Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Salvation Is Simple, Or Is It?

It's week 2 over at Marla Taviano's summer read-a-long & boy are things getting hot!  OK, not really.  It's a friendly discussion.  But the questions are getting tough.  And I imagine that they're only going to get tougher as we go along.

This week we all read Chapters 1 & 2.  Both chapters had me laughing out loud and nodding my head in agreement in quite a few spots.  Rachel's quirky methods of evangelism and her apologetic strategies as a young girl astound me.  Seriously, her argument for the existence of Santa Claus had me rolling!!  Anyway...

Marla asked a couple of questions on her blog about what it means to really be saved.  She also asked a question about faith & politics, but I'm not going to answer that here.  We'll save those thoughts for another day.  :)  

I love this quote by David Platt, author of Radical“This is why none of these man-made catch phrases are in the Bible. You will not find a verse in Scripture where people are told to ‘bow your heads, close your eyes, and repeat after me.’ You will not find a place where a superstitious sinner’s prayer is even mentioned. And you will not find an emphasis on accepting Jesus. We have taken the infinitely glorious Son of God, who endured the infinitely terrible wrath of God and who now reigns as the infinitely worthy Lord of all, and we have reduced him to a poor, puny Savior who is just begging for us to accept him.”

Salvation is simple.  Belief (in Jesus) + Confession (of sin) = Salvation  

When Jesus went about gathering His disciples, He didn't tell them how to be saved.  He said, "Come and follow Me."  There was no Romans Road, or sinners prayer, or asking Jesus to live in your heart.

The disciples left everything behind.  The disciples followed Jesus

Salvation is simple.  Or is it?

Salvation is about leaving everything behind.  When Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3 what it meant to be saved, He said that one had to be born again.  That means starting over, beginning all over again, creating something new.  Regeneration.

Salvation is also about following Jesus.  Again, Jesus invited His disciples (and us) to follow Him.  "Follow" means to monitor or observe, to accept as guide or leader, and to imitate or copy.  A true Jesus follower sees what Jesus is doing & does the same thing.

There's a woman that Rachel talks about in chapter 2 of Evolving she calls "June the Ten Commandments Lady."  June is an outspoken elderly woman "who professes the name of Jesus Christ in one breath and then curses her neighbor in the next."  (48)  Rachel wonders if that profession of Jesus is enough to save her.  Further, she wonders if June's profession is worth more than the faith of a Buddhist or Hindu or Muslim who practice kindness and compassion.

Those are tough questions.  They're emotional ones.   This is what I think based on the definition of salvation given above - salvation is about leaving everything behind AND following Jesus.  You can't have one without the other.  June's profession of faith isn't enough.  A Buddhist or Hindu or Muslim who practices kindness and compassion isn't enough.  True salvation requires both.  

What do you think it takes to be saved?  How would you answer Rachel's question regarding June the Ten Commandment lady & those of other faiths?

1 comment:

Denise Dilley said...

I have pondered this very question "what is it to be saved?" most of my life. After years of searching reading and discussing this issue with friends/ and family I have come to think to be saved is to 1. Believe in Jesus 2.Confession of inviting the holy spirit into your heart. and 5. being born again only this time you come out with Jesus's protecting blood..