Jesus. We can be born again solely because of the atonement of our Lord. Sinful men and women can be changed into new creations, not through their repentance or their belief, but through the wonderful work of God in Christ Jesus which preceded all of our experience (see 2 Corinthians 5:17-19). The unconquerable safety of justification and sanctification is God Himself. We do not have to accomplish these things ourselves— they have been accomplished through the atonement of the Cross of Christ. The supernatural becomes natural to us through the miracle of God, and there is the realization of what Jesus Christ has already done— ‘It is finished!’ (John 19:30).”
- Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest
Before I write anything on this topic, I have included the entire Oswald Chambers devotion for October 28. I may be doing more of this, choosing a random quotation from My Utmost for His Highest, maybe without any comments at all.
My reasons? Since early July, I have been on a torrid pace. It became a burden on my heart to write my usual posts and add three new posts, ten posts per week. The burden stemmed from all those people around the world that are not getting Sunday school due to COVID lockdowns, restrictions, etc. Thus, one of the additional posts is a Bible study and another is a Bible quiz, a combination of fun and challenge. While the Heavy Topics additional post is meant to hopefully cause people to think and is not that hard to write, the other two are not terribly hard, but they take up time in my schedule – although I am having a blast doing them.
Then our church opened for Sunday school, and I had promised to fill-in for our teacher while he was ill, until he got better, not realizing that a few short weeks later he would pass away (during the COVID lockdown, but not from COVID). So, I am researching and preparing to teach a class each week.
I have read theologians that talk about their favorite word in Scripture is “but.” One of which was R. C. Sproul. When it comes to the wages of sin being death, “but …”, I agree. It is glorious that God provides a “but” to the death penalty. But the word “but” is not always welcome. With my wife having dialysis three days each week, something that may soon become permanent in early November – one blood test left – actually on the day this is posted, my time to write has been reduced. Adding to that constraint is the result of other medical tests, requiring me to stand by her side as she faces other issues, some being cognitive – very minor at this stage, more irritating than a problem. I just love what the neurologist said the other day, “Her anxiety could be causing depression and affecting her ability to pay attention and thus affecting her short-term memory loss (results of some simple tests and his conclusions). So, let’s give her some medicine to help with the anxiety and also this other drug to stem the loss of cognition.” That sounds great until you realize that the second drug is often used with Alzheimer patients. Note: he never said she had Alzheimer’s. That’s when the doctor added, “Listen to me. Listen to your DOCTOR (as he pounded his chest)! Do not go researching this drug and its side effects. That is a bad idea for someone with anxiety issues!! That might cause you to have greater anxiety.” To which my wife’s reply was, “Thanks a lot, DOC!!!! Too late for that!!!” (Actually, she thought it, while a few tears ran down her cheeks and into her mask.) Is it not great when a doctor says you have anxiety issues and then gives you even more anxiety to deal with? But, in controlling the anxiety, it will improve her attention issues a bit which will help with the short-term memory, a bit. Meanwhile, I have to do all the driving. And don’t get me wrong, 99% of the time, she is the same person that she has always been. We attributed some of her odd moments to post-anesthesia fuzziness, but her last surgery was nearly a year ago, and then at a recent hospital stay when she was extremely dehydrated, the CT scan showed some minor abnormalities.
Not getting anxious means that she needs a new husband. One of my mentors once said about me, “He wears his emotions like a grand robe around him.” I must fight that. To keep her calm, I must learn skills that I have never developed, which also takes time. And she must learn a few poorly developed skills as well, and she has already been trying to accomplish some of those things.
All this to say that my daily posts may be short and sweet, at times, so that I can spend time on the three additional posts and taking care of her, maybe even skipping them on occasion. And also, this post provides a medical update, so that if you are a prayer warrior and so inclined, you will be properly informed, and I sure appreciate all the prayers. And she does too. I may sprinkle humor through my posts at times, but sometimes the humor is needed to prevent me from falling apart. God is still in control, and I am His servant. Like the old line from Bill Cosby’s Noah comedy routine, “You and me, Lord, all the way.” And the Lord answered, “Riiiiight!”
Now on to my brief comments.
Someone wrote recently, or I heard it on a podcast, that we are saved three times. For the life of me, I cannot remember the third time, and in researching it, I have found more than three times.
Jesus paid the penalty nearly 2,000 years ago. He said that He paid the ransom for many, meaning those who are His – the saved. That is one time when I and all other true believers were saved. If someone said 2,000 years ago was when they were saved, it seems to not ring true, as I wrote about three years ago. Being saved 2,000 years ago is not personal and intimate at all. But it is technically correct.
Accepting Jesus as your Savior, in whatever method it happened is when most born-again believers consider themselves to be saved. As for me, that happened about 51 years and two or three weeks ago. Yet, this is an on-going “salvation” in that salvation comes by faith at that moment, but the Holy Spirit works with us toward sanctification, an on-going process, completed upon our passing.
God knew us and loved us before time began. In Jeremiah 1:5, God tells Jeremiah that before he was in the womb, God chose him to be a prophet. But does not God choose each of us? Has God not chosen us, before time began? Is that not a form of salvation, being marked as one of the elect?
And there is a salvation in the future. Jesus will return and reign. Yet, even with that being a salvation of sorts, there will be a judgment of the Saints and our names will be in the Book of Life.
As at least a few bloggers have described it, we are: Saved in the past, an on-going process from rebirth to passing of salvation/sanctification now, and saved in the future upon Christ’s return and when a new Heaven and New Earth are created. Saved – past, present, and future.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.