Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Salvation: A one time act or a process?

As I've been reading and thinking about my faith and looking at my faith in a new way, (hopefully through the eyes of Jesus and less through denominational glasses) I began thinking about our relationship with God through Jesus.

When I think of the term "salvation", which is what we have if we've committed our life to Him, I wonder if years of use of the term "saved" or "salvation" has reduced what is supposed to be our "Journey with Jesus" down to a single act that once accomplished, gives us a sense of fire insurance against hell and releases us, sadly to a life lived in less commitment than if we saw it as a process.

Now, don't misunderstand me. Salvation (as we call it) is not earned. You can't be good enough. Only through Jesus alone by grace can we be saved according to Ephesians 2:8. By process I don't mean that we have to "merit, earn or add up stuff" good enough to warrant being saved.

I have seen SO MANY over the years "say the prayer", "walk the isle", "join the church", "get baptized", "fill out a card", "raise their hand", fill in the blank __________________. And then NEVER see them again. It's as if they've accomplished their spiritual act and now they are going to heaven. It's as if they say "whew...that's over now I can start living my life like I want knowing that I'll go to heaven when I die because I "got saved."" Is that true salvation? salvation a journey? A life of following Jesus. Yes we fall, we sin, we mess up but so did EVERY SINGLE BIBLE PERSON we read about in scripture. But the common denominator is that they got up, were forgiven by Jesus, reinstated and they continued following, teaching, living a Jesus life FOR JESUS.

Understand, that just living a good life, even a moral life or even a christian "type" life....will not get one to heaven. But is one a true follower if they do the christian thing and say a prayer or join a church or whatever....and then never live for Christ?

I do believe there is a point in time where one "commits" to a life of following Jesus. It may or may not happen by "THE PRAYER" or "THE CHURCH" but by simply deciding to tell God that you want to follow Him or live for Him or that you love Him and commit your life to Jesus. Remember that all the thief on the cross said to Jesus was "remember me." Jesus said in essence "you got it dude, today you WILL be with Me!" WOW! What grace.

The thief didn't get to live his life for God because he was on his deathbed but from that point on Jesus saw his heart, his willingness his turning to God. I have no doubt that had the thief lived, he would have lived a passionately sold out life for God because of Jesus.

I had a person tell me one time... "I've just always been a Christian." Well, sorry but there is a TIME where one decides to commit their life to God. It starts with a concious act but it cannot end there. In fact I believe when we live for Christ, we are living out our salvation in process. We are experiencing our salvation now, not just in the sweet by and by.

If all of life is spiritual then all of life is a journey. So I want to encourage you, as I've been thinking about in my own life...have you just commited a single act of Christianity by saying a prayer or joining a church...or is your life truly a journey with Jesus. Are you continuing to live out your salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12.) Are you experiencing your salvation in every part of life realizing that ALL of life is spiritual?
Just a Thot.