Monday, June 18, 2012

This Magic Moment

I was having a discussion with my friend Stephanie the other day about when salvation happens. You've got two options:
1) Salvation happens the moment you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins and you repent of your sins.
2) Salvation happens when you begin walking with Christ and living your life for him.

Both Stephanie and I leaned toward option 1, belief is all that is required for salvation. John 3:16 doesn't say "If you are a solid bro and do a daily devotional and serve the poor and pray all the time then you're saved." But one question that I couldn't get past for option 1 was can you believe in the gospel story yet never live it out and still be saved? It would seem possible, since all around the world (and especially in America) there are people who claim Christianity and would even say they believe Jesus was the son of God who died for us, yet they live for themselves and bear no fruit of redemption.
Which lead to a second question, If you never live it out and don't have an actual relationship with the Lord, are you still saved? My answer to this question is this: I don't really think option 1 or 2 is wholly correct, because I don't think you can truly understand the gospel and NOT have a relationship with Christ. At the point that you feel the full weight of what Christ has done for you, his grace becomes irresistible

Take myself as a case study. I grew up in a Christian home and got baptized at the age of 8. I would say that I knew the story of Jesus dying on the cross and I really believed it. I never once doubted that Jesus was who he said he was and did what he said he did. I followed all the rules of the bible and that was my religion, the rules. But this was based on fear; fear of getting in trouble, fear of having a bad reputation, etc., instead of what it should have been based on: The need to walk in the way of the Lord because I loved him so much I couldn't help but want to be more like him.

For me, I would say I became a Christian at the age of 8 when I first believed, but my process of sanctification (becoming more like Christ) didn't really start until I was going to college. I vividly remember being at a night of worship and hearing a song that finally made me realize the most important thing about being a Christian. Not following rules like I'd always thought, but realizing the weight of my sin and how much it cost Jesus to take it on. I broke. I literally knelt on the floor surrounded by hundreds of people and sobbed and just THANKED HIM for ever thinking I could be worth his Son's death. I don't know why God chose that moment to show me how much I had been living for myself, but I am thankful he revealed to me just how imperfect I really am so that I could begin having an honest relationship with him.

Here's the song, I will never forget the words as long as I live.

Beloved


Lord it was You, 

You created the heavens.
And Lord, it was Your hands
That put the stars in their place.
Lord, it was Your voice
That commands the morning.
'Cause even oceans and their waves bow at your feet, O Lord.



Lord, who am I
Compared to Your glory?
Lord, who am I
Compared to Your majesty?

Lord it was You, 
You created the heavens.
And Lord, it was Your hands
That put the stars in their place.
Lord, it was Your voice
That commands the morning.
'Cause even oceans and their waves bow at your feet, O Lord.



'Cause I'm your beloved, 

Your creation, 
And You love me as I am.
You've called me, chosen
For Your kingdom.
Unashamed to call me your own-
I'm your beloved.




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